By Lincoln Six Echo
A/N:This story might not be one of my best ones, but it's very special to me, for it's the first one I wrote after suffering from a very serious case of depression. There have been 7 months during which I no longer recognized myself, and it took me over 1 year to return to feel normal. During all this time and even after I began to feel better, my muse seemed to have disappeared, to the point I began to fear it would never return. But it did, and this is the result. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Anakin came slowly awake, letting consciousness creep over him little by little. Even before he opened his eyes, he reached out in an instinctive gesture, touching his bed mate's arm.
The skin was warm, but no longer as hot as it had been for the past few days. It meant the Fever was almost gone, and Anakin was not sure if sure if he was happy or saddened by it.
On one hand, Obi-Wan hated to be reduced to that state and Anakin could understand why; on the other, the younger man enjoyed seeing his former master completely out of control, so needy and relentless in doing what was necessary to achieve release.
Anakin smiled as he stretched, feeling his sore muscles complain a bit at the move. He loved the pleasant ache their lovemaking left in him. His smile turned into a grin as he thought of how things had changed in the past five years.
There had been a time when the mere idea of having a man inside him would have made Anakin run away as fast as he could, while now he craved the feeling.
Almost unconsciously, Anakin relaxed back against the mattress as his mind returned to the day when everything had begun.
All had started with a simple question that had led to an unexpected answer…
"Why are you so nervous, Master?"
Anakin and Obi-Wan were aboard of a two persons ship on route to Coruscant after completing another post-war diplomatic mission.
Everything had gone smoothly, until ten days before, when a loud bang, a shuddering of their vessel and an immediate decrease of their speed had signalled the malfunction of their hyperdrive.
Anakin had tried to repair the damage, but there was not much he could do, even with all his expertise, without the appropriate spare parts—and they were lacking them.
Atop of that, they had discovered that the hyperdrive malfunction had caused a power overload that had fried the ship communication system, effectively leaving the two Jedi stranded on a vessel that could proceed toward home only at sub-light speed.
In other words, a 4 days journey had transformed into a 3 weeks one.
Anakin had taken it well, reasoning that it could have been worse. They could have been completely out of power.
Sure, he was upset he would have to wait longer to see Padme and the twins again, but it was something he could cope with. Especially because he had not alerted his family of his imminent return, and thus he knew they would not be upset or worried when he did not arrive at the scheduled time.
So Anakin had kept himself busy, exercising in the small cargo bay and studying the new Jedi Starfighter schematics, while Obi-Wan had spent time reading and meditating.
Or at least he had been doing it—because now, his former Master, the epitome of calm and patience, was fidgeting and shifting position on his seat every few moments. More, he had been looking at the navigation monitor, checking their progress toward Coruscant, at least four times in the past hour.
Come to think about it, Obi-Wan had been a bit restless the previous day too, walking back and forth the small vessel for hours, but Anakin had thought it was due to the fact he needed some exercise. Now he was not so sure.
Anakin frowned; this behaviour was so uncharacteristic of his Master. It was not the first time they had a problem like this one, and Obi-Wan's proverbial patience had never failed him.
"Why are you so nervous?" Anakin asked again when Obi-Wan failed to answer the first time.
Obi-Wan almost startled, then turned to look at him, his eyes very bright, pupils slightly dilated.
"It's…nothing, Anakin. I just wish this ship would move faster."
Anakin tilted his head and studied the older man. He could sense his best friend was not telling him the truth, and it made him narrow his eyes.
Since the night two years ago, when he had told Obi-Wan he was married to Padme and asked his friend to help save his wife from his nightmares of death, the former master and padawan had said everything to each other.
It had been that trust that had made Anakin tell Obi-Wan of how Palpatine had narrated him the legend of Darth Plagueis the Wise and claimed the Sith had the powers to save people from death.
It had been that trust that had pushed Anakin to kill Palpatine on Obi-Wan's urging, despite the fact the now-revealed Sith Lord swore to be Padme's only hope to live.
Yet, now Obi-Wan was breaking that trust, but it did not anger Anakin. No, it worried him, for the older man had to have a very serious reason for lying to him, and he did not like it a bit.
