Disclaimer: In case it wasn't obvious, I'm not George Lucas, so I own nothing. I make no money; this is for personal entertainment only.
Beta-Reader(s): The lovely Luthe, who I can't thank enough for the speedy and efficient beta, and for all her hard work on helping me with the exposition. All remaining mistakes are my own.
Notes: I follow movie canon primarily, so no EU material is used here. Written for Slashfest in 2005.
There were many luxuries that came with living in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Most of the Jedi took them for granted, but Anakin Skywalker marveled over all of them.
There was, for one, the matter of showers. Anakin had always taken baths from a wash basin when he lived on Tatooine, and only when his mother had the water to spare, which wasn't often. Now he was expected to bathe every day and literally waste gallons of water to pour over himself like a waterfall. He felt guilty every time he washed; desert upbringing was hard to forget.
There was also the matter of the swimming pool. The Jedi had so much water to waste that they had an entire pool the size of a small lake filled with it. Anakin didn't know how to swim, so he avoided it on principle - except, of course, when Obi-Wan forced him to learn how to swim.
Then there was the food to consider. Jedi ate three times a day. The portions were large, and while the food was a bit bland and unexciting as it lacked the seasoning Anakin was used to, there was so much of it available that he couldn't complain. There was also juice available, made from more fruits than Anakin had ever dreamed existed. He liked juice quite a bit.
The clothes were very similar to the loose-fitting robes people wore on Tatooine, but made from much finer cloth. Anakin also possessed more clothes than he'd owned in his entire life put together. When they arrived from the laundry, Anakin noticed they smelled cleaner than anything he'd ever smelled. Obi-Wan had thought him quite odd for sniffing his own tunics every time they were delivered. As Padawans were often expected to do menial chores, when it was Anakin's turn to work in the laundry, he discovered the smell was from the special soap they used to wash the clothes with. He kept his new clothes in perfect condition, to the point where even Obi-Wan commented his boots didn't have to be shined every day.
His new quarters were also incredible. Even though Anakin shared a room with Obi-Wan, it was big enough that it could have fit his mother's house and Watto's junk shop in it with room to spare. They had a huge refresher, two large and very comfortable beds, and two chests of drawers for their things. There was even a table and four chairs for whenever Obi-Wan decided he didn't want to eat in the dining room with the other Jedi - which was actually rather often. Anakin was especially pleased that the linen they used on his bed smelled as clean as his clothes; sniffing his bed sheets upon delivery had also earned him another strange look from Obi-Wan.
Apparently most people on Coruscant considered the Jedi rather minimalist. Anakin considered himself to be living in the lap of luxury -especially since he had his very own Obi-Wan.
Now, he wasn't one to call Obi-Wan his possession out loud; he had a feeling it would only irritate Obi-Wan. Yet it was quite clear that Obi-Wan's entire purpose in life was designed for Anakin and Anakin alone. He was always there, sometimes to the point of driving Anakin mad with rules and lessons. Obi-Wan hounded Anakin everywhere, insisting that he study, insisting that he meditate, insisting that he put his emotions aside.
Anakin found this difficult. He was supposed to let his emotions go, to let them pass through him, but no matter how hard he tried, they remained in some corner of his heart. Every time he thought he had successfully lost one emotion, another seemed to appear in its place. A sense of loss over Qui-Gon was replaced by growing love for Obi-Wan; how much he missed his mother was replaced by strange new desires for Padmé. Then the original emotions would cycle back in, leaving him wondering if he would ever be a Jedi like Obi-Wan.
Things changed as Anakin grew into a man. He loved Obi-Wan even more fiercely, but resented him just as fiercely for being superior to him in the ways of the Jedi. Instead of learning from Obi-Wan, Anakin was now trying to outdo him. He argued more, and the small joys of freshly laundered clothes and large amounts of food weren't enough for him anymore. He wanted more - more of everything. More power, more skill, even more of Obi-Wan, though he knew Obi-Wan was already his.
The Jedi forbade possession, but Anakin always knew Obi-Wan belonged to him.
The first kiss was an accident.
It was late at night, and they had just finished another lightsaber practice. Obi-Wan had won as usual. Anakin was in their room, lying on his bed, waiting for his turn to take a shower. He was sweaty, and the workout had left him sore. Obi-Wan came out of the 'fresher, still dripping wet, with a towel wrapped around himself. He headed to his chest of drawers and searched for clothes.
"You cheated," Anakin told him, unable to keep the resentment out of his voice. He'd spent the past seven years trying to beat Obi-Wan in lightsaber practice, all to no avail.
Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow, slicking his wet hair back as he stood up, clutching a fresh pair of sleeping trousers. Anakin walked over to his own chest of drawers, pulling out his clothes. "How did I cheat, Anakin?" Obi-Wan asked. "I even let you have the initial strike."
