Chapter 1: Sunset
Silently, Obi-Wan just...watched.
He watched as light danced, a sapphire blade twirled, and motion and action came together in a sensuous, powerful dance of purpose and perfection.
The sun was just beginning to set, casting long, playful shadows across this training room in the Temple. There was no sound, other than the faint scratch of bare feet on the mat, the whisper of fabric rubbing against itself, and the hum, that satisfying hum, of the weapon of light and grace as it cut through the silence.
He watched, silently, because he knew this Jedi would be here, now, at this time of day. He watched this figure of purpose and perfection continue in the dance, the setting sun catching the sheen of sweat that covered the long and chiseled muscles of back, arms, and chest, tunic long abandoned as too restrictive, too confining. The blade swung up, around, over, down and through, in a cascade of moves decidedly beguiling and deadly. The weapon was an extension of those arms, and with the speed and natural fluidity of the movement, it was difficult to tell where arms ended and blade began.
He stole a glance up to that face, the face of youth and beauty, impossibly enhanced by the scar over his right eye. The sunset played tricks with his hair, making it appear as if he were some sort of Force apparition, setting the playful curls of his hair on fire, golden and soft at the same time. The dancer’s eyes were half closed, in concentration, full bottom lip tucked in slightly. The figure continued in his dance, unaware that he was being watched.
Obi-Wan watched silently as his former Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, practiced his “moving meditation.” Anakin was always in motion, just like the Force that had put Anakin into being. He knew Anakin would be here because this was his favorite time of day—it had been since he was a slave boy on Tatooine, watching the twin suns set. How long ago that seemed now, as the boy had become a man, a Padawan had become a Knight. And a student had become a friend, a brother...no, something more than that.
A soul mate.
Anakin was beauty and perfection. No, definitely not a perfect Jedi, nor had he been a perfect Padawan. But the very Force all the Jedi had all built their lives around had gifted Anakin with a luminescence that was simultaneously irresistible and all-consuming. Anakin had once admitted that being near Senator Amidala was intoxicating, but truly, Anakin himself was a drug to be consumed again and again. Obi-Wan knew this, understood the danger, and still, he watched.
Now, the exercise became wild, passionate, and aggressive—completely and utterly Anakin. Slices of blue blade pierced the air, and his demeanor slowly twisted into something almost feral. Obi-Wan sighed deeply, bringing a hand to his chin. He loved this part. He did this often, stealing quietly from their rooms to the one place he knew Anakin visited with any consistency. Watching him practice was an extremely intimate experience, for Anakin truly lay himself bare in this time when he thought he was alone. Obi-Wan knew it was intrusive, but couldn’t resist watching—it was as seductive as it was instructive.
He absently raked his fingers through the whiskers on his chin, his gaze never wavering as Anakin traveled the diagonal of the room in a blur of double-twisting backflips. How long had it been now, since he realized his love for Anakin? Did it even matter? Obi-Wan frowned, giving his head a quick shake to clear such futile thoughts. He knew Anakin did not feel the same way. Something was going on between Anakin and the Senator, which was trouble enough in the eyes of the Order, but for a Master and a Padawan, even a former one, to pursue...well, it was irrelevant. Anakin saw him as a brother, or worse yet, as a father. A friend, a partner, but certainly not a lover and never with the passion Anakin so clearly felt for his Senator.
Obi-Wan's thoughts stole to his own Master, Qui-Gon Jinn. Qui-Gon had been like a father to him, and privately, deep down where no one could see, he had loved him fiercely. When Qui-Gon had joined with the Force, Obi-Wan thought the hole left in his heart would be black and scarred for eternity. When he looked into the deep blue eyes of that hopeful little boy he was supposed to train, he didn’t see why his Master had placed this burden on him, nor how he would ever be made whole again. How giving half of himself away would somehow, someday, make him more.
With a sharp laugh and a grunt, Anakin moved on to another series of movements, those Obi-Wan recognized as designed to be used in tandem with a partner. Not just any partner, but his Master. Obi-Wan's mouth curved up in a private, satisfied smile as he leaned back into the alcove and hugged his arms around his cloak. Sighing again, Obi-Wan watched, comforted by the knowledge that Anakin still needed him, still wanted to be with him, if only to guard his back in battle. As last streams of sunlight sank below the horizon, and the twilight became the color of Anakin’s eyes, the lightsaber arced high overhead in a final, triumphant swing of blue brilliance and fervent hum. Thumbing off his blade, Anakin fell to the floor with a grin, panting and deliriously exhausted, though spiritually renewed.
Eager to maintain his anonymity, Obi-Wan quickly turned and slipped out of the room, as silently as he had arrived.
From the mat on the floor, Anakin turned his head.
Chapter 2: Sunrise
Anakin goes looking for answers.
Troubled, Anakin woke early.
Quietly rising from the bed, his bare feet padded out the door to the common area they still shared. The sun was a golden globe of fire just beginning its rise over the countless towers of Coruscant’s skyline. Streams of sunlight played on the plain walls of the room, filling it with a warm glow, shadows long and distorted by the angle of the light. Looking around, Anakin released a long, resigned breath as he ran a hand through his unruly curls. Obi-Wan wasn’t there.
Of course not.
Scowling as he pulled on leggings and a tunic, Anakin’s troubled thoughts returned to last evening’s lightsaber practice. He knew Obi-Wan had been there, watching him, and instead of saying anything, his Master shielded himself in the Force.
Well, mostly. Not enough to hide him entirely, at least not from Anakin. That was...new.
Honestly, this was about the last thing he needed in his life right now. He'd been so frustrated lately, with the Council, with Padmé, even--and maybe especially--with his former Master. Everything was so complicated now, in ways they'd never been when he'd just been a Padawan. His exercise last night had blissfully allowed him to release most of that tension into the Force, to turn himself inwards and let the Force guide his body while he cleansed his mind.
That is, until he felt that familiar spark that told him Obi-Wan was there. The question was, why? More criticism? Even though he was a renowned negotiator, Obi-Wan was not a man of many words, but his actions spoke volumes, and secretly skulking around a training room at dusk pretty much told Anakin enough.
He shook his head, banging his fist on the door release. He wouldn’t do this. Not anymore. He was a Knight now, and he no longer needed to please Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Then why did he want to, need to, so desperately?
Angrily yanking on his cloak, Anakin stormed out of their quarters, intensely focused on confronting his Master. He didn’t care if he was being petulant, or immature, or defensive. Obi-Wan had no right anymore, and Anakin would demand to know why he had been spying on him. He turned at the end of the hall, heading for the one place Obi-Wan would be at such an hour. After all, the dawn had always been his Master's favorite time of day.
The Temple Gardens, Anakin knew, had been Obi-Wan’s favorite place in the Temple since he was a youngling. It was where Anakin had found him meditating, many times, following his return from his ordeal with Asajj Ventress. The air was moist and thick, full with life, full with the Force, and utterly soothing to his Master in a way Anakin supposed flying was to him.
With a casual flick of his wrist, Anakin stalked through the gate, attitude and ego flowing off of him in waves, ready to confront Obi-Wan on his insulting and secretive conduct. Instead, he nearly gasped out loud in surprise at the sight before him, abruptly halting him in his spot as his black cloak swished forward with his momentum to curl around his legs.
In the center of the garden was quite possibly the most captivating vision he had ever seen, even beyond the first time he saw Padmé and proclaimed her an angel. He was frozen in place, unable to move. He couldn't even breathe.
He was helpless to do anything, so...he watched.
Muscles rippled and stretched as sinewy arms stretched overhead, strong legs moving in their own cadence across the green, dewy grass. The figure before him was the embodiment of balance, fluidity, and form, moving in such a natural, graceful way that he seemed to have a shadowy dance partner. Loose black pants slid effortlessly up and down on a leg that kicked out forward, only to land softly, like a whisper, in the grass. A loose-fitting tank, already darkened with sweat, clung to a chiseled chest and well-defined abdomen, as the body they belonged to twisted to perform a series of blocks and strikes.
Anakin followed the movements upward, up across strong shoulders and lean neck. His Master’s face was quiet and serene, in contrast to the movements of his body. Eyes closed, lips slightly parted, Obi-Wan worked through his katas, arms and legs slicing into the air in a complex series of maneuvers designed to enhance timing, style, and awareness. Some performed katas simply for exercise, but Obi-Wan used them as a form of meditation, a way to relieve stress and commune with the Force.
Anakin stood uncommonly still, barely daring to risk a breath, afraid he would be noticed and the mesmerizing vision before him would vanish.
Golden sunlight intensified the copper of his Master’s hair, tousled and slightly damp on his forehead. Force, but did he love Obi-Wan’s hair. When Anakin was younger, he used to sneak up behind his Master and ruffle his hands through the long, silky tresses, such a contrast to his bristly Padawan cut. He had been furious the day Obi-Wan came home with it cut short, claiming it was much more sensible. Maybe so, but Anakin still longed to run his fingers through it, though the desire had evolved into something far less innocent than in his Padawan years. Reflexively, Anakin slowly ran his hand through his own long hair, as the breeze in the Gardens caught not only his curls, but the longer locks of his Master’s.
Anakin relaxed and slowly released a breath, crossing his arms over his chest and hugging his cloak close. He watched, and he learned. He always did.
Although his Master considered himself to be old, Anakin hated it when he said it. Obi-Wan was in prime form, every muscle finely tuned, every movement as light and graceful as a Twi'lek dancer, and a boyish grin and wit that was ageless, in spite of that beard Anakin had begged him to get rid of. Obi-Wan’s body was a temple, one that Anakin wanted to worship for the rest of his life.
And love, for the rest of his life, even after they both became one with the Force.
He had loved Obi-Wan, for as long as he could remember, and for just as long, he ached knowing that Obi-Wan would never love him. Not in that way. Other than his mother, Obi-Wan had been the only constant in Anakin's life. He quickly became a father to Anakin, then a brother, then a friend. Now he was the man who held half of Anakin’s heart, and Obi-Wan didn’t even know it. Would never know it, because what he felt for Obi-Wan didn't matter. Obi-Wan was a Jedi Master, and he loved and honored the Jedi Code above all. He would always think of Anakin as a son, a Padawan.
Force knew he wasn't proud of it, but it was this knowledge that had driven Anakin to Padmé’s bed. They were close friends before they were lovers, but Anakin knew now that he didn’t really love her, at least not like the burning, white-hot love he felt radiating from every fiber of his being when he thought of Obi-Wan. He would never, could never, feel that way about anyone else.
Jedi were not supposed to have attachments, but his bond with his Master had saved both their lives more times than he cared to count. If he couldn’t have his Master as his lover, his soul mate, he would have him as his brother and best friend. He would watch over Obi-Wan and keep him safe. It was Anakin’s entire reason for being a Jedi, for pushing himself still so hard in his training.
Thoughts of last night brought Anakin back to why he came here in the first place. His anger had been released, and Anakin didn’t even realize when or how. Watching his Master in his seemingly effortless exercise was a balm on Anakin’s fragile, tortured soul. He had lingered too long, he knew, he really had to go, before he was noticed.
More quietly than he arrived, he gazed one last time at Obi-Wan, nearly through with the last kata form. As he turned to leave, breeze blowing his hair into his eyes and snapping his cloak behind him, he heard the whisper through their bond.
Chapter 3: Meditation
Anakin joins Obi-Wan in meditation, and things get messy.
Obi-Wan’s heart skipped a beat when he felt his former Padawan arrive, and still another when he realized Anakin was just...watching him. Obi-Wan had come to the Gardens after a fitful night of fanciful dreams that mocked him with illusions of things he could never have, desperate to regain his equilibrium again before encountering Anakin. But equilibrium, or any sort of peace, was an elusive friend lately and would have to wait. Anakin was troubled—never a good sign—and Obi-Wan could feel the younger Jedi’s anger and frustration, barely controlled, swirling like a dark storm in the normally tranquil pool of the Force. It was still early; he could hardly imagine what was causing Anakin so much distress at this hour.
As Anakin appeared unwilling to interrupt, Obi-Wan continued more ardently with his exercise, nearly completed. If he told himself the truth, he continued because he wanted Anakin to see him. He wanted the younger Jedi to see that his old Master wasn’t…well…so old. Obi-Wan felt his skin flush and his stomach tighten. This line of thinking would never do.
Just as he kicked his leg up, and twisted around to land softly in exactly the spot where he began, he suddenly felt all of Anakin’s anger fade peacefully into the Force. To look at Anakin through the Force was intensely blinding; to feel Anakin in the Force was nothing less than breathtaking. In all of their time together, Obi-Wan had never opened himself fully to Anakin’s light, lest he completely lose himself in it. Getting lost in Anakin was a temptation that called to him day and night these days, and he knew his vigilance was slipping by the moment. Releasing a soft, controlled breath, he banished such desolate musings from his mind and slowly opened his eyes.
And frowned. Anakin had turned to leave, without a word to him.
Anakin, stay. Please.
Obi-Wan instantly flinched, ashamed that his mind had conjured the words so easily and unconsciously to travel along the the bond that still remained between them, the bond that should have been severed with Anakin’s Knighthood. In an act that Obi-Wan deemed utterly selfish and rebellious on his part, he had been unable, unwilling to make that cut, though surprisingly Anakin had never asked him to, either.
Startled by the whispered plea in his mind, Anakin stopped abruptly, nearly tumbling over from the momentum of his turn and the spin of his long black cloak around his ankles. Kriff, he groaned to himself, squeezing his eyes shut while frantically checking to see if all his shields were in place. He was mortified that he had been caught staring like some lovelorn boy, his aroused feelings raging uncontrolled through his body. How can I face him? He must know. I have to learn more control! Clenching his hands into tight fists, Anakin carefully turned back to face his Master.
Obi-Wan blanched inwardly as Anakin turned, forcing himself to school his features into a passive, welcoming, Masterly expression that he could only hope masked his anxiety. “Well, hello there, Anakin. It is...unusual...to see you at this time of day.”
Obi-Wan greeted him with that disarming smile that rivaled the warmth of the rising sun, hair tousled by both the exercise and the breeze in the Gardens—a roguishly handsome look for the usually unruffled Jedi. A flutter took off in Anakin's chest as he continued to struggle for control of his emotions, barely able to focus on the seemingly normal conversation coming from the man in front of him, when all he could think about were those long, lean muscles moving slowly, deliberately, in a sensuous dance through the air…He opened his mouth, closed it, and opened it again. Fumbling for words after the captivating physical display he had just witnessed, Anakin finally found his voice.