Thus Anakin leaned forward on his seat and reached out to grip one of his friend's hands, stopping it from fidgeting. He was taken aback by how hot the skin was.
"Obi-Wan," he asked concerned, "are you ill? Do you have a fever?"
Obi-Wan retracted his hand and hid it in the fold of his robe, crossing his arms over his chest.
"No, I don't have a fever-at least not in the way you think."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Obi-Wan sighed and tugged at his beard, a sure sign he was ill at ease.
"What is it?" Anakin insisted gently.
Obi-Wan sighed again, dropping his eyes to look at his folded hands and whispered, "This is a very embarrassing matter, Anakin."
"More embarrassing than me fainting in the delivery room as Padme gave birth to the twins?" Anakin replied, in an attempt to lighten the atmosphere. Obi-Wan smiled weakly and Anakin felt his concern increase. "You know you can tell me everything."
"I know, but this is something only four persons ever knew about, and three of them are now dead."
"Do you mean it is something dangerous to know?"
"No. It's just that it's something very private." Obi-Wan shifted on the seat and threw another glance at the navigation computer.
Anakin thought of making a comment about the fact the ship was not going to go faster no matter how many times Obi-Wan looked at the screen, but his previous failed attempt at humour had showed him it was not the time for jokes.
Finally Obi-Wan took his eyes away from the monitors and turned to face Anakin. "You know I'm from a planet called Rekam, don't you?"
Anakin nodded, a bit surprised by the question.
"But I suppose you aren't aware of a certain…characteristic… of the Rekamians males…"
Anakin shook his head. What characteristic? Obi-Wan had looked like a normal human male the few times he had seen him undressed.
"You see, due to some genetic aberration, the Rekamians men have developed a peculiar physiology…" Obi-Wan's voice died, as he once again looked away from Anakin.
Anakin felt suddenly cold with dread. What was Obi-Wan trying to say? What peculiar physiology? "Are you going to die?" he blurted out before he could control himself.
Obi-Wan looked at him seriously and replied, "No, I'm not going to die…at least not yet."
Anakin paled. That was not one of Obi-Wan's ironic comments. That was the truth. He was not going to die now—but soon.
"Obi-Wan, Master, please tell me what is going on," Anakin all but begged.
Obi-Wan nodded. "Yes, you've the right to know, since you will be here when it happens…" He said almost to himself, before continuing in a louder tone. "Every five years Rekamians men go through a period called Blood Fever… essentially it's mating fever, and the males must couple… or die."
Anakin opened his mouth to say something, then closed it without uttering a word. In a way it was incredible to even think of Obi-Wan being prey to a mating fever… His master was always so composed and restrained, and in all the years Anakin had known him, he had never shown any interest in sex.
Anakin remembered that during his teenage years, when he was prey to his hormones and Obi-Wan lectured him all the time about controlling and releasing his urges, he had often wondered if his Master was a virgin, one of those Jedi who had chosen chastity as way of life.
But now it seemed likely he had been wrong all along.
"Are you in this "fever" period?" Anakin asked and Obi-Wan nodded. "I-I guess it's not the first time it happens…"
"Indeed. It first happened when I was twenty."
"Oh. So you've been through it two, three times while I was your apprentice."
"Twice. My second time was a couple of months before we first met on Tatooine."
"Why didn't I notice it? The symptoms you have aren't…well…are evident. How could I have missed them?"
"Because I removed myself from your presence as soon as I felt the first stirrings of the Fever," Obi-Wan explained, raising a trembling hand to rub at his chin.
"Why?" Had Obi-Wan afraid he would act improperly toward his young charge?
"Because it's something a padawan should never see—his master out of control, unable to focus or meditate, unable to restrain his needs. It would set a bad example. So, instead, I left you with the excuse of some solo mission, although I didn't even leave the Temple."
Anakin nodded. Obi-Wan was a reserved, even shy man, who was always in control of himself and his emotions. It had to be an anathema for him to fall prey to hormones and instincts he could not control.
"Who…who helped you…if I may ask?"
"Siri Tachi. She's been my Fever Mate since my first time," Obi-Wan answered, swallowing hard.