"You've been fighting longer than I have."
"Then I can use the defense that you're younger than I am, and should have beaten me."
"You used tricks I didn't know about and couldn't defend against."
"And you think a real enemy would politely ask you what you knew and try to stick to that?"
"Of course not, Master. But this was practice."
"Then I gave you practice on how an enemy might pull tricks out of his sleeve that you're not prepared for."
"It's meaningless to practice for the unknown. I'm from Tatooine, and when an enemy does that there, you usually die."
"And that's the whole reason why it's not meaningless, Anakin. I'm from Coruscant, and the same thing happens here. This way you learn without dying."
Anakin glanced over at him. "You were born here?"
Obi-Wan shook his head. "I'm not sure. I don't know anything about my family; I've never met or heard of them since I came to the Jedi Temple. All Master Yoda would tell me was that I was brought here when I was two. I don't really remember anything before coming here, except that I think my mother had red hair - she was very beautiful, too."
Anakin's curiosity was piqued. Obi-Wan rarely spoke of his youth and had never mentioned anything about his family before. "Do you miss her?" asked Anakin.
Obi-Wan gazed out of the window, looking strangely young, even with the new beard he had grown. "I'm not sure," he said. "I miss Qui-Gon more."
Even years later, Anakin could never say quite what possessed him to run his hands across Obi-Wan's chest. There wasn't much hair there, and Obi-Wan's skin felt smooth - or perhaps it was just the beads of water on his skin. He could feel the thump of Obi-Wan's heartbeat. Obi-Wan's head snapped up towards him; his mouth opened, but no sound came out.
Anakin retracted his hand, the feel of Obi-Wan's chest still burning on his fingers. Obi-Wan stood stock still, his clothes trembling in his hands, and his blue-gray eyes blinking in confusion. It was strange that Obi-Wan was the older man, the wiser man, and yet he was the one who seemed surprised by the touch.
Then Anakin kissed him.
It lasted a moment in reality, but in Anakin's dreams it took a different path. Anakin imagined Obi-Wan would touch his face, move closer to him, run his hands over Anakin's body. In reality, however, Obi-Wan pulled away from the kiss, shaking his head as though to clear it, or perhaps to answer Anakin's unspoken question.
"Don't ever do that again, Anakin," he said in a quiet voice and then went back into the 'fresher to change, dripping water as he walked.
The second kiss was not an accident.
They were in a stone cave on the southern continent of the planet Tidus, huddled around a campfire Anakin had managed to build. Anakin was convinced they would freeze to death while awaiting a Republic carrier to pick them up by the next day. It wasn't snowing, but Anakin figured it might as well be, as cold as it was. He rubbed his hands over the fire, noticing Obi-Wan was bundled up in several blankets and frowning at his datapad.
"Staring at it won't make the carrier come any faster, Master," said Anakin, pausing for a moment before speaking again. "Where are we going next?"
"Ansion, I think. The Council is still deciding."
"I hope Ansion is warmer than this place."
Obi-Wan turned his frown on Anakin. "I expect so. We'll probably be joining Master Unduli and her Padawan in order to expedite the process of solving the border dispute. I expect you to be on your best behavior."
"I'm always on my best behavior." Anakin grinned and moved beside Obi-Wan to pull out his own blankets from his pack. He counted out six and frowned at the bundle around Obi-Wan. "I only have six blankets, but we brought fourteen. Give one over."
Obi-Wan smiled at him, setting aside his datapad. "You're younger than I am, Anakin. You should have more consideration for your poor, aging Master. I need more blankets to protect my sagging, wrinkled flesh and my aching, brittle bones."
Anakin rolled his eyes. "All right, fine. I take back what I said about you being practically as old as Master Yoda. Can I have one of the blankets now?"
"But then I might just shiver myself to death, as weak and powerless as I am."
"And I also take back what I said about you getting sloppy in your old age."
"And then I won't have as much cloth to hide my abhorrent appearance and completely unappealing nature."
Anakin laughed and leaned into Obi-Wan's face, grabbing one of the blankets he had wrapped around him and tugging gently. "I never called you ugly. I only said that I was better looking than you. Besides, it's your own fault for insisting upon having a beard."
Obi-Wan tugged on the blanket back and laughed. "So it's my beard that makes me so ugly?"
Anakin began to pull harder. "No, it just hides that you're actually quite handsome. Even if I am still better looking."
Their faces were very close together. Obi-Wan was starting to look mildly uncomfortable as his gaze dropped to Anakin's mouth. Anakin licked his lips, noticing how Obi-Wan's eyes focused on the movement. Anakin coyly ran his tongue over his bottom lip again, forgetting how cold he was.