“Um, I-I’m sorry to bother you, Master. I had trouble sleeping, and when I woke, you weren’t there.” He cringed inside, loathing himself for sounding so childish, so pathetic, like a youngling barely out of the crèche, not the kriffing Jedi Knight he was now. For the thousandth time since his Knighthood, he was comforted by the fact that Obi-Wan had never gotten around to severing their bond, and he sure as Sith wasn't going to remind him. Despite what Anakin told himself, he still needed that connection to Obi-Wan, his comforting presence, even if it wasn't particularly calming these days.
“I am sorry, Anakin,” Obi-Wan offered in puzzled surprise; it had been quite some time since Anakin had come to him after one of his nightmares. A damp lock of hair fell across his face as he tilted his head, eyes narrowing slightly as he regarded the younger man. “I, too, did not sleep well,” he admitted, a worry furrowing his brow as he reached up to brush the errant hair away. “I do hope I did not disturb you?”
Anakin laughed nervously, gnawing on his bottom lip as his eyes slid away. Not in the way you mean, Master.
“What? No. I just...It's nothing,” he evaded, digging the toe of his boot into the soft grass.
Obi-Wan resisted rolling his eyes. “Anakin. Obviously it's something enough to drag you to the Gardens at sunrise, and I can sense something is troubling you. I’ve finished my exercise—I suppose we...we could meditate?”
It was a completely insincere offer, and Obi-Wan would have been ashamed had he not been desperate to send Anakin on his way. As much as his worn heart wanted to be near Anakin, the offer of meditation was one that he knew would be refused, and Obi-Wan would be able to just breathe again. While the picture of serenity and composure and on the outside, inside he was a jumble of racing thoughts and reckless emotions. He needed the soothing comfort of meditation—alone—to send all of his confusing feelings about Anakin into the Force.
Meditate? Anakin wanted to do nothing of the sort; he was jumpy, on edge, and quiet meditation had never been his thing. However, this insatiable need of his to be near Obi-Wan, to drown in the sensation of peace he had felt just moments ago, was nearly overpowering, and before he gave his mouth permission the words just slipped out.
At the surprising reply, Obi-Wan's heart caught in his throat as he dipped his head in acknowledgement. Anakin hesitantly approached him, shrugging off his cloak, both of them avoiding any eye contact as they got into position. Only, he didn’t sit next to Obi-Wan, rather he sat with his back to his Master. Obi-Wan smiled fondly—they hadn’t meditated like this together since before Anakin was Knighted. The calm of meditation was often elusive for Anakin, and together they had devised this position to help him focus inward and on the currents of the Force.
Obi-Wan pulled on a tunic, exposed skin now chilled in the cool morning air. He turned his body so that it was in alignment with Anakin, but hesitated at the next step. When Anakin pressed his tall, lean frame against Obi-Wan’s damp back, it sent a thrill of heat and comfort surging through Obi-Wan’s veins. He missed this contact he used to have with Anakin; if he were honest, he missed the intimacy of their Master/Padawan relationship.
Although they had spent the early months of the war together, Obi-Wan’s assumed death at Jabiim had separated them and had forced Anakin into an early maturity. Knighthood soon followed, and more and more often they were being sent on separate missions. Most of all, though, he missed his Anakin: the lighthearted peal of his laughter, the intensity of his gaze, the pout of his lips, the softness of his touch.
Anakin had to use all of his control not to jump when his body came in contact with Obi-Wan’s. To be here, doing this, was like coming home. He closed his eyes, reveling in the security he'd always felt being with his Master. He inhaled deeply, taking in the spicy, sweaty scent that was Obi-Wan. It took him back to a time when all he wanted to do was please his Master and be a great Jedi Knight.
Things hadn’t changed so much, after all.
They sat in tranquil company together like this, backs pressing together with each tandem breath, eyes closed and minds centered, as the sun continued its rise to greet the day.
For Obi-Wan, mediation let him become one with the Force, and allowed him to swim in the pure, languid current that enveloped his spirit, washing him clean, refreshed, anew. Today's meditation was nothing of the sort. As much as he tried to focus on the Force, he was constantly aware of the firm body pressed against his, and his mind continued to wander, thinking back to last night, to watching Anakin. He breathed softly, deliberately, trying to refocus and listen to the will of the Force.
Anakin let his thoughts flow out into the Force, and in turn, the Force helped him to focus. He worked to let go of the frustrations that he feared were slowly crippling him. Frustrations with the Council, for not granting him Mastership….with Padme, for demanding more from him than he could give…to the last time they made love…to his decision to end it…
He realized with a start that the last time he had been with Padme, he really hadn’t been with her at all. His mind had been on Obi-Wan, wondering…what if I kissed him like this…what if I put my mouth there…and he put his hands here…
Anakin’s calm visage twisted suddenly into a scowl. It didn’t matter how much ached for the lover he would never have. Obi-Wan was immune to the whims of emotion, while at times Anakin felt like he was a slave to his own. So why did it feel like the Force was trying to tell him something? He let out a slow breath, trying to will away this last frustration, this wretched, unrequited love for the one he'd always call Master. There is no passion, there is serenity…he reminded himself, but his thoughts stubbornly returned to last evening, and he felt his anger slowly begin to rise once more, corrupting what little serenity he'd managed to find.
“Master, I need to know something,” Anakin suddenly demanded, breaking the peaceful silence of the Gardens.
“Yes, my young Padawan?” Obi-Wan answered out of old habit, caught in the memories this meditation stance revived. When they last sat like this, they were roughly the same height, with Anakin’s Padawan braid gently tickling his Master’s neck. Now, gone was the braid, replaced by the oft-unruly curls that stood nearly half a head above Obi-Wan and brushed lightly against his ear in the breeze.
Anger growled in Anakin and his body stiffened. “I’m no longer a Padawan!”
Obi-Wan sighed heavily. “And I am no longer your Master, Anakin,” he gently chided.
Palpable tension started to creep into their joint meditation, and Anakin could stand it no longer. He wasn’t a Padawan, he didn’t deserve this kind of scrutiny, especially from someone who claimed to be his best friend.
Whirling around on his knees, Anakin glowed down at the other man. “You were there last night, watching me practice! Judging me! Why? Why, Mast—Obi-Wan?” he blurted out hotly.
Obi-Wan's eyes flew open at the unexpected outburt, feeling the churning tide of dark emotions from his former apprentice. Anakin saw me? He knows? His head spun grasping for answers to questions he hadn’t been prepared to answer—ever. Even to himself. Anakin was furious with him, and Obi-Wan had no possible excuse that would mollify him, especially with the truth absolutely out of the question.
“Did the Council send you to spy on me? Are they doubting my competency as a Knight? Are you? You don’t think I’m good enough to be a Master, do you?” Anakin’s voice broke as the accusations tumbled out in a torrent of insecurity, anxious eyes searching for answers. “How am I supposed to be the Chosen One if no one believes in my abilities?”
Obi-Wan’s heart ached hearing Anakin’s self-doubt, so much like his own, and took Anakin’s hands into his own. “No, of course not! You were Knighted because you earned it; you saved me more times than I care to remember and proved yourself on more battlegrounds than most generals twice your age. Someday, you will be a great Jedi Master, Anakin.”
What else could he possibly say, without revealing what lie hidden in his heart? “I was just looking for you to see if you had read the...the report from my last mission. To pre-prepare you for today's Council meeting. That is all.”
Obi-Wan coughed nervously and winced, knowing that was an utterly horrible excuse for gaping at his former apprentice with untempered admiration, love, and even blatant lust while Anakin thought he had practiced in undefiled solitude. The Jedi Master glanced away, unable to meet those stormy blue eyes a moment longer, lest he reveal his shameful secret.
Anakin’s eyes widened in surprise, followed by a loud bark of laughter. “Master, you are a terrible liar!”
This was hardly the response Obi-Wan was expecting, though not altogether unwelcome, either, if it provided an escape to safer ground. He tried his best affronted-Jedi look to hide his increasing discomfort, counting on Anakin to take the bait. “Well, young one, I suppose I should not question your expertise in the area. However, I am a Jedi Master, and we most certainly do not tell lies.”
“Hey!” Anakin protested, poking his finger into Obi-Wan’s chest. “That alone is a pile of bantha fodder—I always know when you’re fibbing.”
“Preposterous!” Obi-Wan laughed, his heart pounding at the thrill of this verbal banter, so like old times, coupled with the fact that he was still holding one of Anakin’s hands tightly. “Do tell, what is this special knowledge that gives you such miraculous insight?”
Suddenly quiet, Anakin gazed up through a fringe of stray curls and studied his Master’s face, his thumb grazing over a rough callous on Obi-Wan's palm. “I know you better than anyone, Master, even yourself, sometimes,” he said finally, his voice soft and thoughtful. “Your lips, they do this...this funny thing…”
“What...thing? I-I assure you, my negotiation skills would be for naught if I g-gave myself away so easily, Anakin.” Obi-Wan’s words faltered under the audacity of such a claim, his eyes darting about anxiously at anything other than Anakin. He licked his lips nervously. “There is no...thing—”
“Shh.” Focusing on the tongue that left a sheen on slightly parted lips, Anakin slowly reached up, hand grazing the coarse whiskers of his beard, to the corner of his mouth. “Right...here,” he whispered, tracing the spot and committing it to memory.
Obi-Wan suppressed a shudder and closed his eyes as Anakin caressed his face, terrified to move. It had been so long since they'd had contact like this, and he knew he should't covet it, but he did. He marveled, again, at how for all of his power, Anakin had the softest, gentlest touch. This touch flooded him with memories of Anakin’s dedicated care of Obi-Wan’s hideous wounds following his captivity by Ventress. How Anakin had shared every hurt, treated every scar, eased every pain. Settling into the calm currents flowing between them now, a grateful sigh quietly escaped his lips.
He is so beautiful, Anakin thought, and he doesn’t even realize it. He knew he needed to stop—he couldn’t stand the reprimand that was sure to follow from those lips that taunted him with what he would never taste. They're different than Padme’s, he thought curiously. Drier, but somehow softer, too. Anakin’s fingers stopped their movement, but his hand slid down to cup his Master’s bearded chin. But I'll never get to kiss them, will I?
Guardedly, Obi-Wan blinked open his eyes, not knowing what to expect. In that moment, he was able to see parts of Anakin more clearly than he ever had; through the Force, he could feel that Anakin’s shields were coming down. He felt a stirring from Anakin, a surprising intensity of emotion, and a few stray thoughts floated his way.
Obi-Wan reared back out of Anakin's touch, breath ragged as he combed a shaking hand through his hair.
There it was. Anakin loved Padme, nothing could be more clear. He'd known this for sometime, and yet he had refused to truly acknowledge it because he had no definitive proof. But he did now, and it hurt, Sith did it hurt, more than he thought possible. Anakin may as well taken his lightsaber and carved out his heart—it would have hurt less. Of course he would love her. She’s young, she’s beautiful, and she’s everything I could never be to him.
Anakin’s hand stayed in midair momentarily, then dropped to his lap. He could see the growing turbulence in Obi-Wan’s face, and knew he had gone too far. Ashamed at his lack of control, he looked away. “Master, I...I'm sor—” Kriff, could I have screwed this up any worse?
Obi-Wan waved him off and stood quickly, backing away and refusing to meet Anakin's plaintive expression. “I...I think we are done here. I would like to get cleaned up for the day—the katas took a lot out of me, and I require time to prepare for the Council. If y-you’ll excuse me…” he finished in a rush of cold formality, and hurried out of the garden, forgetting his boots and cloak in his haste.
Anakin’s shoulders slumped, knowing that again he had disappointed his Master, and worse, he wasn’t exactly sure what had just happened except that he'd failed to control his emotions yet again. No wonder the Council and Obi-Wan had their doubts about his abilities. He was a Knight and he still couldn’t even meditate properly without upsetting his Master. Bloody Sith Hell…
Obi-Wan was nearly overcome by the unrestrained storm of emotions battering his mind and soul as he hurried back to their quarters. Pain, grief, jealousy, passion, love—all unbecoming and totally unallowed to a Jedi Master. Tears pricked the corners of his eyes, blurring his vision as his breath caught painfully in his chest. By the blackest stars, what a model Master Jedi I’ve become. Running through the Temple barefoot. Overrun by useless emotions for his own Padawan! Qui-Gon would be appalled. The Perfect Jedi, oh yes, that’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.
In an unusual and flagrant disregard for the Force, he called upon it to both open the door and slam it closed behind him as he stormed toward the 'fresher. Muttering a string of obscenities to himself, he yanked off his clothes, flung them to the floor, and stepped into the stall, pounding both fists against the tile. Bloody Sith Hell…
Chapter 4: Passion
Obi-Wan calls Anakin on his lies, and Anakin finally tells the truth. Things get...heated.
Beautiful… Padmé …Kiss…
The words churned mercilessly through Obi-Wan’s mind as the water in the ‘fresher poured down over his head, over shoulders that sagged under the weight of his despair. After that single damning moment in the Gardens with Anakin, he'd fled back to their quarters, hoping a shower would drown out the mocking chorus and bring him some semblance of comfort. As the water cooled, he scowled and tapped off the controls, chilled and wet now, and no closer to any sense of harmony within himself.
While vigorously toweling off his chest and arms, Obi-Wan caught sight of himself in the mirror and reached up to wipe some of the steam off the glass. Grunting his displeasure, he avoided looking himself in the eye, disgusted as he was with his own appearance, nevermind his deplorable behavior and humiliating lack of control over his emotions. Nothing special here, Kenobi, he thought, as he critically surveyed his reflection. He wasn’t delicate, he wasn’t refined, and he wasn’t attractive, certainly not like...her.
He threw the towel over his head, scrubbing angrily at his hair with a loud growl to silence the incessant litany. This had to stop.
