Title: Covalent Bonds

Author: pronker

Time: Anakin is twenty-two.

Genre: Action/Adventure. Slash.

Disclaimer: I own nothing recognizable.

Warnings: This story is a sequel to one in 2007 entitled, "As Clear As Mud." It would help to read that one, though any inquiries to plot points will be answered. A general summary leading up to this point is that Anakin and Obi-Wan are an established couple known about in skittish ways within the Order, Padme and Anakin have divorced and the Jedi Code has been revised to allow greater internal democracy, including attachments. Not many Jedi have taken the opportunity to form any, being busy with the War. Yoda has a grand plan to capture Dooku, who is proving to be difficult to subdue with Grievous' increased viciousness against all and sundry becoming a problem. Grievous' loyalty was mainly to Palpatine, and with the latter's death, the Kaleesh is disenchanted with the Count. A sequel essentially destroys the conclusion of the first story; here is one anyway.

Summary: Obi-Wan practices self-mortification during his abstinence from enjoying Anakin's charms. Anakin indulges other appetites of the flesh. They both need to stop thinking of themselves. The Force steps in.


"Anakin, say the Release-of-Master's-Authority." Obi-Wan put down the double armload of groceries on the kitchen island. "And really, Padawan, carbonated beverages in the morning?"

Anakin gave a last poke to the frying pan and choked on his bubblezap. He grabbed a napkin that Obi-Wan shoved at him and held it to his face. "Owwtch, id wed ub by dose and did I hear you right?" Not only his nose burned, but there was a sore spot in his throat out of keeping with the small scale of the incident.

They stared at each other for a long stretching minute, competitive and curious and testing, until Obi-Wan cracked a grin. "Wanted to see what you'd do. You're so close to Knighthood, I won't make you say it." Obi-Wan crossed his arms tightly, slid sideways until he wasn't facing Anakin, until they stood shoulder-to-shoulder in their steamy kitchen, not quite touching. "But I could."

The something was back, its presence making itself felt after two long, hardship-filled years. Anakin's leggings felt tight as he said quietly, "But you won't."

A beat. "No."

"Will you say 'no' to this?" And Anakin kissed him.

All the frustration these past long months, years, must have made Obi-Wan gasp into Anakin's mouth before choking out, "Nope." In a move that shocked Anakin to his core, Obi-Wan leaned backwards on the kitchen island, braced both hands against its rounded tile edge and heaved himself on it. Obi-Wan then lay flat, Force-pushed mesh bags of groceries onto the floor and spread his legs, lifting his tunic skirt so that Anakin could see the stain spreading through his leggings. "Do me," Obi-Wan drawled.

The dishwasher pump-whooshed and the sizzling punko eggs smoked as nerf shortening blackened and then the smoke alarm's gong added to the din. Through the whooshing and the sizzling and the fizzing and the gonging and the roaring in Anakin's ears, he obeyed the command as the stain grew impossibly large, soaking through the plain weave down Obi-Wan's thighs and up to his navel. Anakin kissed the navel, undid laces, opened his eyes widely. Never forgotten, the shape and color and taste of Obi-Wan filled his senses and he bobbed his head, slicking saliva onto the shiny cockhead, accepting the direction of his Master's guiding hands in this as in all other things. The hands grabbed his shoulders gently, then tightened as the tension grew. Anakin bobbed faster. Now the hands shook his shoulders most unpleasantly and Anakin thought he knew what Obi-Wan wanted and blew bubbles around the shaft, hmmmming and bobbing even faster. He threw in a circular grinding and a low growl, ignoring the sore spot halfway down his gullet that was jabbed at each thrust. The hands at his shoulders changed to obnoxious tugs at his tunic's neckline that annoyed him. Finally having had enough, he lifted his uvula, teeth, tongue and lips off. "What do you want, can't you see I'm trying --- "

In its auburn nest of curls, Obi-Wan's cock opened its tiny slit of a mouth and shouted, "Anakin! Wake up! Annnnn-a-kin!"

Another voice. "He's just stunned, sir. See? Not much blood. I'll stay with him while you go on. The HUD timer shows it's almost Herf-Hour, two point six minutes left."

"I'm going to reach him first." Though their SpeakBond hadn't lasted more than one month after Obi-Wan's complete recovery from his illness two years ago, Anakin could still feel Obi-Wan's hands Touch his mind ever so gently. The physical hands soothed knotted neck muscles, brushed off loose gravel from the montane soil and dug out some bits that had embedded in his neck. The other pair of hands prodded, then caressed him. A flowing sense of urgency spread from those hands and threatened to become anxiety. Anakin opened his eyes.

