Disclaimer: It's George's sandbox; I'm simply playing in it

Title: Aggressive Negotiations

Author: JadeMax

Genre: Action-ish :Þ

Timeframe: Pre AotC

Summary: Barriss/Anakin - 'cause I could :Þ and 'cause someone has asked so nicely :D

Aggressive Negotiations

"I thought you said we were here for diplomacy, Master."

Obi-Wan's Kenobi's blue blade sliced downwards, blocking another blaster bolt as a hail of blaster fire ran around them. "This is diplomacy."

A green blade slices in from the side, twirling with grace and speed to assist in deflecting some of the less deadly-aimed shots. "Diplomacy, Master Kenobi?" The voice was almost musical in its lilt. "Diplomacy implies some form of negotiation."

Anakin Skywalker grinned at the other Padawan and Master fighting in tandem beside him and Obi-Wan as he batted away another bolt. "I think this is called aggressive negotiations, Barriss."

Barriss Offee laughed, spinning gracefully into a blocking maneuver that brought her right next to Anakin. "Only you, Skywalker, would think of something like that."

His smile was roguish. A break allowed him and Barriss to move beyond range, batting back the stray bolts that came their way. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luminara Unduli, their Masters were seen darting off the other way, presumably circling back to their rendezvous point. Anakin felt a surge of pride to know he was trusted that much. But then; they didn't have much choice.

"This way."

Barriss followed him without question, ducking down a side street, taking one turn after another, getting herself completely lost as she followed his lead. He finally slipped into a dark, narrow alleyway and planted his back to the wall Barriss slid in behind him, finding herself suddenly nose to chest and pressed intimately against him by the wall at her back.

Her eyes widened and she made to move away, to try and put some distance between them, but Anakin caught her, pulling her back forcefully and wedging her in place in front of him. His eyes sparkled with dark amusement; he wasn't unaware of their positions. He motioned for silence, indicating the need to listen. She tensed as his eyes narrowed, waiting for something.

The sound of running feet was clearly audible and Anakin closed his eyes. Barriss felt him immersing himself in the Force and managed not to gasp as the power radiating off him expanded outwardly to engulf her. She felt locked in place, mesmerized by the pull, completely charmed by the reckless nature of it all.

Anakin's power spread outward and suddenly the running feet stopped, the sound of their attackers milling about in confusion could suddenly be heard.

"There! I saw a robe!"

"No, here! There's hiding here!"

"No you fools, Jedi tricks, this way!"

"You're all idiots, I saw them go that way!"

Anakin opened his eyes and grinned down at her as the sound of their pursuit disappeared. "All too easy."

Barriss grinned back at him. "You'll have to teach me that some day."

"Maybe some day. I don't think Master Kenobi would be very happy about me doing that."

Barriss's eyes sparkled, the dark tattoos around her eyes crinkling slight with her grin. "I won't tell if you won't."

"Reckless." He accused her good naturedly. They'd become good friends on this mission and Anakin couldn't say that of many of his peers. There was just something about Barriss that challenged him; she was almost as reckless as he was.

"A flaw I strive to overcome." Her response was good natured, almost dark in its amusement. It was something her Master was always telling her. "We should go; before they figure out they're chasing shadows."

Anakin made to move, attempting to crawl out of the alleyway only to frown.

Barriss felt him twisting this way and that, heat crawling up her neck at the unintentional contact. "Is something wrong?"

"I think... I think we're stuck." His smile was apologetic.

Barriss' eyes widened. She struggled, trying to shift this way and that and found he was right. She began to laugh. "Some Jedi we'll make."

Anakin, caught by her laughter and charming smile, shrugged helplessly. "We're allowed to make mistakes; we're still Padawans."

Her eyes glinted with sudden intent. "We are, are we?"

"Barriss, what are you-"

Her hands bracketed his head as she pulled it down, slanting her mouth across his.

Anakin was caught completely off guard by her sudden action. He reacted instinctively, doing what any red blooded human nineteen year old male does with a willing woman in his arms who initiates contact.

He kissed her back.

The world fell away to a distant whisper as Barriss thrilled at the forbidden sensations. She kissed him hungrily, having been fantasizing about the feel of his lips since the beginning of this trip. Anakin Skywalker was as easy on the eyes as he was on her lips. He demanded, she demanded back. He deepened the kiss, she bit him playfully, hungrily, their tongues dueling like their lightsabers had minutes before.