Wrapping the towel around his waist, he left the 'fresher and went in search of his clothes, finding that their quarters were a disaster. Clothes were strewn haphazardly between the door and the 'fresher, crushed Yavinese nebula orchids and the wet shards of a Shilian vase littered the table, and a holo of Anakin, Qui-Gon, and himself on Naboo had crashed to the floor, splintering the frame. Obi-Wan cringed, embarrassed and chagrined by the wreckage of the Force-tantrum he'd unleashed after fleeing that disastrous encounter with Anakin.
Useless tears of suppressed frustration stung at the corners of his eyes as he recalled the sensation of warmth and comfort as they meditated together, the heat that flared deep in his chest when Anakin had touched his face and stared into his eyes as though he could see his soul, and how Obi-Wan had wanted nothing more than to let go, to lean forward and feel the press of Anakin's lips against his. He let out a mirthless rasp of a laugh.
Oh Sith, Anakin. I’m not even supposed to love you. But I do, Force help me, I do.
His pursuit of clothing bypassed in lieu of bitter musings, Obi-Wan paused near one of their full length transparisteel windows, idly watching the Coruscanti traffic weave its way through the skies. He thought of a recent conversation he'd had with Mace, who had been relentlessly pestering him as to when he was going to take another Padawan. Obi-Wan had demurred, using his diplomatic finesse to pivot the discussion elsewhere to avoid a reply he was certain Mace did not wish to hear.
Anakin Skywalker would be his only Padawan. Certainly, he could rationalize that after training the Chosen One, nothing and no one could compare. And that was true. But what Obi-Wan could hardly tell Mace—blast, he could hardly tell himself—was that to take another Padawan would mean separating even further from the man he loved with all that he was. If he couldn’t bring himself to sever his bond with Anakin, how would he ever be able to bond with another? The entire question was irrelevant; he would never want to.
Hugging his arms around himself, he hid his face behind a hand, shamed by the traitorous tears that had made their escape to grieve the love he could never have. He was foolishly wishing on things that would never be, on feelings he knew Anakin would never reciprocate. Hearing Anakin's love for Padmé only sealed the matter in the cold permacrete that had become Obi-Wan's heart.
Anakin hovered anxiously outside the quarters he'd shared with Obi-Wan for over a decade, the only place he could truly call his home. With his Master’s hastily forgotten cloak and boots in hand, he leaned against the wall of the corridor with a sigh. He had no idea what he had done, nor what he could do to fix it, but he also knew he damn well was going to, because failing his Master was never an option.
With a quick shake to gather his courage, Anakin tapped the opening mechanism.
“Stang,” he muttered with concern, frowning as he stole a quick glance around the room. Broken crystal, wilted blooms... “Master?” he called out worriedly, as he stepped over what looked like Obi-Wan's under tunic crumpled on the floor, frown deepening as he crouched and picked up the broken holo of him and his two Masters. He carefully traced his fingers over the image, a small smile ghosting his lips at the memory that seemed just yesterday and so long ago.
With a heavy sigh, he stood and set the holo aside, only then noticing Obi-Wan standing near the window. Curiously, he was clad only in a towel, perfectly still and staring out over Coruscant, not overtly acknowledging Anakin’s arrival. Though concerned—their quarters were a mess and his Master seemed to be ignoring him—Anakin couldn’t help but admire the muscles of Obi-Wan’s back, firm and defined, curving up to broad shoulders and tapering down to a slim waist, towel slung enticingly low on his hips.
Obi-Wan froze, his fingers separating just enough to focus on the reflection in the glass. He'd been so distraught and preoccupied that he'd not even felt Anakin's approach, and here he was, half dressed and weeping like an abandoned crechling. Berating himself, he discreetly swiped at his eyes to dry them. Pride was not the way of a Jedi, but he could not bear to let Anakin see him this way, so emotional, and he absolutely would not be an object of pity.
“Master?” Anakin asked more urgently this time, reaching into the Force for his Master, but formidable shields blocked every attempt. Pausing behind Obi-Wan, he could see the other man's face mirrored in the window. Troubled. Weary. Infinitely sad, in a way Anakin carried only a brief memory of from the days following Naboo. Gently, tentatively, he rested a hand on his Master’s shoulder, closing his eyes and savoring the contact with Obi-Wan’s warm, damp skin.
“Master, I-I know you're angry, and I shouldn’t have said those things. It was unfair, and I know I wouldn’t be a Knight if you of all people didn’t think I was ready. I shouldn’t have questioned you.” His head hung with remorse, like the hundreds of times it had when he was a Padawan. “I’m sorry for disappointing you again with my behavior.”
Obi-Wan couldn’t help but hear the hurt in Anakin’s voice. Oh, Anakin. I’m the one who’s sorry. More than you know. Calling on the Force for a calm he did not feel, he donned the Mask of the Perfect Jedi Master. Stiff. Formal. Distant. Mace would be so proud.
“A-angry? I am not angry,” he answered after a beat, closing his eyes against the outright lie. He was angry, but he was also devastated, jealous, petty, grieved, and a thousand other emotions that were not allowed to him.
“No? Because this place kind of looks like you are. Please, tell me what’s wrong.” Anakin's fingers contracted minutely, his thumb rubbing softly against a raised tendon along the top of Obi-Wan's shoulder. His lip curled up dubiously. “At least...tell me what I did wrong.”
“I am sorry about the holo, I know how important—” Obi-Wan shrugged away from Anakin's hand, but the younger man just moved around and slid himself between Obi-Wan and the window.
“Kriff the holo!” Anakin swore exasperatedly, folding his arms across his chest. “Tell me what's wrong. One minute we're meditating, and the next you're pissed and you just take off, and I...I don't understand!”
Raking his bangs aside, Obi-Wan sent him a searing glare, though his voice was icy soft. “Anakin. I know. I know about you and Padmé, alright? I know that you...love...her, and that you’ve done nothing but feed me and the Council one lie after another to cover your...affair.”
“W-what? You...you what?” Mind reeling, Anakin faltered helplessly under the disparaging expression on Obi-Wan's face. “H-how? When?” And why? Why now, when it doesn't even matter!
“Your shields...before...I am sorry. I promise you, I did not mean to eavesdrop.” Obi-Wan allowed himself a wry smile, though it didn't reach his eyes. “You never were very good about keeping them in place where emotions were involved, you know.”
Anakin was appalled that he'd had such a slip in his defenses, but then again, he wasn’t surprised that it had happened—his Master seemed to have that effect on him, lately more than ever. Obviously, Obi-Wan couldn’t have heard it all, because if he knew everything, he'd still lecture Anakin on attachment and Jedi principles, but he wouldn't be so disappointed. If he was going to save whatever was left of his relationship with Obi-Wan, nevermind his career, he was going to have to be completely honest.
And pray to every single midichlorian in the Force that it would be enough.
“Master, please, let me explain—” he began desperately, trying to meet Obi-Wan's eyes, but the other man cut him off with a stiff shake of his head.
“There really is no need. As you may recall, you are no longer my Padawan,” he reminded Anakin, offering him a grim smile, “and thus, such explanations are no longer my prerogative. The privilege of your autonomy accedes you responsibility for your choices,” he said quietly, stepping aside to put some space between them as his gaze returned to the passing blur of traffic beyond the glass. “Whatever they may be.” He felt very exposed, his emotions threatening to overtake him, and he wanted nothing more than to run to his room and hide like a youngling, hide from Anakin and the suffocating weight of his feelings for him.
“I know that! Please, just listen to me!” Anakin growled, automatically bristling against Obi-Wan's special brand of understated condescension. He couldn’t stand the distant tone in Obi-Wan’s voice, worse than any time he'd lectured Anakin on some basic tenet he had failed to follow during his apprenticeship.
Sagging against the window, he released a sharp breath through his nose and ran a hand through his hair, forcing himself to calm down before he made things worse—if that was even possible at this point. “Okay...yes, I have made choices, Force knows many of them poor ones. I don't know, maybe all of them. But I know I’ve made the right decision this time!”
“Is that so?” Obi-Wan snorted softly, rolling his eyes to the ceiling and all of Coruscant. With a tired sigh, he asked over his shoulder, “And what is that?”
Anakin hesitated, nibbling on his thumb, knowing that once he said the words there'd be no going back. It was probably the riskiest thing he'd ever done, and that was an understatement. Besides, Obi-Wan already knew about Padmé; he might as well learn the rest, learn what an utter failure his former Padawan really was. “It's over, me and Padmé. It was killing me, dividing my heart like that. I couldn't do it any longer and I ended it. I'm sorry, Master.”
Obi-Wan's hands dug into his folded arms, turning his knuckles white until he finally trusted himself enough to speak. “Divide your heart? Between Padmé and the Jedi?” he asked, retreating to the safe, practiced formality of a Council member interrogating an errant Padawan. “Are you saying that you've chosen the Jedi, then?”
“No, not the Jedi,” Anakin said quietly, staring forlornly at his feet as the silence hung thick and heavy in the air between them.
Obi-Wan pinched the bridge of his nose as a mix of confusion and relief washed over him. No longer with Padmé? He chose to end it with her? But he knew what he heard in the Gardens, he knew...didn't he? He opened himself to the Force, searching for clarity as he recalled those damning words...Beautiful…Padmé…Kiss…
But now...Obi-Wan's brow furrowed as the Force revealed what he'd been unable—unwilling—to comprehend before. He is so beautiful…Anakin studying his lips…But I'll never get to kiss them, will I?…
Startled by this incomprehensible revelation, Obi-Wan's breath caught painfully in his chest as his voice broke high and tight. “Not the Jedi? Anakin, I...I don't think I understand.”
Anakin took a deep breath, terrified and exhilarated that this was it, the moment he had wanted—and dreaded—for far too long. The Force whispered to him then, suffusing him with courage and strength and a sense of hope he knew he had no reason to believe in. Raising his chin, he finally locked eyes with Obi-Wan in the window's reflection. “Not the Jedi. A Jedi. A Jedi Master,” he said slowly, carefully watching his Master's face, waiting for the inevitable revulsion, rejection, dismissal.
I nstead, Obi-Wan's eyes widened as the words sunk in, a single tear escaping as his hand crept up to cup his chin. “You...I... I never thought...”
“You never thought what? That I could kriff things up so badly?” Frowning and confused, Anakin reached out and gently turned him around. “Master?”
“No, I always knew that.” Despite himself, Obi-Wan let out a short laugh, though his embarrassment for his continuing lack of emotional restraint made Anakin's curious scrutiny nearly unbearable.
“Yeah...I figured,” Anakin nodded, a small smile lifting the corner of his mouth. The surprising appearance of his Master's humor, even at Anakin's expense, filled him with a little more of the hope the Force had promised. “So, you never thought...what?”
The lapse into their familiar banter tempered some of the discord in his emotions, but Obi-Wan still felt precariously unbalanced even as the Force prodded him to answer. “I...I never thought...well...” he began with a stutter, scratching his fingers through his beard before nervously clearing his throat. “I never thought that you would choose...me.”
“How could you...I mean...” Stunned, Anakin tilted his head, confusion wrinkling the scar across his brow. “I...I guess I didn't think you'd...care?” He studied the floor avidly as he scuffed the toe of his boot into the beige carpet. “I mean...do you?”
Obi-Wan knew he was so far off the Jedi Path now, a few more steps wouldn't make much difference. Not even following Ventress’ torture had he ever felt so vulnerable, as he forced himself to raise his gaze to meet Anakin's, and the single word came out in a strangled whisper.
Surprise flashed across Anakin's face, followed by relief and something resembling hope mixed with anticipation. Slowly, with purpose, he cupped Obi-Wan's face in his hands, brushing away that solitary tear before gently pressing his forehead down to Obi-Wan's. He opened himself to the Force, drawing it in and along the bond they shared, nudging at his Master's durasteel defenses until they yielded just enough...searching...searching...and gasped, utterly astounded, when he saw it.
Love. He loves me.
“W-why didn't you ever tell me?” Anakin's voice broke with emotion, heart pounding as he lowered his lips down to lightly brush against Obi-Wan’s, a tentative, soft, and sweet kiss that asked for permission as much as forgiveness.
Anakin let his lips fall away, but nuzzled his cheek against Obi-Wan’s, still seeking answers and acceptance—as always—from his Master. He let shaky hands skim down to rest on strong, freckled shoulders, needing the connection to ground himself after glimpsing the depth of passion lying beneath that one, brief kiss. “Master,” he breathed unsteadily, the word a whispered invocation against Obi-Wan's ear, eliciting a violent shiver through the other man's entire being.
“I-I told you...I never thought y-you'd...oh, kriff it, come here...” Tired of fighting it and no longer able to hold back the tide, Obi-Wan at last surrendered to his emotions. With a growl, he raked his fingers up into those untamed curls and pulled Anakin down into a ferocious, bruising, owning kiss, reveling in the touch, feel, and taste of those sinfully red lips he had longed to feel pressed against his own.
Anakin, feeling Obi-Wan’s ardent passion for him, was overcome with a fiery desire of his own, like nothing he had ever felt before. He kissed back, hard, easing his Master’s mouth open to dance their tongues around the other’s, groaning with pleasure at Obi-Wan's taste, something minty, something chocolate, he didn't care, it was Obi-Wan.
The Force, pleased by the purity of their love, smiled upon her favorite children and sent whispers of encouragement that only served to incite them further into action.
Unable to stop himself from moaning as Anakin plundered his mouth, Obi-Wan finally managed to break away for a much needed breath. Resting his forehead on Anakin's shoulder, he flushed self-consciously at the disparity in their attire—save for a skimpy towel, he was very nearly naked, while Anakin remained buried in layers of Jedi vestments. “You s-seem to have me at a distinct disadvantage,” he pointed out, crawling his fingers up to hook in the 'v' of Anakin’s tunics with a solicitous tug. “Or, I suppose, I have the advantage...from a certain point of view?”
Anakin cocked an eyebrow, glancing down at Obi-Wan's fingers and biting his lip as two slipped just beneath the folds to brush feather-light against his skin. “I guess I'll just need to alter your point of view,” Anakin smirked, stepping back and yanking the offending garments up and over his head.
Instead of furtive glances and secret stares, Obi-Wan now unabashedly admired the contours of Anakin's smooth, defined chest, tracing his hands over each muscle and down his arms, encouraged as the younger man trembled under his fingers. “Your point of view is rather...compelling,” he agreed with a nod.
