Fandom: Star Wars
Word Count: 1769
Summary: TPM inserted scene: Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan share a room on the trip home from Tatooine.
Author's Notes: Written for the jedi_mistletoe fic exchange. Authors were just revealed last night so I can post this now! My giftee has yet to see it, I think. Either that or she hates it!
And I'd also like to publicly thank gizzi1213 for the wonderful fic she wrote for me too!!
Of all the things that had happened within the last couple of days, this one should have taken lowest priority in Obi-Wan's thoughts. Negotiations on Naboo going awry, picking up a Force-sensitive slave boy, his Master getting attacked by the first Sith to be seen in nearly a millennium... all of these were worthy of Obi-Wan's scrutiny. And yet he thought of this.
Presently, they were making the journey back to Coruscant aboard Queen Amidala's Royal Nubian starship. The ship was designed for short trips, and thus had limited sleeping facilities; the two Jedi shared a room, and very nearly a bed, considering the proximity of the two berths. Last night, Obi-Wan had had this room to himself, as Qui-Gon had wisely not attempted to make the trek back from Mos Espa in a sandstorm.
Obi-Wan lay sprawled across his bed, watching the older man turn down his bedcovers. "I suppose these simple accommodations are much nicer than the slave quarters you stayed in last night," he said, his tone falsely light and conversational.
"Mm," was Qui-Gon's response. Not at all illuminating.
He tried again. "I imagine there wasn't much privacy."
"More than you would think, actually," Qui-Gon replied, perching on the edge of the bed. "The Skywalkers have their own hovel. Although that's only until Watto acquires more slaves, according to Shmi."
"I see." Obi-Wan frowned. Shmi? Not "the boy's mother" or "Ms. Skywalker"?
Qui-Gon smirked, clearly amused by the perturbed expression on his Padawan's face. "Why are you looking at me that way, Obi-Wan?"
Obi-Wan carefully considered his response. He wanted reassurance that nothing out of the ordinary had happened. "You felt... different... in the Force last night. I thought you seemed rather... well, excited." He could feel a blush spreading over his face and he mentally cursed, for it was unlikely to escape his Master's notice.
"Yes indeed, it is exciting to find a boy with such a high midi-chlorian count."
"No, I meant--" Obi-Wan paused mid-sentence when he saw the mischievous glimmer in Qui-Gon's eyes. He had to chuckle. "You know very well what I meant, Master."
"Don't ask questions you don't wish to know the answers to, Padawan. Is this your subtle way of asking if I engaged in clandestine, wanton activities last night?" Qui-Gon's voice still betrayed some amusement; however, Obi-Wan knew his Master well enough to recognize the warning note in it as well.
"No, of course not, Master," Obi-Wan protested automatically. He didn't dare say more than that, for fear of sounding like a petulant child. Logically, he knew that Qui-Gon's sex life was none of his business, but he couldn't help feeling jealous.
The sexual tension between them was palpable at times. Yet Qui-Gon had never acted on it, for that would be inappropriate. Ha! Going against the Council to indulge a whim time after time was certainly inappropriate by Jedi standards, but that was more acceptable to Qui-Gon's bizarre personal code of ethics than showing his Padawan a little affection. Yes, Obi-Wan was bitter about that. He felt he was allowed to be; he'd seen the man nearly every day for approximately half his life, and there was no one he adored more -- even though Qui-Gon insisted on keeping emotional distance between them at all times. He was a mentor imparting wisdom to his protégé. No more, no less. It wasn't that Qui-Gon was cold and unfeeling; Obi-Wan knew his Master cared for him a great deal. But what good did it do him if such feelings were never expressed, verbally or physically? Did this detachment really mold Obi-Wan into a better Jedi, or simply a more frustrated one?
Qui-Gon knew that Obi-Wan wasn't virginally innocent in sexual matters; he had dealt with the typical teenage issues of finding a stash of condoms, of erotica... he'd delivered the appropriate lectures each time. He'd also taught him how to give his lust to the Force, and Obi-Wan had since "sacrificed" it in this manner on a regular basis.
But blast, did that get tiresome.
Especially now. After last night. While he'd been alone, missing Qui-Gon, his Master had been off doing Force-knows-what with a stranger.
Disgruntled, Obi-Wan mumbled a goodnight and rolled over on his other side, facing the wall rather than that irritatingly smug face. For such a kind, gentle man, Qui-Gon certainly could be cruel.
* * *
Obi-Wan slept fitfully, in part because he could sense that his Master's sleep was also not very restful. He heard Qui-Gon tossing and turning, sometimes muttering unintelligible phrases, another time whimpering in such a frantic way that Obi-Wan couldn't simply ignore it and fall back into slumber. He peered over at his Master's bed, barely able to make out his form in the dim light. The blue-green nightlight built into the wall cast a soft, eerie glow about the small room. He didn't need light, however, to sense great unease through the Force.
Obi-Wan sat gingerly next to the writhing man and laid his hand across his forehead, which was slick with cool sweat. "Master, sssshhhh," he whispered, his earlier annoyance forgotten. He concentrated on sending soothing vibes through the Force. "It's all right. You're just having a nightmare."