They stayed, their lips locked together for long minutes, before separating, both pulling back at once, neither conceding defeat but neither claiming victory.

Stalemate.

Barriss stare at him, her chest heaving. His kiss was everything she'd dreamed of and more; his eyes were dark, pools of sapphire, belying the effect of her kiss on him. She relished the feel of his arms about her, the intimate press of their bodies despite - or perhaps because of - the circumstance.

Anakin stared down at her completely shocked by her reaction to him. She wasn't afraid, wasn't intimidated in the least; it was alluring and as intoxicating as spice. "Force, Barriss."

She laughed, a soft, sultry sound that ran straight through him to his toes. "I was going to say the same thing, Anakin."

His head came down, claiming her lips again, no less passionate than the first. His hands pulled her hood from her head and delved into the tight confines of her carefully styled hair. The band broke, spilling her hair down over his hands, a wealth of black silk that caught him as a web catches an insect. It spilled down, across her shoulders and further.

Anakin shuddered as the soft, silken strands slid over the skin of his forearms, a forbidden caress, the likes of which little in his past had prepared him for. He burned with sudden desire, swift and hot, licking through his veins like fire. Barriss' hand caught and twirled his Padawan braid, slipping it around her hand and using it as leverage as her other hand slid into his short, spiky hair.

His lips left her mouth, tracing hot, opened mouthed caresses down her chin, across her throat. Her head fell back in supplication, boneless, wanton as she arched into his touch. Their bodies ground against one another, locked in place by the walls, preventing further contact, making what they had a mockery of what could be.

Anakin groaned, his lips finding her collar bone, as Barriss' hands slid downward, slipping into the fastenings of his tunic and tracing the muscles on his chest. His hand moved to catch hers only to find his hands were caught, tangled in her hair. She arched against him, pressing for further contact, demanding he respond..

He was given little choice - not that he had any intention of resisting - and met her ardent demands with his own. He twisted, shifting with a her in an epic effort and sending them sprawling in the street. Barriss fell atop him, not noticing their shift in position immediately, her lips still hot on his ear. Anakin shuddered as she pressed down against him, this time aided by gravity, his face enveloped by the fall of her hair.

"Anakin!"

"Barriss!"

They froze, their heightened state of desire being swept aside by the voices of their Masters. Barriss kept her head down, her gaze meeting Anakin's. He could see the banked embers of desire that made her tattoos stand out on her flushed face.

She winked at him.

Slowly, giving him a chance to calm himself and get control of his body, she straightened, sitting up on his stomach. "Master."

Luminara crossed her arms over her chest, frowning down at the Padawans. "I trust you have an explanation, Padawan."

"Of course Master." Barriss slowly stood, pushing her hair from her shoulders and twisting it into a knot before stuffing it into her hood. She replaced her hood before offering her hand to Anakin. "Padawan Skywalker and I were stuck."

Anakin's eyes widened as she told the truth. Then, so not to give them away, he rose his his feet awkwardly, dusting himself off and discreetly adjusting his pants.

"Anakin?"

Anakin coughed, turning to face his Master, knowing it looked suspicious. He hoped Barriss didn't look as well kissed as he felt. "It's the truth Master. Padawan Offee and I ducked into that alleyway to escape our pursuit. Only, we didn't realize how narrow it was until we tried to get out."

Obi-Wan adopted a stance similar to Luminara's, obviously doubting the story from what they'd sensed when they were approaching the pair, but both Masters could see how narrow the alley way was. The sensations and emotions they'd been sensing could simply have been the cause of such close contact. Now that the Masters had a good look at the alley way, they were impress that both Padawans had been able to fit; Anakin was not a small man.

Luminara was the one who spoke next, her voice low. "Our rendezvous is in twelve hours. I trust we won't be seeing the two of you in any more tight spots?"

Barriss bowed to her Master, hiding an almost impish smile. Tight spots. How apt. "Not if we can help it, Master."

"Come then; we've much to do before the rendezvous."

Anakin and Barriss exchanged a knowing look as their Masters turned away. Barriss arched an eyebrow at him in challenge. Anakin grinned roguishly. Silent communication passes between them that they didn't need to use the Force for. If the opportunity presented itself, they had every intention of finishing what they'd started.

They walked calmly after their Masters, confident the Force would provide them with the chance. Until then, they'd play at being obedient Padawans.

Fin

Author's Note: Inspired by research I was doing to run an RPG set in this time frame - and a request for this pairing by a friend of mine. Hope you enjoy!