Thrilled and humbled by the open appraisal, Anakin released a ragged breath and dragged Obi-Wan against his chest, skin to skin. Both men gasped with unrestrained want as sparks sizzled like an electrical current through their bond, their mouths meeting again and again to conquer and claim while hands roamed and fingers explored uncharted terrain.
Obi-Wan felt like he was on fire, the chill he had moments ago quickly dispatched by the heat building within their close embrace. He didn’t know if his mind or his heart was racing faster, and while he knew prudence was probably the best course, his body had apparently decided prudence was the way of the Sith because suddenly his hands shot out around Anakin and cupped his ass, grinding their hips together in a decidedly imprudent manner.
“M-master,”Anakin groaned helplessly, lips roving through the whiskers along Obi-Wan's jaw to a spot just below the other man's ear. With a wicked flick of his tongue, he sampled the pulse point before leaving a slow, wet trail down to Obi-Wan’s shoulder.
Angling his neck in surrender, Obi-Wan bit his lip and closed his eyes, reveling in the attention Anakin—his Anakin now, he had to remind himself—was bestowing on him. The sensation of being Anakin Skywalker's entire focus was more than he'd ever allowed himself to contemplate, and it humbled Obi-Wan that he had somehow merited such devout benevolence from The Chosen One.
“Mmm...” Anakin mumbled as he snuffled into the heady warmth of Obi-Wan's neck, inhaling deeply the distinctive and unexpectedly sensual scent of the other man's Ithorian Vanilla soap. “Mmm...smells so good, Master.”
“I believe it is called cleanliness, though I can understand your lack of familiarity,” Obi-Wan chuckled softly, hands skimming up the younger man's back, over each bump of his spine, over flexing muscle and skin that still held the warmth of Tatooine's suns. “Anakin, please...I’m Obi-Wan, now...j-just...Obi-Wan,” he implored, for as much as he had been Anakin's Master in so many aspects, he would not be one in this—and he would never want to. “Not your Master. Your partner...your equal.”
“Alright...Obi-Wan,” Anakin grinned against his Master's—Obi-Wan's—skin with a nod. “I like being your partner...Obi-Wan,” his lips murmured against the other man's ear, “a lot.” He ran his tongue around the edge of that ear, empowered by the needy moan it elicited. “But I love...” he pushed his Master up against the window, crushing their bodies together against the backdrop of Coruscant. “t-that you want me to be your equal...Obi-Wan.”
His eyes followed his hands as they trailed down over Obi-Wan's, lacing their fingers together tightly. “D-do you...do you mean it?” Obi-Wan would always be his Master, but this...this was a declaration—an affirmation—of Obi-Wan's faith and trust in Anakin as not just a fellow Jedi Knight, but as a man worthy of his love and respect.
Obi-Wan's brow lifted in surprise. “Of course I do,” he promised with a squeeze of both hands before bringing one up to tuck a stray curl behind Anakin's ear. “I am sorry I've given you any reason to think otherwise, my dear Anakin,” Obi-Wan apologized, sinking his fingers into the tangle of curls on Anakin's neck with affection.
My dear Anakin. Anakin's heart leapt at the endearment and his lips found Obi-Wan's once more in a fervent exchange of warm, wet, needy kisses, saturating the Force with his determination to convey his appreciation and gratitude to this man for allowing Anakin into his heart.
The swell of the younger man's emotions buffeted Obi-Wan's compromised shields, overwhelming in their intensity. A panicked voice whispered in the back of his mind, too much, too soon, drowning out his earlier imprudence with an ill-timed bout of self-consciousness disguised as reticence. “Wait. Wait. A-Anakin, please, slow down.”
Obi-Wan extricated his arms, holding the ardent young man back by his strong shoulders. “I’m...I’m afraid I’m a bit out of practice here,” he smiled ruefully as his eyes slanted away. “It's...er...well...been a while...and, well...companionship, surprisingly, was not my priority while training a young Padawan and chasing around the wilds of the Outer Rim.” He ran a hand through his still-damp hair with a shaky sigh. “To be honest, I’m not sure what to do.” Reddening at his verbal blunder, he rolled his eyes in dismay. “I mean, of course I know what to do, but...oh blast, I’m not sure what we are doing. Are you?”
Panting, Anakin hung his head and rested his temple against Obi-Wan's forearm, nodding as he forced himself to calm his breathing. “Yes, okay, I’m sorry, I’ve just...we’ve just…” His blue eyes, deep as Kamino's oceans, lifted and bore into his Master's. “Obi-Wan, I want you. I want to explore every part of you, map every scar, taste every sliver of your skin…” he rasped, grabbing a handful of hair and roughly pulling Obi-Wan so close that noses nuzzled, cheeks grazed, and breath was hot on the other’s lips. “I...I crave you...with every midichlorian in me, and I know, I feel how much you want me, too.”
“I do, Anakin. Kriff, y-you have no idea,” Obi-Wan warned, his voice thick with longing and intent as his fingers dug into Anakin's belt loops, drawing him closer.
“Then I guess you'd better show me,” Anakin concluded with a smug grin, taking Obi-Wan by the hand and leading them to his room. Reaching the edge of the bed, both men hesitated with nervous uncertainty, until Anakin boldly brought Obi-Wan's hand to his belt. “Wanna help?” he offered, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
“Cheeky,” Obi-Wan scolded, arching his eyebrows in return. “And presumptuous.” Leaning into Anakin's space, he gave the younger man a predatory grin as both of his hands yanked on the buckle. “Though not wrong.”
Anakin shivered with anticipation, watching with rapt fascination as a determined Obi-Wan went to work on his belt with deft, clever fingers. He traced a long finger against Obi-Wan’s lips, exploring the contrast between whiskers and skin, licking his own lips with a grin—he no longer needed to imagine how it might feel, he knew. What he didn't know—and couldn't wait to know—was how it might feel elsewhere. Everywhere. He whimpered softly—as if he wasn't already turned on, he was kriffing hard now just imagining it.
At the sound, Obi-Wan gazed up at him curiously, a lock of hair falling across blue-grey eyes normally the color of the stepping stones under the brook in the Gardens, but now darkened like the Coruscanti sky on a stormy day. He turned his face into the caress, kissing Anakin's palm as a soft click sounded between them and Anakin's belt slipped from the loops to drop to the floor. Swallowing hard, Obi-Wan's fingers followed the light trail of hair down Anakin's firm torso, coming to rest on the closure of his pants. “M-may, I?” he asked hesitantly, brushing gentle circles with his thumb over the younger man's exposed navel.
“Y-yeah,” Anakin agreed shakily, while his hands continued their investigation of his Master’s nearly bare form, coming to rest on Obi-Wan’s hips. Fingering the edge of the towel, he inhaled sharply at the prominent evidence of the effect he was having on Obi-Wan—it was thrilling and empowering, and he wanted more. With a saucy smirk, he fisted his hand in the towel and tugged. “May I, Master?” he asked, in a tone that was anything but deferential.
“For the love of—” Obi-Wan gasped as his last inhibition was torn from his waist, then felt his face flush hot when he saw the satisfied leer on Anakin’s face. Of course, it was far from the first time he'd disrobed in front of Anakin, and not even the first time Anakin had been the one to remove his clothing, but there was nothing clinical or casual in the way those lust-laden eyes raked him over from head to toe, settling so obviously on what he'd discovered beneath the towel.
“So uncivilized,” he huffed, flustered and determined to see Anakin in the same state of undress as soon as possible as he playfully shoved him back down onto the bed, helping him kick off the knee-high boots. Those damn black made-of-sin leather pants were far less compliant. Anakin had always preferred leather, the more form-fitting, the better, and while Obi-Wan could hardly disagree—his former Padawan's body was made to wear leather—right now they were a serious impediment his fumbling hands could not seem to overcome. Growling in frustration, he threw Anakin an exasperated scowl. “Kriffing Sith-begotten fortress of chastity,” he hissed under his breath, yanking ineffectually at the unyielding leather.
“Fortress of what?” Anakin snorted a laugh and pushed his hands aside with an insolent 'tsk'. “And you're the one always lecturing about patience?”
“Yes, well you try and—” Obi-Wan's defensive retort died on his lips as Anakin easily popped the closure and slowly, agonizingly, slid the black leather down over his slim hips until the base of his cock appeared in the halo of coarse light curls spilling over the widened opening. “Oh...” he sighed, making a strangled noise as he raked both hands through his hair. “Well, then...kriff...”
With a smug grin, Anakin paused and lifted his eyes to meet Obi-Wan's hot gaze. Flushing at the other man's unwavering stare, he bit his lip almost shyly before one last shimmy of his hips released his achingly full cock from its entrapment. “C-come here, please?” Anakin asked softly, reaching out to fold his fingers with Obi-Wan's and tugging him towards the bed with him.
Shaking slightly as he took in the beautiful, sensuous sight spread out before him, Obi-Wan nodded wordlessly, wanting—no, needing—to see, taste, and feel Anakin, in every single way he'd always wanted to but had never truly dared to imagine when he thought Anakin would never, could never, be his. He knelt on the bed, moving so that his legs straddled Anakin’s waist, making them both shudder at the first close, intimate contact between their bared lengths.
Leaning over with a warm smile, Obi-Wan brushed away some of the wild curls now stuck to Anakin’s damp forehead. “Magnificent,” he breathed appreciatively, his nimble fingers lovingly tracing the scar that ran down the right side of Anakin’s face, moving down to run over those full, red lips that he had long desired to claim as his own.
“Could say the same about you,” Anakin murmured as he lay still, glowing under the intense study his Master was making of his face. He would always want Obi-Wan to look at him this way, as though Anakin were something new, fascinating, and precious, worthy of his devoted attention and love.
Obi-Wan reddened and gave a quick shake of his head as he pressed two fingers to Anakin's mouth. “Shush,” he admonished gently, fingertips lingering over the plush swell of his bottom lip.
Anakin raised an inquisitive eyebrow, nipping at the other man's fingers. “Why?” He'd long considered Obi-Wan's humility almost a handicap—the man was nearly incapable of recognizing his own merits—but the stammering defensiveness, nevermind the blushing, was irresistible to Anakin, especially now that he could see exactly how far down the blush traveled. “I'm only saying what's true.”
“S-stop that. Please,” Obi-Wan stuttered weakly, flushing hot and chafing uncomfortably against Anakin's unfounded praise. He wasn't magnificent, not by any measure, and while Obi-Wan was certain he wouldn't win any contest against Padmé's delicate beauty, he did take comfort in the fact that Anakin was here, with him, and gloriously naked beneath him, besides.
“Stop what?” Grinning victoriously at achieving the desired result—as it turned out, the spread of Obi-Wan's blush had exceeded his imagination—Anakin reached up and slid his hands over and behind Obi-Wan’s hips to grasp and knead the muscles of his amazingly firm ass. He smirked at the other man's muttered curse as Anakin arched and circled his hips suggestively. “This?”
“Y-yes...blast, I mean, no...nnggghh, you're completely insufferable, you know that?” Obi-Wan very nearly whined, tightening his thighs around Anakin’s waist and sending a cascade of sparks between their bodies. His hands skimmed down the younger man's body, exploring every muscle and tendon with admiration, Anakin's body tanned, lean, and taut from both years of training and the overwhelming desire Obi-Wan felt seeping through his weakening shields. Wide-eyed, his eyes locked on to Anakin's, hardly able to believe that he had engendered such passion and emotion in the sublime being before him.
“You sound surprised,” Anakin scoffed as he began to sit up, gasping in surprise when Obi-Wan gave him a gentle Force-push back to the bed. “O-Obi-Wan!” he cried out as his body spasmed at the next touch because kriff damn, Obi-Wan was doing things with his hands, his mouth, his tongue…things that had only been a fantasy an hour ago. He fell back with a helpless whimper when he felt the moist heat of Obi-Wan's breath near his groin, but just about arched right off the bed when he slowly, agonizingly, drew Anakin's cock between his lips, the faintest scratch of his whiskers enhancing the sensory overload to nearly make him come right then and there. “Ahhhh!”
Obi-Wan raised his head, allowing Anakin's cock to slip from his mouth with a slick pop. “So do you,” he deadpanned, then grinned like the cunning nexu Anakin had only glimpsed at the negotiation table when Obi-Wan knew he'd maneuvered every side right to exactly where he wanted them. Without warning, he pounced, pinning Anakin's hips to the bed as his mouth closed hot and wet over his straining cock once more. It had been far longer than Obi-Wan wanted to consider since he'd last had motivation to engage this particular skill set, but each one of Anakin's delightfully soft moans, whimpers, and muttered curses only encouraged Obi-Wan in his quest to wring from Anakin as much pleasure as he could.
“Oh, fuck,” Anakin moaned as his head tipped back, mouth falling open and panting as his Master filled his every need and desire. When a perfectly calloused hand closed around the base of his cock, pumping in time to the hot, wet suction along his length, the burning, white-hot flame that had been building within Anakin since he'd gone to the Gardens finally exploded like a lightning strike igniting a firestorm in the Kashyyyk forests. “Obi-Wan!” he cried out, fisting his hands in the sheets as he came, his lithe body twitching as each wave of his orgasm crested through him.
“Nnngghhh...” Anakin fought to catch an errant breath as he reached down with heavy limbs to cajole Obi-Wan back up with him, his trembling lips brushing against Obi-Wan's. “That was...oh gods, that was…” he gulped, struggling for words, “...incredible.”
A little self-conscious, Obi-Wan ducked his head and discreetly wiped at his mouth; apparently time had not dulled his aptitude as much as he had feared, thank the Force. He gave his former Padawan a shy, pleased smile and shrugged, watching as his fingers skimmed along Anakin's temple, over his strong jaw, and down the column of his throat. “I am much relieved to hear that,” he whispered honestly, resting his chin on the younger man's chest as he lovingly left a line of lazy kisses across his skin, basking in the glow of Anakin's blissed-out lethargy.
“But, Master?” Anakin asked, in an innocent voice completely betrayed by the downright mischievous quirk of his lips.
“Hmm?” Obi-Wan paused mid-kiss, raising an eyebrow at the feral glint in Anakin's eye, that look he knew only too well from countless hours of sparring—confident, assured, predatory. His heart thundered, his own desire and need flaring even hotter at the lascivious promise in the cocksure grin Anakin flashed at him. “Y-yes?” he rasped, prompting Anakin with a slow grind of his harder-than-durasteel erection against his partner's hip.