It was Obi-Wan who kissed him, this time - but he was not gentle about it. Anakin had the sensation of Obi-Wan's mouth closing over his, and of blanketed hands suddenly pushing him against the stone wall. Obi-Wan's warm body was pressed against his, and it was very easy to forget how cold it was with Obi-Wan's tongue plunging into his mouth, lips moving against his, beard scratching Anakin's face. Anakin worked his hand through the tangle of blankets, pulling at Obi-Wan's tunic until he was able to feel his heartbeat. Obi-Wan's heart thumped against his ribcage, his skin strangely warm beneath Anakin's fingers.
Then Obi-Wan drew back, his eyes wide again, filled with the same confusion he'd had almost three years ago after their first kiss. Anakin leaned forward to kiss him again, but Obi-Wan shook his head.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that," he murmured and handed Anakin one of his blankets before moving over to the other side of the cave.
Anakin swore under his breath, wrapping himself up and lying down to sleep; he felt incredibly frustrated. He knew there was no use in calling Obi-Wan back or pursuing the matter - Obi-Wan pulsed with regret and shame through the Force. Anakin closed his eyes, wishing for the first time that Obi-Wan wasn't his Master.
Instead of Padmé, Anakin dreamt of Obi-Wan that night.
The third kiss was the last.
The Clone Wars had been going on for almost two years, and Anakin hadn't seen Padmé in four months. It frustrated him, burned him that he couldn't be with her more. Somehow, when he was with her, everything felt like it was going to be all right. Without her, he felt lost, desperate for something, anything to take his mind of the war.
He was on edge tonight. The last battle had been hard; Anakin bore a fresh scar on his face. He had been treated too late for the bacta to properly heal the wound, and the scab over his eyebrow itched a bit. He could still remember the giant blade whirling towards him, and of Obi-Wan screaming at him to duck. Obi-Wan had nudged it away with the Force enough that it only cut Anakin's face, instead of removing him of his head. Obi-Wan's rescue of Anakin had cost a Padawan his life; Jeph Aguri had been cremated the previous morning.
Anakin felt guilty, though he knew he didn't feel as guilty as Obi-Wan did. Anakin knew Obi-Wan would never have let anything hurt him; Obi-Wan's life revolved Anakin, and he liked it that way. Obi-Wan had chosen to save him, instead of the Padawan.
They were on the Star Destroyer Hammer, and they had yet to inform Anakin of their next destination. Anakin wondered if it would be to another battle, and realized that he was both tired and exhilarated by the thought of more fighting. He wished again for Padmé's presence, but she wasn't there. He wanted someone to talk to, someone to be with, and someone to touch.
Anakin debated disturbing Obi-Wan this late at night, and then decided he might as well. He wondered how Obi-Wan was dealing with his guilt, and reflected Obi-Wan could probably use the company, too. Anakin walked through the cold, metal hallways of the Star Destroyer, footsteps echoing strangely on the floor. He reached Obi-Wan's quarters, and pushed the call button.
Obi-Wan didn't answer.
Anakin kept pushing the button, over and over, until the door finally slid open. Obi-Wan was wearing only his trousers and looked quite annoyed. Anakin glanced past him into the room, noticing a young man getting dressed. Hot anger boiling in his chest, Anakin glanced at Obi-Wan, but he wasn't meeting Anakin's eyes. The young man noticed Anakin was back to glaring at him and dressed quickly, approaching the door with a worried expression. Anakin recognized him as one of the navigators on the ship - handsome, if weak-looking.
"Obi-Wan?" the man asked, running his hands through his blond hair nervously.
"Master Kenobi," Anakin corrected, unable to prevent himself from scowling. Luckily for the navigator, Anakin managed to prevent himself from reaching over Obi-Wan to choke the bastard.
"Excuse me?" the navigator asked.
"His name is Master Kenobi, as far as you're concerned. Now get out." Anakin's fists were clenched, though he didn't remember clenching them. Obi-Wan was still not looking at him, but backed away from the door.
"Go on, Yuriv. Maybe some other time," Obi-Wan said in a tight voice. He wasn't looking at Yuriv, either.
Yuriv glanced at Obi-Wan in concern, but nodded and left. Anakin let him pass, glaring hotly after him before whirling on Obi-Wan, who looked tired and drawn. "Is the Council aware that you're fucking a Republic officer, Master?" Anakin asked, his voice coming out in a growl.
Obi-Wan sighed. Anakin entered the room, making sure the door slid shut before turning to look down at him, his gaze meeting Obi-Wan's. "You just saw to it that nothing happened or will happen, Anakin, so it doesn't matter now. We're not required to be celibate, and I certainly wasn't proposing a lifelong commitment to him. I just wanted to take my mind off things."
"He doesn't look trustworthy."
"You don't even know him, Anakin, so you can't make any judgments. Now, what do you want?"
"You." The words were out of Anakin's mouth before he could stop himself. He regretted speaking as Obi-Wan's eyes grew wide, and his eyebrows shot up. However, Anakin had already committed himself now. He might as well just finish it.