"Oh." Anakin remembered well Siri Tachi. The blond haired master and her padawan Ferus Olin had often gone on missions with Anakin and Obi-Wan, and he had liked her. She had been witty and full of resources. He had been saddened when she had been killed during the war.
That day Anakin had been afraid for his Master because Obi-Wan had looked on the verge of beheading the bounty hunter that had killed Siri with his lightsabre.
In that moment Anakin had thought that Obi-Wan and Siri had been more than friends, but then his Master had controlled himself and let the bounty hunter live. Thus Anakin had concluded the older man had never loved Siri because, had he loved her, he would have exacted his revenge from the man who had killed her.
Time had passed, Anakin had matured and come to know his Master better. He now knew Obi-Wan would never kill out of revenge, no matter what was done to him. The experience with Asajj Ventress just proved it.
Anakin took a deep breath and murmured, "I'm sorry she died. I know I've never told you before."
Obi-Wan nodded. "Siri was a good Jedi and a good friend. I miss her."
Anakin was a bit taken aback by Obi-Wan referring to his lover for 15 years as a "friend", but said nothing. He already knew that despite the changes made to the Code that now allowed Jedi to have romantic relationships, Obi-Wan and him had different views on "attachments".
"So, do you have somebody else to be with now?" Anakin asked.
"Yes. Master Unduli, Luminara had agreed to be my new Fever Mate. I alerted her when I felt the first stirrings during the first day of our journey back…but it no longer matters…" Obi-Wan's voice died as he looked out the window to the star filled space.
"Why?" Anakin asked, feeling his concern increase at his Master's defeated tone.
"Because I won't last long enough for us to reach Coruscant at this speed. The unconsummated Fever will kill me before we arrive." Obi-Wan's voice was sad, but matter of fact.
"No!" Anakin exclaimed, rising from his seat. "This won't happen! There must be something we can do! Do you have any medication that could help you? Couldn't you use meditation to balance your hormones?"
Obi-Wan slowly shook his head. "No Anakin, there is nothing I can do-"
"-Except for mating." Anakin completed the line.
It took just a moment to make a decision, the only possible one with his best friend's life at stake.
"Then do it."
Obi-Wan startled. "What?"
"Do you need your partner to be a woman?"
"No… I don't think so…it's just a matter of preference, but-"
"I'm here, Obi-Wan. I will help you through this fever."
Obi-Wan shook his head, agitated, and stood up too. "No, it's impossible…you don't know what are you offering…"
"Of course, I know what I am offering. I'm offering my body to save your life." Anakin took a step forward, to put a hand on Obi-Wan's arm, but his Master backed away.
"Don't touch me! It's…it's painful…"
"I am sorry. I just wish to help."
Obi-Wan watched him with a weak smile. "It's not your fault. Anakin, I appreciate your offer, but I cannot accept it. I know little about relations between men, and I'm afraid I could hurt you in the heat of the moment. But more importantly, should you become my Fever Mate now, I would search for you during my next Fevers too, until one of us joins the Force. A sort of connection would be established between us and only you would be able to appease my need—and I don't want to trap you in this. You are married and Padme-"
"Padme would never forgive me if I let you die while having the power to save you," Anakin interrupted him. "She will understand, Obi-Wan. This isn't adultery; this is a matter of life and death and I refuse to let you die because of your blasted sense of honour."
"But I could hurt you…"
"Yes, it's a possibility. But I doubt you could ever cause me more pain than the one I feel now, as I think about your imminent death…" Anakin's voice was pained as he stared at his best friend.
"Anakin…" Obi-Wan's whisper was agonized. He reached out with his hand to touch the younger man, but stopped midway.
Anakin took the still outstretched hand in his own. "I'm here, Obi-Wan. Let me help you. Take what you need," he coaxed.
The younger Jedi watched as his Master struggled with himself. He watched the conflict eating Obi-Wan being reflected in his eyes, and felt relief surge in him when he saw the older man's final acceptance of his offer.
"All right, Anakin," Obi-Wan whispered simply, and they shared a brief smile as the clasped hands.