“I'm better,” Anakin growled brazenly, and in a move only a Jedi could perform, he quickly flipped his Master over so that their bodies were suddenly reversed, with Anakin holding Obi-Wan’s arms over his head. “And I'm so going to prove it,” he mumbled as his mouth moved down over Obi-Wan's chest, tongue lingering on one raised nipple, while his free hand glided over the other. “Right now.”
“S-stars' end, Anakin.” Obi-Wan sucked in his breath as he arched and strained against Anakin's hold, only increasing the delicious friction between their bodies. A strangled cry escaped his lips as sharp teeth bit down on an overstimulated nipple. “P-promise?”
“Mmm-hmm,” Anakin nodded as he continued to explore every inch of his Master, sucking and licking every blemish, every birthmark, every scar, that was uniquely Obi-Wan. His Obi-Wan, now. Forever, he realized with a jolt, emboldening his resolve to thoroughly wreck Obi-Wan Kenobi as much and as often as possible, if only to feel the desire and need crashing against his shattered shields again and again and again.
“I'm gonna make you come for me, Obi-Wan,” he whispered, low and dirty, while his hand skated lower, dancing over a firm stomach, lightly grazing a hip, gently tracing the curve of the juncture of muscle and tendon that led him down to Obi-Wan's proud, flushed cock. He slid the pad of his thumb over the tip, spreading precome down its length with a soft appreciative groan. “You're so close already, kriff,” he marveled, feeling desire beginning to stir in his own cock again already just from the unbelievable turn-on of seeing, touching, and causing Obi-Wan's arousal for the first time.
Obi-Wan blushed at the thought of what he must look like, but when Anakin’s hand finally closed over his aching cock and spots danced in front of his eyes, pleasure easily won out over inhibition and he moaned indecently, thrusting his hips up shamelessly into the tight circle of fingers surrounding his length. “Anakin...please...”
At that moment, Anakin glanced up and witnessed the fiery desire in his Master’s darkened eyes, and knew he'd never, ever, wanted anything as much as he wanted to please this man right now. He released Obi-Wan's hands and pushed himself up to hover just over his face, taking in the sprawled, panting, wanton mess that was the refined Obi-Wan Kenobi. “Fuck, yeah...o-okay, okay,” he agreed with a shaky nod, his unruly hair falling forward to obscure his eyes.
Obi-Wan reached up with both hands, using his fingers to both clear Anakin's vision and to draw him in for a deep, urgent exchange of lips and tongues and gasps of breath. “I...please...kriff...” he pleaded, a rough edge to his normally cultured voice as Anakin's knee slid up to press just so against his cock. “Nnn-akin!”
Anakin nodded once more with a devilish, self-assured grin, and with much the same look of concentration as he had in his 'saber practice, he moved downward, peppering Obi-Wan’s trembling, heat-flushed body with kisses and caresses as he went. Anakin thrilled in the other man's taste and texture, so different from Padmé, soft without being delicate, smooth without being fragile, and solid and rock hard everywhere Anakin wanted him to be.
Obi-Wan's control over his passion shattered completely once Anakin's mouth reached his cock, his tongue licking a long, wet stripe from tip to base and back up again. Years of holding back, years of trying to crush the desire he felt for Anakin suddenly rushed to the surface, and it felt as though Anakin had hundreds of tongues and fingers, all driving Obi-Wan into an erotic frenzy.
Anakin reached up blindly and threaded the fingers of one hand with Obi-Wan's, humming as his lips closed around the head and began a slow, deliberate rhythm, relishing all of the little sounds that his Master was trying so hard to stifle, memorizing every gasp, every whimper, every stutter of breath and language.
Finally, when Anakin's free hand curled around his balls and his thumb slid spectacularly around the base of his cock, Obi-Wan couldn’t contain it anymore, releasing a string of curses, joyful, pleasure-derived, filthy curses between frantic pants for air. With a profound shudder, he threw his free arm back over his eyes and allowed himself to succumb to the tidal wave of passion that flowed over his entire being, invoking Anakin's name in a reverent sigh as he rode out the seemingly endless euphoria of his orgasm.
“Oh, Anakin...thank you,” Obi-Wan murmured once he came back to himself and regained some measure of verbal ability, though any further cognitive function seemed hysterically out of reach at present, though he cared not in the least. With a lazy laugh, he stroked clumsy fingers through Anakin's disheveled hair with affection. “Clearly, I must concede that your boast was not entirely without merit. Sith hells, I had no idea that mouth of yours had a capacity beyond cheek and impertinence.”
“Is that right? I had no idea my revered and civilized Jedi Master could curse like a Corellian pirate, either.” With a tired but amused chuckle, Anakin drew himself up and beckoned a still-hazy Obi-Wan into his arms, pulling up the bedcovers as he went. “Sleepy?”
Settling in comfortably, Obi-Wan shook his head before laying to rest over Anakin's heart. “Content,” he yawned, then smiled ruefully up at his partner. “Alright, perhaps a bit sleepy, too. Can't imagine why.”
Anakin’s arms wound around his Master, holding him as though he would never let go. “I'd apologize, but, um, I'm not sorry,” he whispered, kissing Obi-Wan's hair gently.
Drifting a little, Obi-Wan snorted and smiled happily against Anakin's skin. “Nor am I.”
They lay together, bodies glowing in the aftermath of their passion, their love and devotion to each other a constant, though now languid pulse between them. Obi-Wan had never dared to hope or even imagine that he could ever feel like this, as if his whole life had been in anticipation of reaching this moment of harmony with Anakin. He did not need to call the Force to him, for it was humming in, around, and through them, and for perhaps the first time in a life of denying and separating himself from his emotions, Obi-Wan unexpectedly felt...complete. As though Anakin had offered up half of his heart and had made Obi-Wan whole.
No longer afraid of losing himself, he dissolved what frayed bits of shielding he had left and finally opened himself fully to Anakin through the Force. Obi-Wan gasped, awed by the brilliance of Anakin's Force signature, the fiercely intense blinding light that sang of the purity of her Chosen One's power, compassion, and greatness. Obi-Wan couldn’t help himself—the words spilled effortlessly across their enmeshed signatures with all of the emotion he'd held back for so long.
I love you, my dear Anakin. More than I can say.
I love you, too, Obi-Wan. I have always loved you.
Chapter 5: Serenity
Confessions are shared, an agreement is made, and their fate hangs in the balance when Obi-Wan and Anakin are called before the Council.
I love you, my dear Anakin. More than I can say.
I love you, too, Obi-Wan. I have always loved you.
Obi-Wan lifted his head, surprise and doubt registering on his face. “You have not,” he denied with a shake of his head that sent a mess of bangs tumbling down across his face. “I...that isn't...I cannot believe that.”
“Trust me, I have,” Anakin chuckled, brushing the hair out of the way and hugging the other man closer once more. “Not always like...this...but...yeah, I have. Force knows, I tried for a long time to deny it. I...I didn't want to give you any more reasons to be disappointed in me, or worse, to send me away.”
Obi-Wan frowned as a flash of guilt went through him at the thought of Anakin smothering his true self in order to conform to some Jedi ideal for a Master who had failed so spectacularly at suppressing his own emotions time and time again. “I...oh, Anakin, I would have never done such a thing, surely you know that?”
Anakin shrugged. “I do now, yeah. Especially now,” he grinned salaciously, giving Obi-Wan's backside a playful squeeze. “But I was a stupid kid just out of the Rim back then—the Masters were always pointing out everything I did wrong, that the Chosen One should be like this and shouldn't do that, that attachment was wrong, and so...I pushed it away and tried really, really hard to ignore it.”
“I'm sorry,” Obi-Wan sighed heavily and shook his head. “I know the Masters seemed particularly fixated on their perceived idea of the Chosen One, and not terribly attuned to the very real and young Padawan standing before them, but...” His lips pursed thoughtfully and he glanced up at Anakin with regret. “I...I did try to shield you from as much of that as possible, though I suppose I ended up shielding myself from you in the process. I didn't want you to see how much of a failure your Master was at guarding himself against attachment.” He let out a derisive snort, watching his fingers weave patterns across Anakin's strong shoulder. “Terrible failure.”
“Yes, just terrible.” Anakin teased, laughing softly. “But if you're terrible, what does that make me?” Obi-Wan's brows arched wickedly as he opened his mouth, but his reply was cut short by two of Anakin's fingers pressed firmly against his lips. “Oh, let me guess. Insolent? Incorrigible? Insufferable? Indecent? Am I close here?”
“Perhaps,” Obi-Wan's eyes sparkled with mirth and unveiled fondness. “Though I think in this instance I prefer...incomparable.”
Anakin scoffed. “Sure...incomparable when it comes to my inability to control my emotions. Seriously, how could you not have known? You never even suspected? Come on! I thought for sure I gave myself away every time I came storming to your rescue.”
“'Storming,' indeed. And who, precisely, caused me to need rescuing?” Obi-Wan returned dryly, protesting Anakin's skewed version of events with a poke in the chest. “As I recall, you always made me the bait in all of your outlandish schemes. You call that love?”
“Hey, it wasn't always my fault!” Anakin protested half-heartedly, but grew serious as the truth of it settled in—it was, in fact, usually his fault that Obi-Wan found himself in some kind of mortal danger, whether it was from some karked-up plan of Anakin's or his failure to protect Obi-Wan from the man's own worst luck. Laying his head back, he stared blankly at the dull beige ceiling. “I nearly lost you more times than I want to remember because of my arrogance. And I...” his voice broke a little, “I wasn’t able to save you on Jabiim.”
“Oh, Anakin, but you did.” Obi-Wan closed his eyes, willing away the memory of his time in captivity, his separation from Anakin, his torture at the hands of the Sith acolyte. He knew Anakin held himself responsible; his former Padawan would not accept any other explanation or forgiveness from Obi-Wan, but Obi-Wan would keep offering it anyway. “You found me when no one else was even willing to look for me.”
“Yeah...I know, it's just... When I finally found you and saw what Ventress had done….” With a wistful sigh, Anakin's fingers searched from memory along Obi-Wan's shoulder blade, finding and tracing the jagged laserwhip scar that even bacta hadn’t healed just right. “I had been so lost...felt so alone while you were gone. And getting you back…I just couldn’t fight it any longer. I had to stop lying to myself about how I felt, I just...I couldn't stand knowing that I'd almost lost you. That’s why I was determined to get you out of the Healer's and be the one to care for you—I had to make sure you were going to be okay, that you were safe.” The durasteel in his voice was betrayed by the slight tremor in his arms as he held Obi-Wan almost painfully close. “Luminara probably wanted to kill me, but I didn't care—I knew you hated being in there even more than I hated seeing you in there.”
“All of that is very true, though I remember very little from those first days, other than waking up here in my own bed and knowing you were nearby.” Obi-Wan saw the pain in his partner's eyes, the same pain he himself carried in his own heart, at the thought of what their forced separation had nearly cost them. He reached up and gently brushed along Anakin’s temple, frowning bitterly at Anakin's own permanent reminder of the scars, both physical and emotional, that they both still carried courtesy of that malevolent shrew. “It helped, more than I can put to words, to be here. The familiarity of this space...of you.”
“I wish I'd known...” Anakin sighed again, drawing strength and affirmation from his Master’s uncharacteristic acknowledgment of his own weakness and attachment. Not trusting his voice, Anakin swallowed one, twice, finally whispering, “Even as close as we became after that, it almost killed me, thinking you would never love me the way I love you. I wanted so much more, all the time, and I ended up acting out…well, inappropriately probably isn't even the word…because of my feelings.”
“Oh.” Surprised by the admission, Obi-Wan’s heart surged even as a contemplative frown creased his beard. “I...I remember. You had so much anger, so much frustration then, everything—and especially me—seemed to set you off.” He lowered his head back down to Anakin’s chest, intently studying its rise and fall with each breath, as his arm stole up to hesitantly run over the smooth skin and defined muscles. “I...I had just assumed you were terribly unhappy to still be a Padawan—well, to be my Padawan, to be exact—nevermind the added burden of having to attend to a broken, helpless invalid who even needed help getting to the kriffing 'fresher.”
“I...I shouldn't have...” Anakin let out a long breath, ashamed once more for his behavior at a time when his Master had been his most physically and emotionally vulnerable. “None of that mattered, you know that, right? Of course I wanted to be a Knight, Obi-Wan, but I never wanted another Master,” he vowed emphatically, planting a soft kiss into Obi-Wan’s hair. “You will always be my Master, the greatest gift ever given to me,” he said softly, slowly running his hand in lazy circles across Obi-Wan’s back, “and when you're a hundred and ten I'll still be by your side...” he paused and bit his lip with a smirk, “...to help get you to the 'fresher again.”
Obi-Wan's sour expression sent Anakin into a paroxysm of laughter. “What? Hey, I thought that was nice!”
“I'm not sure which is more troubling—that you believe envisioning me as a dithering incontinent elder is nice, or that using me as bait for the enemy is love.”
“I never said that was love—I said that rescuing you was love,” Anakin argued with ample cheek, grinning brightly as he gave Obi-Wan a loud smacking kiss on the nose.
With a snort and a roll of his eyes, Obi-Wan pushed Anakin's face to the side and curled back into his embrace. “ I suppose you did,” he conceded, closing his eyes as Anakin's fingers casually carded through his hair. “Though your Standard Basic proficiency clearly needs some remedial work,” he groused in a mumble against Anakin's warm skin.
“Sure,” Anakin coughed, “I'll get right on that. Sounds totally wizard, Master.”
“I am wounded by your callous disdain for my wizard expression of love.” Obi-Wan tried to sound affronted, but warm affection leached into his voice anyway.
Anakin pouted severely, sliding his hands beneath the covers to lightly skim along the sensitive skin of Obi-Wan's sides. “Remedial lessons are not an expression of love.”
“N-No?” Obi-Wan sputtered, flinching against ticklish fingers with a laugh.
“No, otherwise you'd have loved me for years, and we both know you hated me on sight!”
Obi-Wan's breath caught and he stiffened, lifting his head and shaking it with adamant denial. “Anakin, no. Please...don't think that. It was a difficult...complicated time when you came into my life, but I give you my word, I never hated you.”