"There, sir, he's conscious." A white blur stepped into the sunlight to shade Anakin's eyes from the glare. Anakin found himself surprised again at a clone's thoughtfulness. Jango Fett had been a complex man. Or was this the Kaminoan tweaking of Fett's genome? It didn't matter. Grit blown by the ever-present wind in Olanet's foothills blew into Anakin's eyes and he blinked rapidly through tears.

"Padawan, can you hear me?" Obi-Wan's armor looked more dented than ... yesterday? How long had he been out? Anakin nodded and winced. It didn't seem necessary to try to talk just yet, and his throat felt bruised and sore. Something had hit him about the head and neck, maybe a shower of granite scree. This scraped feeling was from more than just artillery's concussive air pops. Already he was flat and soft again, down there where it mattered. Perhaps from the jolt to his limbic system, he felt suddenly sad. The Clone Wars drained the Republic still, despite Palpatine's death and Chancellor Organa's best efforts. Three years of war ate at the Jedi's numbers, down to nine thousand from ten, grief stalked the Temple daily, was experienced and released in an unending aching stream. When had he last been home, to Coruscant? Seven, no, eight months. He'd visited briefly with Vice-Chancellor Amidala --- Padme --- in her usual business style, short and to the point. They had evolved to a cordial enough relationship after some bumpy meetings following the divorce. She had broken up with Ommane Retbax, flirted with a few members of the ColdCuts band, enjoyed a very brief fling with Teragram Gingwit, their vocalist, and now was footloose and fancy-free. He honestly had not known about this aspect to her character. He'd known only about Palo of Naboo. He felt provincial when he told her that Obi-Wan and he were still together after two and a half years. There had followed some technical talk about the war's progress and the role of the Jedi in predicting Dooku's strategy due to his Jedi background; he'd made arrangements for taking "custody" of Artoo and Threepio. There wasn't a better term for their shared friendship with the reprogrammed droids, he supposed. Home to the Temple for two weeks during the Jedi Annual Picnic and Open Temple Tour season, except that the majority of Temple-based Jedi had voted against having one this year. Democracy flowered, renewed in the Jedi this past year since the Code had been revised. Anakin had sorely missed the relaxation of the picnic. Their furlough passed in a blur, and just as he was relaxing enough to sleep through the night completely, it was time to return to the front. "Padawan?"

"Hrrrkack--- "

"You're going to stay with him all the time, Trooper, eh, Five-Two-Three-One, until he's mobile. I've got to leave." The fingers left his mind. Anakin's watery eyes overflowed and he sniffled. As a last gesture, Obi-Wan drew out his stash of personal tissues from his belt pouch and dried Anakin's face. "Blow." Anakin blew. Obi-Wan tucked the used tissues away neatly and left. Anakin could hear the Aratech 105-K lancer bikes rise, regroup and swirl away to the fighting in dopplering hums. And here he was, stuck on the sidelines, just like in scramball that time when Ferus had clocked him. The game surged around him, he'd wanted intensely to be in it, but his body refused to cooperate. That game had left him behind. Now the war had left him behind. The stakes were so much higher in war than a simple win or loss, whether his team went to the finals or not.

"He'll get you into armor yet," ARC5231 commented, then sighed, "but we're still trying to get him to wear a helmet. It's an uphill battle." The trooper sat beside Anakin, close enough to shade him and to tend to him, should he need it. Anakin waited only to gather his wits and his balance and then he'd be on his way to the medtech tent. He'd been hurt often enough not to argue with anyone about going there. He'd gotten a ragged scar on his face from not going to the tent soon enough for bacta to be entirely effective. Someday, he'd have the scar taken care of. But that day was not today.

Master Siri Tachi was with them on Olanet. She and her former Padawan, Ferus Olin, made a formidable team on their speeder bikes, much like Anakin and Obi-Wan. Ferus was a good sort, unbending in his attachment to the Order, bending when needed to implement Master Rancisis' ploys as circumstances changed them into reality on the battlefield. He and Anakin's relationship had warmed, and if Ferus pitied Anakin for remaining a Padawan longer than any other human in their age group, he was too much the gentleman to mention it. Ferus made sure Anakin thought he considered himself Anakin's equal in status in the Temple, in every way but one. Rank had its privileges, but Ferus never pushed for them over Anakin. Anakin was grateful, mostly, but when one after another of his agemates made Knight, he had to be honest with himself and admit that it stung. It was like when old Jira had given Anakin, Kitster, Amee, Greedo and the rest of the gang luscious pallies and insisted that they were only on credit. Anakin knew, Amee knew, all the rest knew that the debt would never be repaid. If Jira knew, she never let on, having as much courtliness in her offhand manner as had Ferus in his Jedi kindness. It still rankled a tiny bit, that sense of being not-quite-square with the galaxy.

