Author's note: A little more QuinFer longing, the cusp of consummation.

Disclaimer: George Lucas owns Star Wars, and he would never do anything like what I'm about to do to these poor boys. So, this is a work of fanfiction, and I am not getting paid for it. Sad, that.

Bated Breath

I try to focus on getting clean, but my mind is too busy getting dirty. I can't keep myself from glancing constantly at Ferus, dragging my eyes away only to instantly flick them back again. Or is it that I have no control, because I never wanted any?

Ferus doesn't seem to be having the same problem. Eyes closed, he bends and turns under the spray, every movement perfectly measured and balanced, unhurried but efficient, as smooth as if he were performing a kata under the running water.

That would be like Ferus, I think. He's the perfect Jedi apprenctice: when he is at rest, he is pondering the nature of the Force; when he in motion, he performs a moving meditation. Always clear, never rushed.

Not like me.

He opens his eyes at exactly the wrong moment and I'm caught, but I can't even think about that because there is something, a breath in the Force, the slightest dilation of his pupils, that tells me he senses my appreciation and, if he doesn't precisely return it in kind, at least it resonates with something inside him. "Master?"

I don't speak, just take a step closer, from my shower spigot to his, and watch as his pupils widen just a little more. I put my hands on his hips, not lightly but not too hard, either, and I'm asking permission, silently, not breaking eye contact.

Ferus gives me the barest hint of a nod and leans maybe an inch closer -- not much, to most lovers, but everything and more to a Jedi. I reach for the soap and make my hands slick before moving them over his smooth skin -- slowly, cautiously, not reaching for anywhere too dangerous yet.

He touches me back, not quite hesitant, but delicate, questing, his hard young fingers trailing their tips across my skin instead of pressing with his palms.

I feel my lips quirk in the ghost of a smile -- all I can manage for now, because I'm breathless with anticipation, waiting for something I can't define.

Evidently it's not quite enough of a response for Ferus. The light pressure of his fingertips eases until it's more a tickle than a tease, and he looks into my eyes with a not-quite-frown. "Master?" he says again, and despite his composure I hear in his voice the broken note of the inexperienced: am I doing it wrong?

I force myself to breathe deep, even though the urge to stay still and just hold the moment is heavy, a weight on my chest. "Ferus," I say, and run one thumb over the slight protrusion of his hipbone. I even manage to smile. "I think you'd better call me Quinlan."