Anakin swallowed hard. “Are you...are you sure about that? I...I wasn't always the easiest or the most, um, obedient student...”
“Hmph,” Obi-Wan grunted, tracing his fingertips across the tendon along Anakin's shoulder. “I won't deny that, however...while I was busy suppressing a galaxy's worth of disconcerting emotions, hate definitely wasn't one of them.”
“Huh. So, uh...if you didn't hate me, what were you feeling?” Anakin pressed, still skeptical, though he knew without a doubt Obi-Wan was being honest, if not maddeningly vague in that way his Negotiator Master excelled at.
Shifting uncomfortably, Obi-Wan's eyes slid away. He'd opened himself to Anakin in so many respects, and yet he felt extremely reluctant treading over his jumble of feelings for the younger man during his apprenticeship. Any feelings he had harbored back then had most certainly been virtuous, but his attachment from the very start had been profound, and he wasn't exactly sure he could share them in a manner that didn't come across as dubious, abhorrent, and inappropriate.
“Obi-Wan?” Anakin asked hesitantly, worried by the other man's extended silence. If his Master had to think that hard about it, Anakin was pretty sure he didn't want to know anymore. He huffed in frustration. “If it's that hard—I mean, kriff, just forget it. Sorry I asked,” he mumbled, bitter and hurt as his everything he'd ever thought deep down was confirmed by his Master's reluctance to answer.
Heaving an aggrieved sigh, Obi-Wan screwed his eyes shut. “No...it's just...I'm not sure—”
Anakin looked stricken as he struggled to sit up. “—h-how you feel about me?”
“What? No, of course not,” Obi-Wan insisted, sitting up as well and pushing a nervous hand through his hair. “It's not that, it's just...stang.”
Biting his lip, Anakin shrugged with feigned indifference he couldn't shield entirely from the bond. “Seriously, it's...it's okay, I...I shouldn't have pushed—”
Exasperated, Obi-Wan splayed his hand across his forehead and massaged his temples. “Anakin. If you would let me get a word in—”
Shrugging again, Anakin forced a smile. “Right. Okay. I just mean, you know, if you don't want to—”
Obi-Wan scowled and clapped a hand over Anakin's runaway mouth. “Are you going to listen?”
Taken by surprise, Anakin's eyebrows disappeared into his hair as he slowly bobbed his head, both eager and yet wary to hear whatever it was Obi-Wan was struggling to share.
Obi-Wan couldn't help but smile fondly at Anakin's expression, even as another bout of self-conscious nerves rattled through him and he cleared his throat. “Al-alright then. If you must know—”
“Mmm-hmm!” Anakin mumbled loudly, giving his Master a good-natured swat in the shoulder.
“Alright.” Removing his hand, Obi-Wan took a deep breath and pushed the words out. “You were a...sweet boy, a perfectly...awful adolescent,” he related with an undisguised snort, “an unbelievably talented student, a...um...disarmingly attractive young man, a stubbornly loyal partner, and,” he grew serious, clasping both of Anakin's arms in an affectionate squeeze, “truly, my very best friend.”
Anakin's face contorted comically as his Master ticked through each pointed—though, he had to grudgingly admit, accurate—assessment of his character over the course of their relationship together, but one in particular drew his mouth up into a knowing, self-satisfied smirk.
“Wait. Hold on. ‘Disarmingly attractive'?” Anakin interrupted gleefully, thrilled by the thought of his seemingly stoic Master having allowed himself such improper thoughts about him. Despite everything they'd already shared physically, Anakin flushed warm as his gut tightened and flipped while imagining all of the times Obi-Wan might have been looking at him with something other than a mentor's eye.
Reddening, Obi-Wan pursed his lips and rolled his eyes—of course, that would be the one he'd single out. “Pride is not the way of the Jedi, Anakin. You would do well to remember—”
Oh. Oh. “That's why you were watching me practice!” Anakin blurted out. “Here I thought you were just being my overly critical Jedi Master, there to check out my form...though I guess that's true, huh?” He threw his head back and laughed, delighted by his pun almost as much as the revelation itself. It certainly explained a lot...and stroked his amply bruised ego that had assumed the worst. Kriff, I can't even...Obi-Wan was there because he wanted to watch me.
“Anakin,” Obi-Wan groaned, covering his face in sheer mortification as he fell back against the bed and rolled away from Anakin. I must look like one of those filthy, lewd stalkers that haunt the pleasure district for their next prey. How utterly charming. While he knew instinctively that Anakin was likely unperturbed in the least to find out his own Master was a deviant, that in no way meant that Obi-Wan wasn't considerably appalled by his own aberrant indulgences. “I...I never meant...”
“I know.” Sensing Obi-Wan’s distress and shame pouring into the Force, Anakin moved over and wound his arms and legs around the other man so that they were spoons, pressed together head to toe. “Just as I know you know I like that you were. Hey, if anyone's going to be sneaking around watching me, I sure as kriff want it to be you, okay?” Nuzzling into fragrant warmth of his hair, Anakin reached around and entwined their fingers, pulling their hands down from his face to press against the soft hairs on his Master's chest.
“You want to know what I was doing in the Gardens this morning, before you asked me to meditate? I sure as Sith wasn't reciting the Code, you know.” With a snort, Anakin opened himself to the Force and projected to his Master what he had seen, had felt, this morning as he watched Obi-Wan in his katas. “But Force knows, I, uh, probably should have been. I came there to tell you off, and then seeing you there, all...damn, just about all I could think about was getting off.”
Obi-Wan sucked in a sharp breath, eyes widening as the images unfolded—how could Anakin possibly see him that way? It was just an exercise, one Anakin had seen him perform hundreds of times. There wasn't anything special about it, or him—he was just Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Knight. Clearly Anakin's recollection was mistaken, the memory shaded and distorted by the lingering remnants of lust and desire still present in their bond.
“Don't...don't do that,” Anakin pleaded softly, feeling the protest and denial forming in Obi-Wan's mind and ready on his lips. With a gentle circle and press of his hips, Anakin placed dozens of tiny kisses along his Master’s shoulders, anointing each freckle beckoning for his attention. “It's exactly how I see you...it drives me crazy...how much everything about you...makes me want to...do things...to you...” he mumbled between each one, finally reaching Obi-Wan's ear with a flick of his tongue, wetting the lobe before grazing it between his teeth.
“T-things?” Obi-Wan arched back against Anakin, gasping as the younger man's desire slid along his the cleft of his bare backside.
“Uh huh,” Anakin nodded, nipping at the juncture of Obi-Wan's neck and shoulder. “Though...you know...you'd probably think they're uncivilized. Unbecoming of a Jedi...and all that.”
Obi-Wan's eyes squeezed shut at the insinuation and he rustled around, kicking off the covers until he was on his back, cajoling Anakin back on top of him. He dragged his fingers in a teasing line up the back of Anakin's thigh and over the flexed curve of his ass. “You have my attention.”
Anakin groaned softly, arching up against that hand before shifting until his hips settled snugly between Obi-Wan's thighs. “I...I can tell,” he stammered, biting his lip as their hardening erections caught and rubbed alongside the other's. “Kriff,” he swore softly, canting his hips once more just for the perfectly strangled sound his Master tried in vain to hold in.
Obi-Wan’s head lolled to the side, eyes closed, hardly able to catch a stray thought as Anakin worked his hands over his chest, rolling his thumb over a nipple as he devoured Obi-Wan’s neck, sucking and licking his way up to his mouth. There was nothing Obi-Wan Kenobi wanted in this Force-forsaken galaxy as much as he wanted this man right now.
“'N-kin,” he barely managed through the blockade of hungry roving lips and silky wet tongue, unable to prevent his own hips from chasing the friction with a sharp upward thrust.
Pulling back, Anakin looked wild-eyed and apologetic. “S-sorry...do you w-want me to s-stop?” He could hardly get the words out, out of breath and out of sorts as his emotions raged through his veins, every single midichlorian in him singing with each touch of his skin against Obi-Wan's.
With a desperate choked laugh, Obi-Wan merely shook his head. “Hardly. Though I should tell you...” he sank his fingers into Anakin's hair, yanking him close, breath coming in hot puffs against his ear. “I'm rather certain my thoughts concerning you are far more...shall we say...uncivilized.”
Anakin groaned again, grinding his forehead into Obi-Wan's neck with a ragged chuckle. “I...I doubt that very much, unless they involve me riding your cock until I scream out your name? Because that's what I want to do to you. Right now.”
“Kriffing hells,” Obi-Wan growled with a profound shudder, a surge of precome adding to the heated slide of their erections. “Alright, you win, you win...fuck.”
“No,” Anakin drawled with a smug grin, “See, if you fuck me now, we both win.” Reaching out to rifle through the bedside draw, he let out a frustrated whine. “Come on, I know you've got to have something in here...”
Obi-Wan tossed him an exasperated look. “Why would I have anything in there? It's not like I've been entertaining lovers in our quarters!” Nor anywhere else, at least not for a very long time. Once he'd privately acknowledged his love for Anakin, he'd not wanted anyone else and had stopped seeking out substitutes for what he could not have. The realization that they were lovers now—Anakin is my lover—sent his heart racing in anticipation for what they were about to finally, finally share with each other.
Anakin raised an eyebrow, shaking his head in disbelief. “No? Bet you've been entertaining yourself in here though, right?”
Reddening, Obi-Wan walloped him in the shoulder and pushed him off. “Perhaps, though no thanks to you,” he scowled, rolling his eyes as he reached over to the opposite side of the bed, rummaging his hand between the mattress and the frame. “I suppose you also want me to—” he mock-grumbled as he turned back, but found his mouth suddenly as dry as the sands of Jakku.
Anakin lay there, knees drawn up and slightly open, with an arm folded casually behind his back, the other lazily pulling on his cock as he considered his Master's question. “Uh...yeah? I mean, I could, but...” He released a low, breathy sigh that made Obi-Wan whimper helplessly under his breath. “I kind of think you want to,” Anakin suggested brazenly, gesturing with an impatient wave of his fingers to pop the cap on the lubricant in the other man's hand.
Blowing through his bangs with a sharp breath at the blatant invitation, Obi-Wan crawled between his spread thighs, eyes darkened with the desperate, almost consuming need he barely held in check at the sight of Anakin offering himself so wantonly. “I very much do,” he nodded in a wrecked whisper, cupping a hand against Anakin's cheek and initiating a kiss that burned like a supernova through every midichlorian vibrating between them.
Mouthing along Anakin's jaw to worry and suck at his pulse point, Obi-Wan's hand slowly drifted down his partner's lean neck, over the smooth planes of his chest, fingertips rough as they grazed and circled a nipple, feeling every muscle, every indentation along the way.
With a soft whimper, Anakin shifted and pulled his knees up further when Obi-Wan’s fingers skimmed lightly along the underside of his straining cock and over the delicate skin of his balls, pausing to cup and roll them gently until Anakin threw his head back and swore colorfully in Huttese.
“Such language,” Obi-Wan grinned, breath hot and chastising against Anakin's ear. “You should be more mindful.”
“The only th-thing I'm m-mindful of—” Anakin stuttered, then gasped as fingertips brushed soft and fluttering against his entrance, “—is how you're not f-fucking me yet.”
With a ragged breath, Obi-Wan chuckled and sat back on his heels, making a show of expelling a large dollop of the lubricant into his hand. He arched his brow, smirking as he swirled two fingers into his palm. “But I will be quite soon, once you're ready.”
“Then make me ready,” Anakin growled, grabbing Obi-Wan's wrist and yanking him forward. “Yes, yes, yes...please,” he mewled, his hand sinking into his Master's thick hair as first one, then two cool, slick fingers slipped in, gently and expertly working him open with short thrusts and wicked curls of skilled fingertips until Anakin was oversensitive, overheated, and desperate for more. “Okay...okay, that's enough,” he panted, lurching up to capture Obi-Wan's mouth with his in a messy, shameless kiss.
“Are you...are you sure you're ready?” Obi-Wan asked breathlessly, clasping the nape of Anakin's neck and drawing their foreheads together. He would not hurt Anakin, physically or emotionally. He had to be certain this was what Anakin wanted, not something that he felt he owed Obi-Wan for whatever reason. “If you don't want—”
“Shut...up,” Anakin shuddered, a smile tugging at his lips as he closed his eyes. “Do you have any idea how long I've thought about this?” Fumbling around for the lube, he tossed Obi-Wan on to his back with a growl and straddled his lap, quickly slicking up the other man's rigid length. “Fuck,” he gasped as the head found his entrance and he slowly pressed back and down, hissing with pleasure as it stretched and filled him, “h-how much I've wanted this?”
“Had to...had to be...oh Force...certain.” Splaying his hands wide on Anakin's hips, Obi-Wan cursed under his breath as Anakin sank down on his cock, tight and hot and exquisite. “Oh, Anakin...you look...kriff...there's not even a word for it...” he stammered reverently as Anakin stilled atop him, curls shrouding his flushed face, teeth bright white as he smiled beatifically down at him.
“Yeah?” With an uncharacteristic blush, Anakin ducked his chin—personal praise from Obi-Wan was as wonderful as it was rare, and it always caught him off-guard. Humbled, he gazed up through a fringe of dark lashes as his fingers wove patterns in the soft trail of auburn hair just above the other man's navel. “Maybe...but you know, whatever it is? Yeah, it's totally what I'm seeing right now when I look at you, Obi-Wan.”
Obi-Wan was about to balk at the undeserved plaudit, but fell speechless when Anakin began to move, lifting himself up and slowly driving back down onto Obi-Wan's cock, again and again and again. A strangled garble of profanity escaped his lips and he tightened his hold on Anakin's ass, dragging him back down to meet each buck of his hips, burying himself deep and complete with each thrust.
Silent, but for soft groans, muttered curses, and pleasured sighs, the leisurely pace belied the growing intensity of their shared passion, each thrust and answering glide creating a heady feedback loop pushing them closer to the edge. Anakin arched his head back with a filthy moan and Obi-Wan nearly came then, the sight so provocative and debauched, he was certain the image was seared in his mind for eternity.