Siri's relationship with Obi-Wan was cooler than Anakin had ever seen it. They didn't argue. They didn't chat about old times. They were businesslike.Like me and my ex, but without the warmth, Anakin thought sometimes when he reviewed his relationships during icy nights in the log cabin that he and Obi-Wan had been assigned one week ago in the Olanet Mountains. Rolled in blankets and cloaks next to each other, after the first night they no longer warmed each other by pressing nude flesh together. One night of that and they both had nearly climbed the walls the next morning. In the way of things, they had uncontrolled thoughts, unbridled erections that neither wanted to satisfy in the presence of the other. "If only my midichlorian count approached yours. How do unimprinted Jedi or even commoners handle this?" Obi-Wan moaned to Anakin at breakfast. "It's ... Sithly."

Anakin growled, "It's one thing that keeps Soul Healer Regork busy, I imagine." He always uncomfortable comparing himself and his midichlorian count with Obi-Wan's. As if my count made me anything like the Jedi that Master is.



"Bundling. It's a way to build warmth without touching, exactly. We stay dressed, we wrap ourselves in layers of blankets separately with one large blanket over both of us. Heat builds up, spreads. It'll work."

"Sounds reasonable. Are you thinking of asking some clones to join us? Last night was below freezing." The clones would do anything that the Jedi asked, even inputting their interpretations of orders in a manner unlike Anakin or Obi-Wan had ever seen. Some selection had taken place for the 212th Attack Battalion that Obi-Wan and Anakin currently commanded, perhaps screening for greater independence in the clone stock. It bothered him, for the clones' sake, but they seemed unaffected by any sense of outrage. They did their tasks efficiently, cheerfully. Anakin put his moral repugnance on their behalf down to his Jedi heritage of helping others, though in this case what had been done to them had smoothed over Jango Fett's belligerence and played up his resourcefulness. Even his attachment to his son, Boba, came into the foreground sometimes. The clones showed great tenderness to their wounded, even the statistically rare ones who suffered breakdowns after battles. Off-duty, they called each other, no matter their battle group, "brother," and it fit.

"Only if we run out of firewood or space heaters, and that's not likely. It wouldn't be fair to the ones who could not sleep with us. They admire Jedi so much that it's unsettling, sometimes."

"We could hold a lottery for cabin privileges."

"Now you're being facetious. I'm merely saying that if the weather worsens unseasonably, we would join them in their tents, not the other way around."

"My democratic Master. That's why I love you." He couldn't remember the last time he had said 'I love you' and that hurt a little.

"That and my body heat." Keep it light, Obi-Wan thought. No sense swooping into that territory again. "Did you see my mods to my swoop? I'm thinking of having the troops switch to my specifications."

Anakin appreciated the change of subject. "You tinkerer, you. Am I rubbing off on you?"

Rubbing off ... oh ... "Erm, possibly. At any rate, I thought more aerodynamic surface could add to the pilot's control of the flight, so I affixed another vane to the aft portion."

Anakin frowned. "They're lancer speeder bikes and you're calling them 'swoops.' They're not much more than a seat over an engine now. How are you going to control the vane?"

"With the Force, for now, but if the troops' bikes get the mod, I'll think of something." Wires? No. Knee pressure pads to direct the vanes' angles? That sounds attainable.

"Techno-Wan, my Master, there's a reason why podracing and swoop racing are outlawed on some planets. Those vehicles are unpredictable, they're at a low altitude of only twenty-five meters --- "

"That's just the 74-Z's; these 105-K's can go up to the low stratosphere with the right boost. Just because we haven't had need to go up there yet --- "

"'Can' doesn't mean 'should.' I don't want to scrape either you or any clones off the mountain, Obi-Wan." Anakin found recklessness in Obi-Wan one of the less endearing consequences of their imprinting.

A cough from ARC5231 brought Anakin back to the present. He modded it without my help. I only hope it holds together. "'S'go," he croaked to the clone. Anakin rose, wobble-legged, but at a deep breath of the crisp air, steadied and headed for the medtech tent. ARC5231 followed and watched his back, ready to lend a helping hand.