Qui-Gon's body reacted to the Force-comforting and gradually became slack. Obi-Wan smoothed his Master's hair back from where it had plastered itself to his forehead. He continued to speak soft, soothing words as he felt the tension draining away, his touch gentle and loving. He realized he was probably radiating love through the Force, but he didn't try to shield it this time. Qui-Gon was unconscious, anyway, so what did it matter? And it wasn't as if his Master didn't already know that he harbored such feelings for him.
Still, there was no need to linger here, as his work appeared to be done: Qui-Gon lay still and quiet. Obi-Wan withdrew his hand from the other man's hair and stabilized his emotions in the Force. He was about to slip back over to his own bed when suddenly, Qui-Gon's eyes fluttered open and fixed on him quite piercingly. "Obi-Wan... don't go," he croaked, raising his arm and clutching at Obi-Wan's tunic.
Caught by surprise, he froze. He glanced at the hand resting firmly on his hip and swallowed an unbidden pang of desire. "Master, you need to rest," he murmured awkwardly. "You were having a bad dream."
"Things will change," Qui-Gon whispered. "And I want you with me."
Obi-Wan decided then that his Master must certainly be delirious with half-sleep, or perhaps the aftereffects of his nightmare. He chuckled lightly. "I'll be right here next to you. There's no room for both of us on this tiny bed anyway."
"Things will change," Qui-Gon repeated. He didn't sound frightened or upset; he was just calmly reciting a truth he had apparently learned in his slumber.
"Yes, they always do, Master," Obi-Wan agreed amicably. "Ssssshhhh, go back to sleep."
"Stay. Stay with me," Qui-Gon insisted. He lifted his other arm and pulled Obi-Wan down, hugging him against his chest, sighing deeply.
Obi-Wan had yearned to be held by his Master this way for nearly as long as he could remember. He never expected it to happen like this, though, with Qui-Gon clearly not in his right mind. I'm taking advantage of him, he thought grimly. He was probably having nightmares about the Sith who assaulted him, and here I am, fighting a hard-on.
Somewhere between berating himself for being a horrible Jedi and enjoying the heady feeling of those strong arms holding him close, Obi-Wan realized that his Master felt completely at peace in both body and spirit. His breathing was regular, his Force signature clear, his subconscious free from its earlier demons. Obi-Wan could sense that he was not yet asleep -- he was content. Blissful, even.
The younger man struggled to prevent his own fatigue from overtaking him; he had to commit this moment to memory. The pleasant weight of Qui-Gon's arm across his shoulder. The musky scent of his sweat-drenched tunic. The soothing sound of his heart thumping rhythmically, so close to his own. The steady rise and fall of his chest that lulled Obi-Wan into comfortable near-sleep.
And then Qui-Gon's hand grazed his hair, the touch so tender that Obi-Wan should have just drifted off to sleep completely, but so unexpected and foreign that it had quite the opposite effect. He held his breath a moment to repress a shuddery sigh of happiness.
"I never touched her, you know." Qui-Gon's voice penetrated the silence, quiet but clear. He continued to gently stroke his Padawan's hair. "I slept on the floor in the main room."
Obi-Wan allowed himself a smile, knowing the darkness hid it anyway. "Oh," he answered lamely. Qui-Gon sounded quite lucid now -- surely he was aware of, and in control of, his actions, thus rendering Obi-Wan's guilt pointless. He settled himself more comfortably against his Master's body, pulling his legs up on the bed and intertwining them with Qui-Gon's. He still couldn't quite believe this was happening, and he didn't care to analyze its possible meanings. He could ponder that later.
His curiosity did get the better of him in one respect, though. He lifted his head slightly, drawing nearer to Qui-Gon's shadowy face. "Master, what exactly did you mean when you said things will change, and that you want me... you want me with you?" Despite his best efforts to sound nonchalant, his voice trembled with emotion.
Qui-Gon trailed a finger down Obi-Wan's cheek to his chin and tilted it up, covering his lips with his own in one swift, fluid movement. A strangled moan escaped Obi-Wan as a long-awaited jolt of pleasure shot through him. He returned the kiss fervently, seeking instinctively to deepen it, but he had barely tasted his Master's tongue when Qui-Gon pulled back.
He kissed Obi-Wan's forehead instead and wrapped his arms around him once more. "I'm not entirely certain," Qui-Gon said, answering the spoken question. As if nothing had happened. As if he hadn't just kissed him for no conceivable reason. He settled Obi-Wan snugly against his chest, failing to answer the unspoken one generated by that embrace.
Obi-Wan could accept that for the moment. He would have to, since this time he could feel his Master's consciousness slipping away. They had all the time in the universe to figure things out, and that kiss was a very promising omen indeed. He listened contentedly as Qui-Gon's breathing became deep and heavy with sleep.
Whatever this alleged change was, Obi-Wan was sure it would be a good one.
((ETA: nope, not the longest fic I've ever written anymore!))