With a profound shudder, Obi-Wan's eyes fluttered shut, calling on his last shred of control to hold it off. “ Fuck, Anakin... so beautiful...I can't... ”
F alling forward, Anakin brace d himself over Obi-Wan to gain leverage and increase the power of his thrusts. “ 's okay...c an you... nngghh, ” he cried out sharply, seeing stars with each brush of Obi-Wan's cock over his prostate courtesy of the altered angle. “ Please, c an you... ”
Reaching up between them , Obi-Wan clumsily pushed aside the hair plastered to Anakin's forehead, dragging his thumb through the sheen on his parted, kiss-swollen lips. “ Tell me...what you need...a nything...for you... anything...”
“T-touch me...make me...nngghh...come...” Anakin pleaded desperately between each downward press of his hips, circling and clenching his ass as he ground back on the other man's cock. “M-make me...make me scream...your name...”
Undone by Anakin's plea, Obi-Wan dug his fingers into Anakin's hair with a possessive growl, working his other hand between them to close around his neglected length, smearing the pooling precome in a wicked slide of his thumb all the way up the shaft and around the head. “Is this...is this alright?”
“So...so good...” Anakin nodded brokenly, beginning to shake as he slowly fell apart, one last twist of Obi-Wan's calloused hand on his over-sensitized cock enough to rip his Master's name from his lips as he spiraled into blessed oblivion. Obi-Wan was everything in that moment, every molecule and midichlorian that had ever been and would ever be, and the only thing Anakin would ever want. “Oh...oh gods, Obi-Wan...Obi-Wan...fuck, I love you...I love you...so much...”
“Nngghh...” It was all too much for Obi-Wan, too much desire, passion, sensation...and as Anakin came, Obi-Wan gave a keening cry, driving up into that sinfully tight heat one last time before tumbling over the edge into his own spectacular release. He shuddered, again and again, as his orgasm rocked through him, until finally coming down enough where he thought he might again be capable of speech. “I...you...” Closing his eyes briefly, he licked his lips and tried again. “You...I...”
“Uh huh.” Grinning stupidly, Anakin sighed and collapsed heavily on top of his Master. “That was...you're...you're amazing, you know?”
Obi-Wan grunted at the impact, then barked a tired laugh as his leadened arms wrapped around and languidly stroked up and down Anakin's back. “You're not about to tell me you're better and then flip me over to prove it, are you?”
“Later,” Anakin mumbled against his chest, still smiling as he closed his eyes. “When I can move again.”
“Lazy,” Obi-Wan yawned, angling down to brush a kiss against Anakin's temple. “Perhaps, though, we could get cleaned up in the meantime?”
Groaning his protest, Anakin pushed himself up and off with a shiver, throwing Obi-Wan the filthiest of smug looks as he call ed the crumpled sheet at the end of the bed to him. Earning a beleaguered sigh from his Master as he tossed their sullied laundry haphazardly across the room, he grabbed the rough, tan, Jedi-issue blanket from the floor and pulled it over them, draping himself half over Obi-Wan and pillowing his head on his chest. “ There. Better?”
“Mmm-hmm,” Obi-Wan murmured, closing his eyes and basking in the warmth of both Anakin's body and Force signature. He listened as Anakin dozed off, his breath deep and even, and Obi-Wan let himself drift with the currents of the Force, sifting through the overwhelming array of emotions he seemed to be feeling all at the same time. Every one was new and bold, bright and resolute, as they washed over him, and he allowed each one their turn. He was beyond delirious, completely undone by this new intimacy with Anakin, unable to comprehend how he had lived his life this far without it.
Anakin made a disgruntled noise, rubbing his cheek against Obi-Wan's chest. “Shush.”
“Shush. You're a loud thinker, you know that?”
“My apologies.” Chuckling softly, Obi-Wan scratched at the stray curl tickling his whiskers. “I wasn't being mindful of my shields.”
“It's not your shields, it's...our bond. It's...different. Clear? Open? I don't know.” Anakin lifted his head, regarding the other man curiously. “Don't you feel it?”
Obi-Wan rubbed over his chin, raising an eyebrow at the younger man. “I..do. Well.” He smiled fondly at Anakin, brushing a thumb over his cheek. “I'm not certain that was supposed to happen,” he whispered.
Returning the smile, Anakin rested his chin on his Master's chest. “Probably not. So why...why didn't you break it back when I was Knighted?”
Obi-Wan looked surprised, even a little wounded, though he knew he had no right to be. Anakin had long been entitled to the independence and privacy he'd earned as a Jedi Knight, regardless of their relationship, even now. “Did you...I mean, of course, if you want me to—”
“No. No.” Anakin denied quickly. “Especially not now! I...I don't know what I would have done all this time without it, especially when you were missing.”
“Nor I,” Obi-Wan admitted, almost reluctant to share the emotional dependence he'd had even back then. “It was what kept me alive, feeling that you were out there, even when Ventress tormented me with news of your death. I knew it was a vile lie...I just...felt it. Felt you.”
“That karking—” Glowering at the painful memory, Anakin mentally invoked every filthy slur he knew at the evil woman, then took a steadying breath. “But once I was Knighted—I mean, you were supposed to, right? It's not like I've asked around, but I don't know of any teams that still have theirs.”
“Indeed.” Obi-Wan reached for his hand, pressing it to his lips. “Oh, I tried to let you go, but I was deeply selfish and...” he sighed, allowing himself a lopsided smile. “Well...I didn't want to. I created so many excuses and justifications, reasons for why it wasn't a good time, and Force knows, there was always something: Dooku's treachery, the onset of war, Palpatine's interference, and then of c-course—” Abruptly, his mouth snapped shut, uncertain if he was ready to have this conversation, to talk about her, even though he felt he'd never be free of her shadow if they didn't.
“What?” Immediately sensing the other man's reticence, Anakin saw the way his eyes cast downward, his mouth pressed into a sharp line. “Oh. Right. Padmé.”
“Well, er, yes.” Obi-Wan ruthlessly tamped down on the nervous flutter rising within him, the sickening twist in his gut at the mention of her name, knowing that his jealously was unkind and unproductive, despite its strength and ferocity. “I understand, you know. She's...she's a beautiful woman, a skilled politician, and she's well-regarded for her kindness and compassion. It's quite natural that you would find her...desirable.”
“Oh, Master,” Anakin frowned and shook his head, regret and shame passing in a dark shadow over his features as he felt the bitter twinge of doubt tarnishing their now wide-open bond. Force, I hate how much he’s suffered because of my selfishness. “I...yeah. But then I went and abused our friendship by lying to you and putting you in a position where you had to lie for me, and I'm so sorry. I'm sorry that I hurt you, that I made you think that I didn't care, when oh my gods, I cared so much. Too much.”
The briefest of smiles touched Obi-Wan's lips. “It is alright. I told you, I understand. I...I understand why you would want someone like her—”
“Stop, please?” Anakin's eyes scrunched shut, his heart clenching painfully at the realization that Obi-Wan still carried these doubts about how important and essential he was to Anakin. “You're hearing what you want to hear, but I need you to hear me. You are not Padmé, no. And I don't want you to be, because I need you to be Obi-Wan. My Obi-Wan.”
He reached up and cupped Obi-Wan's chin, meeting the other man's gaze with dark, pleading eyes. “I have never, and will never, love anyone like I love you, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You are my best friend, my Master, and the one who long ago claimed my heart, and you better not kriffing ever give it back, because I'm sure as hell not giving you back yours, understand?” Shaking from the intensity of his fervent pledge, pulled Obi-Wan down to him, sealing it with a gentle, lingering kiss.
I do love you. Know that. Believe that.
Obi-Wan’s lip trembled, feeling himself awash in the potent devotion he felt radiating from Anakin. The hot burn of unshed tears made him squeeze his eyes shut to hold them off, and he chastised himself for his emotional incontinence, wondering just when he'd allowed himself to become a bloody romantic. With snort, he brushed it aside, deciding it did not warrant further consideration when compared to the contented harmony of the Force resonating through him while comfortably ensconced in this man's loving embrace.
I do. And I, you. Never doubt that.
As the tumult of emotions between them leveled out, Anakin absently ran his hand through Obi-Wan’s now decidedly mussed-up hair, enthralled that this again was his right to do. Force, I’ve missed this.
Obi-Wan relaxed into Anakin’s calming touch, the way his long fingers felt carding through his hair, remembering how disappointed Anakin had been when it was cut off. “Mmm...keep that up, and I'll never get it cut again,” he vowed, eyes drifting closed with the softest of breathy sighs.
Anakin rumbled appreciatively, imagining how kriffing hot and irresistible his Master would be with longer hair again. “You would do that? I don’t know...I’d have to fight the Padawans off with Master Yoda’s stick. And the Masters? Those horny gundarks would all want a piece of—”
“Anakin!” Obi-Wan interrupted, pushing at Anakin with a look of unmitigated horror at what he was implying. “That is disrespectful and crude. Any Jedi worthy of the title would not debase themselves with such lurid behavior. Honestly,” he huffed dismissively with a deeply disapproving frown. “And no one, I assure you, is thinking any such thing about...about me.”
Anakin chuckled at Obi-Wan's stubborn, endearing modesty, seeing yet another opening to test his theories about the range of his Master's ability to blush. “You still don’t get it, do you? Sith, you probably don’t even know.”
“Get what? What are you talking about?” Obi-Wan searched the younger man's face for answers, but any sort of clarity was elusive, especially when Anakin dissolved into a quivering heap of giggles. “Precisely what don’t I know?” he demanded, suddenly paranoid and self-conscious. “Anakin!”
Grinning insufferably, Anakin took a couple of deep breaths and patted his Master's cheek consolingly. “Well...in addition to being held up as the paragon of Jedi virtue and morals, you, Master, are the object of many an un-Jedi-like fantasy in the hallowed halls of the Temple. I wouldn’t doubt that many in the Council have a hard time concentrating during those dull, endless meetings with Obi-Hot-Kenobi in there.” The look of shock on Obi-Wan’s face just made Anakin shake with glee.
Obi-Wan pushed at Anakin again, only harder. “That is...that is preposterous! No one—”
“Uh huh.” Anakin dropped to a conspiratorial whisper and leaned closer. “Remember that mission on Ansion, with Barriss and Luminara? Barriss actually asked me how I could possibly stand to be around such a young and sexy Master all the time without jumping you. She even asked if your hair was as soft as it looked.”
Obi-Wan reared back with a fierce scowl and matching blush. “Anakin Skywalker! She did not say that!” he refuted, shaking his head in horrified disbelief.
Anakin’s sides heaved with laughter. “She did. We talked about you a lot on that mission. Even Luminara commented on your...ass-assets.”
Barriss? Luminara? Obi-Wan was completely mortified, his memory of that mission taking on a wholly different dimension now. I will never go to the Healers again. “I don’t believe you.”
“Obi-Wan.” Anakin grew serious, his voice dropping an octave to command his attention. “Listen. Although you think otherwise, under that beard you still have the face of that twenty-five year old Padawan I first met, every inch of your body is incredible, your voice...kriffing hells...it could literally charm the pants off of anyone, and when you put that all together, you are unbelievably...” his tongue stuck in the corner of his mouth as he searched for the words, grinning as it came to him, “...sexy as fuck.”
Ears burning, Obi-Wan swallowed hard, positively glowing from the undeniable passion behind Anakin's adamant declarations. Though still uncomfortable with the thought of being the object of such base scrutiny by his fellow Jedi—whether or not he was attractive had never mattered to him—he could not deny that Anakin's opinion mattered very much.
“What about this thing?” Anakin asked, tugging playfully on the soft whiskers on his Master’s chin. “Though I have to say I've, uh, gained a new appreciation for it in the last, oh, few hours.”
Obi-Wan smirked, dodging Anakin's hand. “Not negotiable. I have to keep some standards, you know. If what you say is true, and I highly doubt it, you’ve always been prone to exaggeration and a dramatic interpretation of facts, I’ll need it to maintain any sense of propriety. After all, I am a Jedi Master.”
Suddenly sober, Obi-Wan absently raked his fingers along his jaw. “Well, for the time being, anyway.”
Anakin heard the sadness and regret in his Master’s voice. “What does that mean?” he asked cautiously, ducking his head down to catch Obi-Wan's averted eyes. “What are you saying? If you shave your beard, that's it, you're out on your ass?” he joked lamely, his laugh as forced as his smile was wary.
Obi-Wan smiled in return, but it didn't reach his eyes. Pushing both hands roughly through his hair with a heavy sigh, he waved a hand between them despondently.
“Anakin, I don't think I need to tell you that the Council will never approve of…this.” He took the other man's hand and folded their fingers together tightly. “Of us. They’ve wanted to separate us for quite some time, you know that as well as I, and we are providing them with all the rationale they require. The Council is inflexible, stagnant and disinclined toward any manner of change in their precious dogma.” The words came out with more ferocity than Anakin thought possible for Obi-Wan, especially when concerning the infallibility of the Jedi High Council.
Anakin closed his eyes, fearing what was coming, reality returning in hurtful stabs to his heart. Obi-Wan was first and foremost a Jedi. Anakin knew that. It was what made Anakin love him the most. Obi-Wan had made a commitment to the Jedi Order, its way of life, and would not, could not betray it.
Obi-Wan offered him a sad, but grateful smile. “Oh, Anakin, I can see, I can feel, what you're thinking, but please, hear me out. Yes, you are right. I love the Order, and I’ve loved my life as a Jedi.” He turned his body so that he faced the younger man fully. “I have given my life to serving the Jedi Order, but I cannot surrender my heart to it. If forced to make a choice, I will leave the Jedi.” Obi-Wan did not realize until the words left his lips that he was ready to make such a commitment to Anakin. Implausibly, it was perhaps the easiest decision he'd ever had to make.
Anakin was stunned, stunned that his Master, the embodiment of the Jedi Code, could even consider leaving the only life he’d ever known. For me. Choking on hot tears, Anakin just shook his head, knowing deep down that he was not worthy of such a sacrifice by a man as good and as pure as Obi-Wan.