The next few moments were a blur. Anakin remembered grabbing Obi-Wan by the shoulders and slamming him into the wall behind him. Obi-Wan struggled for just a moment before Anakin roughly kissed him, pinning Obi-Wan against the wall with his own body. Obi-Wan moaned a little into Anakin's mouth. Anakin felt Obi-Wan shudder as he touched his bare chest; his skin felt fevered under Anakin's hands. Anakin felt Obi-Wan's hands on his own chest, but Obi-Wan was pushing him away, breaking their kiss.
"Stop it, Anakin. We can't do this," Obi-Wan said. He wasn't pushing hard, and his voice trembled.
"Why?" Anakin moved closer and pressed his body against Obi-Wan's again.
"Anakin." Obi-Wan's tone was sharp now, and his expression had darkened.
Anakin pulled back, frowning. "Why is it okay with some man you don't even know, but not with me?" he asked, feeling anger swirl around in the pit of his stomach. "You want me, I know you do. I can feel it when you look at me."
Obi-Wan turned his face away, his hands still lying limp against Anakin's chest. "Anakin, doesn't this strike you as even remotely wrong?" he asked, sounding exasperated.
"No," Anakin said and pressed Obi-Wan back into the wall. "Why won't you let it happen?"
Obi-Wan was still staring at a spot over Anakin's shoulder, his face tight, and though his expression was unreadable, it was intense. "You are my apprentice. We are Jedi. We're not supposed to form attachment, we're not supposed to -"
Anakin leaned forward, so his face was mere inches from Obi-Wan's. "You're mine, though," he whispered. He hesitated for a moment, picturing Padmé. She looked angry, but he forced the thought of her out of his mind. She was his, and Obi-Wan was his; they could both be his. She would understand, once he explained it to her. It would work itself out.
"I don't belong to -"
Anakin cut Obi-Wan off by pressing his mouth against his lips again, ignoring the tickling sensation of Obi-Wan's beard against his face. Anakin darted his tongue inside Obi-Wan's mouth, and while Obi-Wan did not respond, he didn't fight Anakin, either. Anakin pressed his tongue against Obi-Wan's, tasting the remains of the bakarr meat he had eaten. His entire body covered Obi-Wan's, and it occurred to him that he was bigger than his Master, the man he'd looked up to most of his life.
Anakin slid his hands over Obi-Wan's chest, then slid his durasteel hand down to Obi-Wan's groin, cupping it. Obi-Wan groaned for a moment and then broke the kiss, jerking his head away violently. "Anakin, stop it now. I'm not going to let you seduce me, and certainly not with that arm of yours. It's like being fondled by a droid."
Despite his protests, Obi-Wan was growing hard under Anakin's robotic hand. "But you like it." He squeezed his prize a little, making Obi-Wan's eyes flutter. "I won't be your Padawan forever, you know."
Anakin stumbled back and fell on his ass abruptly, realizing after a moment that Obi-Wan had just used the Force to push him away. He blinked in confusion, staring up at Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan looked down at him, his expression full of confusion, hurt, frustration, desire, and - then all the emotions were gone in the blink of an eye, and Obi-Wan was as neutral as ever.
"Congratulations, Anakin. The Council is going to consider promoting you to Jedi Knight when we return to Coruscant. They've already invited me to join the Council, and we'll be arriving sometime tomorrow. I imagine we'll be voting on it shortly after I arrive. I'm sure you'll get it after all your achievements."
Anakin felt as if his heart had just dropped down onto his stomach. "You're a Jedi Master now?"
Anakin stared at Obi-Wan's bare feet, feeling hollow and defeated. Obi-Wan's feet were as well shaped as the rest of him, pale skin stretched across strong bones. His toenails were as neat and trimmed as his fingernails. Anakin stood up after a moment, but still stared at Obi-Wan's feet. He wasn't sure where else to look.
"Then I suppose we'll never be equals," said Anakin in a quiet voice.
"We never were, and never will be - even if you become a Jedi Master and sit on the Council yourself. That's why this can't happen. Do you understand?"
Anakin met Obi-Wan's gaze for just a moment before leaving. "Oh, I understand, Master. I understand perfectly. You're mine, but you won't let me have you." Nothing that belonged to Anakin seemed to belong to him in the way he wanted it to. His mother had died, Padmé was barely a part of his life, and Obi-Wan was denying him.
Anakin heard Obi-Wan speak, just as the doors slid shut behind him. "A Jedi cannot have possessions."
The Jedi Code plagued Anakin as he walked back to his room, shaking with frustration and rejection. It mocked him, because he knew he wasn't living up to it, couldn't live up to it - not like Obi-Wan could. One particular line stood out, more painful to remember than the others were.
There is no passion; there is serenity.