“No! Absolutely not!” he argued hotly, pushing Obi-Wan off him and forcing them both up. “I will not let you do that. Being a Jedi is who you are—what you have always wanted to be, what you have always loved to do. I will not let the Council take that away from you, even if it means…” He choked again, swallowing the lump in his throat. “Stang. Even if it means letting you go,” he whispered brokenly, bowing his head down, unable to look at Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan fixed him with fierce glare. “I would never accept that. How can you not see? You are what I’ve always wanted...what I’ve needed, since the day you came into my life and turned it completely upside-down and inside-out and made me a better Jedi—hells, a better man—than I could have ever been otherwise.” His hand moved to tilt Anakin’s chin up, tenderly wiping away the solitary tear that had fallen down his cheek. “Now you listen to me,” he ordered, his voice rough and full of unspoken emotion, “I will not let them take you away from me. I will either be a Jedi with you by my side, or I will leave this life here. That is not negotiable.”
Without a moment's thought or hesitation, Anakin grasped Obi-Wan’s hand and held it to his cheek. “Then we will leave the Jedi together. There is no life for me as a Jedi without my Master.”
“Anakin, I cannot ask that of you,” Obi-Wan despaired, his heart aching at the thought of his former Padawan, The Chosen One, making such a sacrifice for him, after all he had worked for and dreamed of his entire life.
“Since when have I needed your permission to do anything?” Anakin countered with a hoarse laugh, smiling crookedly as he swiped at another tear that had dared to fall.
“Not any time I can recall, so I suppose it's utter lunacy to expect otherwise now.” With a roll of his eyes, Obi-Wan drew him into his arms and they fell back with a soft thud into the warmth of their bed. His lips found Anakin's in that perfect way they did now, their kisses slow and soft, unhurried and affirming.
“What do you think will happen?” Anakin wondered as they drew apart, taking in every aspect of Obi-Wan's face in this moment, willing himself to remember it forever...just in case.
“I...do not know, though I think it's safe to assume that Mace will not be pleased,” Obi-Wan observed with a wry lilt to his voice. “He'll likely conclude you've corrupted me.”
Anakin snorted, angling up for another kiss. “He'd be right.”
Obi-Wan smiled against his lips. “Indeed, he would.”
They stood there in the Temple Gardens, fingers laced together, while two robes, one black, one brown, fluttered as the breeze caught the hems. Facing each other, the two Jedi looked into each other’s eyes, smiling as they saw their love reflected in them. As it had done that evening not so long ago, when the Master watched his former Padawan in secret, the Coruscanti sun was beginning its descent, golden light bathing them in a warm radiance.
The Gardens were quiet now, much like that morning not so long ago, when the Knight angrily came to confront his Master, only to uncover a truth he'd never expected and fulfill a dream he'd never dared hope for.
Then, it had been the two of them: separate, alone, and incomplete.
Together now, unified and complete, they waited.
Their eventual meeting with the Council had been… difficult. Not long after they had made their private vows to one another, both were called to answer before the Council. There were few secrets in the Temple, and lax shielding had been the first casualty of their new-found relationship. Both were prepared for censure at best, knowing that expulsion was the far more likely outcome, but both had pledged their life and their love to one another, with or without the approval of the Council. Obi-Wan had been correct—Master Windu was decidedly not pleased.
“Master Kenobi—Obi-Wan. You have been a Jedi your entire life, and you live by the Code and your commitment to the Jedi ideals. Our way of life can be challenging at times, but the sacrifices we make are for the greater good. Surely, you must understand this,” Mace implored, his dark eyes glaring into Obi-Wan’s.
Master Yoda nodded sagely. “Yes, listen to Master Windu, you should, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Seductive, alluring, passion is, but serenity a Jedi seeks.”
Obi-Wan nodded, seeking strength and peace in the Force before responding. “Master Yoda, my whole life I have sought serenity, only to have it slip through my fingers. I have followed the tenets of the Order and given my life to serving the Republic. But I can no longer refuse what I believe is the Will of the Force when it mirrors the call of my own heart.” He glanced at Anakin with a grateful smile and reached for his partner’s hand.
“Serenity has finally found me—search my feelings if you must, Masters. Anakin is my serenity, he is my life. If I must choose between the Jedi and Anakin, I will choose that life of serenity.”
Mace harrumphed, rolled his eyes, and sat back in frustration. He could not believe one of the greatest Jedi in the history of the Order was willing to throw it all away for a mere boy, an infatuation, a moment of carnal weakness.
“What about you, Skywalker? I have no doubt you share this reckless decision with your…your…” Mace faltered, looking for the correct words to describe the relationship the insubordinate pair were claiming.
“Partner? Master? Lover?” Anakin’s eyes flashed dangerously as he challenged the Jedi Master into an uncomfortable silence in the chamber. He glanced around, almost daring any of the Masters to make a derogatory remark.
“Yes, Master Windu, Obi-Wan is all of these to me. It is his decision to leave the Jedi—I did not, and would not, make it for him.” Anakin’s voice lowered to a growl as he fixed all of his intensity and passion into a glare that bore into Mace. “But know this—I am a Jedi because of Obi-Wan Kenobi, I am a Jedi for Obi-Wan Kenobi, but I will not be a Jedi without Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
Mace shot the other assembled Masters an incredulous look, then lowered his head over his steepled fingers. Heaving a great sigh, he sat back once more, gripping the armrests on his chair, his voice rumbling through the chamber, deep and grave, as he addressed them.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi. Anakin Skywalker. You have been brought before this Council to determine the future of your Jedi commissions. By your own admission, you have willfully subverted the Jedi Code. You have also clearly asserted that with your strong attachment, you are no longer capable of adhering to one of the most basic tenets of the Jedi Order.”
Obi-Wan felt Anakin's hand clench tightly with his and snuck a sidelong glance at him. F eeling the distress rolling off the younger man in thunderous wave s, he discreetly brushed his thumb back and forth along the back of Anakin's han d to reassure him.
Surprised by the simple but comforting gesture, Anakin forced himself to take a deep breath and release some of his tension into the Force. He didn’t know how Obi-Wan could remain so calm, when his career—his life—was about to be irrevocably altered by a group of beings that had hearts of durasteel and yet dared to hold the two of them in contempt for something Anakin knew without a doubt was blessed by the Force.
Finally, Yoda spoke. “Long time, you two have I watched. Knew, I did, that the Force willed you together as partners. Saw this, did Qui-Gon Jinn, and together he brought you, Master and Padawan, though resisted did both of you,” Yoda chuckled at the memory of the headstrong Padawan and the eternally frustrated Master. “Not so, now, hmm?”
He waved his stick toward the chamber doors in dismissal. “ Leave this chamber, you will. Meditate on your destinies, we must. May the Force be with you.”
Sensing that Anakin's calm facade was reaching its end, Obi-Wan led his agitated partner over to a stone bench in a secluded grotto of the Gardens, away from curious eyes and wagging tongues. “Come, let's sit.”
Shaking his head, Anakin anxiously paced back and forth in front of him. “I can't. Kriff, what's taking so long? Either we're in or we're out.” He stopped and ran his hands over his face. “We're so kriffed, aren't we?”
Obi-Wan pursed his lips in consideration, then blew out a slow breath. “I honestly do not know. Probably?” He reached for Anakin, tugging at his sleeve. “Come here, please?”
Anakin sighed and dropped to the bench. “Master Yoda hardly said anything, he just kept looking at us. It was weird, even for him.”
Nodding his agreement, Obi-Wan threaded his arm through Anakin's. “Master Yoda's aloof demeanor was puzzling, though Mace's intractability was tediously predictable. Of course, you realize it did not strengthen our position when you openly challenged Mace like that,” he scolded lightly, giving the younger man a pointed look.
“Yeah, I know.” Anakin ducked his chin but smiled to himself regardless. “But you liked that I did,” he smugly pointed out, nudging Obi-Wan with his shoulder. “Don't deny it.”
Obi-Wan's mouth curled with disdain. “You know I will never endorse nor condone contemptible behavior, despite the fact that Mace was being a pompous, disrespectful...ass.” His lips quirked up into a shy smile. “But...yes...if I must admit it, I did.”
Anakin nearly snapped his neck turning to face his lover, mouth gaping in astonishment by such an open and personal admission from his usually-reserved, intensely-guarded Master. “You’ve been on me for years for my uncivilized manners, telling me that it was ‘completely inconsistent’ with the image of a Jedi.”
“I am not altering my position on your manners, let's be clear.” He laughed lightly, and averted his eyes to their joined hands. “I just...well, I am unaccustomed to the privilege of such an ardent defense. I...I appreciate that, more than you know.”
Surprise lit up Anakin's face. “Master, I only testified to the truth. They needed to understand what was at stake. I'm just not sure they did.” He glared towards the Garden gates with an impatient growl. “Where are they?”
“I think they got the message,” Obi-Wan assured him, leaning over with a light kiss, fingertips grazing his cheek lovingly. “I certainly did.”
They sat in silence, Obi-Wan’s arm draped around Anakin’s shoulders, Anakin’s head nestled in the crook of his Master's neck, enjoying their new closeness as both tried to not focus on what could be their last hours as Jedi Knights. The breeze continued to blow, seeming to carry the voice of the Force with it, soothing and calming. So relaxed in one another and the lulling currents of Force, neither felt the approach of the two Masters.
“Master Kenobi, Master Skywalker. Good it is, to find you together,” said Master Yoda, as he slowly shuffled forward and craned his head to look up at the two Jedi. Obi-Wan and Anakin slowly parted and stood up, only then seeing that Master Windu had arrived as well.
“Master Yoda, Master Windu,” they both warily greeted the pair, offering a slight bow in deference.
“Meditated the Council has. A decision, the Council has reached,” Yoda informed them gravely.
Anakin instinctively took Obi-Wan’s hand and laced their fingers together, finding solidarity and strength in their combined grasp. Whatever happened next, Anakin knew that none of it mattered because he would always have this man by his side, Jedi Knights or not.
Mace stepped forward, a serious glower on his usually impassive face. He studied them both for a long moment before speaking with what was obvious reluctance.
“Obi-Wan, Anakin. While I do not personally condone your actions, and have grave concerns about where this may lead us all, I cannot question the Will of the Force and its guidance in this matter. In times past, you would have been summarily discharged from the Order, a consequence that both of you nevertheless seem willing to accept.”
As he paused, Obi-Wan stole a look over to Anakin, whose brow was furrowed with anxiety and impatience. He sent calming waves through their bond, pleased when he was rewarded with a soft glimmer of a smile at the corners of Anakin’s mouth. Whatever judgment Mace was about to execute, Obi-Wan had never been more sure of his path, knowing that Anakin would walk it with him.
Mace clearly caught the exchange, suppressing an irritated sigh before he continued. “However, the Council would like to believe it is neither blind nor short-sighted. With the ongoing war and the growing threat of the Sith all around us, the Jedi Order has spiraled out of control far beyond our mandate and must find balance once more within itself. The Order, and the Republic, cannot withstand the loss of two of its greatest Jedi due to a rigid adherence to a Code that may no longer be equitable or practical. What once was seen as a weakness may now be a Jedi’s greatest strength.”
“Master Windu, I don’t understand!” Anakin blurted out impatiently, eyes darting between the Masters for any sign of clarity. “Are you saying—”
“Anakin, please,” Obi-Wan chided gently, tugging Anakin back next to him. “Let them speak.”
“Patience, Young Skywalker. Answers about to give, I am,” Yoda spoke up, gently swatting Anakin in the shin with his stick. “It is the will of the Council, indeed, the Will of the Force, that you, Anakin Skywalker, and you, Obi-Wan Kenobi, be not denied this bond, nor your joint destinies as Jedi Knights of the Republic.”
Yoda turned, looking out to the horizon and the fiery setting sun. “Right, the time is, for the Jedi to unlearn what they have learned. New traditions must be allowed, if to grow, the Jedi are.” He turned back to the two Jedi, gesturing at the air between them.
“Master Kenobi, Master Skywalker, right it is for the two of you to lead each other, and the Jedi Order, on this new path. Strong is your bond, true is your love and devotion to one another. May the Force light your way, now, in the future, and when return to the Force, you do.”
“May the Force be with you,” Mace offered, inclining his head by way of good bye.
“May the Force be with you,” Anakin and Obi-Wan replied numbly, bowing automatically as the Masters bowed in return and took their leave.
Acquitted of any transgressions, the reinstated pair stood frozen, staring wide-eyed at each other, incredulous at what had just transpired.
“Well, I...I cannot b-believe...” Obi-Wan started, stammering and at an unusual loss for words.
Anakin suffered no such infirmity. “I’m still a Jedi!” he shouted as his hands shot up in the air in victory. Whirling around, he pointed excitedly at Obi-Wan. “And you’re still a Jedi! A Master!” The twin burdens of guilt and remorse, now lifted from his shoulders, floated away on the breeze. Anakin had never felt freer, more alive, or whole.
“I LOVE YOU, OBI-WAN KENOBI!” he yelled at the top of his lungs, laughing hysterically as he threw his arms wide and spun around, his cloak whipping out behind him.
“Anakin! By the stars, do you think you could possibly exercise some self-control? Honestly, the whole of Coruscant does not need to be informed,” Obi-Wan pretended to scold, his fond smile betraying any sense of reproach. He could not deny that such a public and emotional declaration from his young lover was...well.
Anakin stopped mid-spin, turning to cock an eyebrow, a lopsided smirk curving up one side of his mouth. “Careful, Obi-Wan. Unless you want me to shout out something else.”
Obi-Wan scoffed with a toss of his head, crossing his arms. “Do tell me, when that has ever stopped you? A Jedi Knight, and still so very insolent,” he tsked, fighting to keep what was certainly a ridiculous smile off his face.
Anakin smiled earnestly, brushing the hair out of his eyes. “But you still love me, don’t you?”
Instead of answering immediately, Obi-Wan crossed the distance between them. He reached up, placing one hand to his former Padawan’s cheek, encouraged when Anakin leaned into the gesture. “My dear Anakin, I will always love you.” Placing his other hand under the golden curls on Anakin’s neck, Obi-Wan pulled that sweet, red mouth down to his own, both men sighing into the kiss that made them feel complete.
When they parted, Anakin smiled and blinked back tears, feeling the depth of Obi-Wan’s love for him flowing in contented waves over their bond. “I will always love you, too, Master.” Obi-Wan, ever the Jedi, inclined his head in acknowledgment and smiled shyly, taking him by the hand.
Secure in their future, they turned to leave, hands and hearts entwined, both watching the brilliant golden sun sink below the horizon.
Friends, partners, lovers.
And still Jedi.