Twilight Burning 1:
Rina and Destina Fortunato
You wear guilt
Like shackles on your feet
Like a halo in reverse
Eyes on him, again. Obi-Wan felt those eyes, could sense them climbing
his body, as clearly as if hands had tossed aside his clothing and begun
harsh explorations underneath. Trouble was, it was only a stare. Nothing
palpable, nothing dangerous about a random glance. Right?
He turned, but couldn't quite catch the midnight blue eyes in the act;
Qui-Gon dropped them too quickly, having read Obi-Wan's body in the midst of
moving. His Master was the picture of serenity, going over recent research
reports, catching up on his reading. Obi-Wan felt a rising irritation, at
himself for not confronting Qui-Gon, and at Qui-Gon for choosing not to act
on this...this...whatever it was.
Obi-Wan was no longer a boy, not in need of constant instruction,
reminders about the Code and the Force and whatever else Padawans need
Masters for. He needed his Master for something else entirely. And Qui-Gon
was too...traditional...too locked into duty to allow himself more than that
occasional, brief, searing, secretive gaze.
It was, after all, not a thing which was permitted. Padawans and Masters
were forbidden to engage in any sort of relationship beyond the scope of
learning. Love wasn't supposed to enter the picture, at least not the kind
which was keeping Obi-Wan up at night lately. Not any kind of love, in fact,
beyond the love an apt pupil might have for his teacher.
What else might the teacher have to teach, if he were permitted to break
I can feel
The discomfort in your seat
And in your head it's worse
In his seat across the small room, Qui-Gon kept his eyes locked on the
printouts in his hands, reading the same paragraph time and time again and
still not retaining any of it. When had his apprentice's mere presence
become such a distraction to him? The attraction he felt was not right, it
was not allowed, it was...not listening in the least bit to the stern
lectures his brain had been attempting to force on it.
Where had these emotions come from? When had he stopped looking at his
Padawan with the simple pride of a teacher for his pupil? When had it
changed to this damning lust that threatened to overrun his rigidly shielded
thoughts, leaving his emotions naked before one the person he dare not
reveal them to?
Naked... The word brought with it a swirling image of Obi-Wan's lean
body, muscles taut as he strained toward some unseen, unthinkable objective,
head thrown back, eyes half-lidded, golden-brown skin slick with moisture,
hands reaching out imploringly.
Rattling the reports in his hands as he flipped a page over even though
he had no clue what he had been reading, Qui-Gon tried to put aside the
desire to lift his eyes and look at his apprentice again. Obi-Wan was
watching him now and he could not, would not let this come between
them. It was his duty to train the younger man to be the best Jedi possible
and he would not fail in this matter.
For a moment thoughts of Xanatos, his second - failed - apprentice
crowded forward, presenting an all too clear picture of the price that had
been paid for his lapse.
Never again. Obi-Wan was so close to his dream of becoming a Knight.
While Qui-Gon freely admitted that he had little gift for prescience, he
knew in his heart that his Padawan was one day going to be one of the
Order's best champions. The determined, hotheaded boy who had so stubbornly
insinuated himself into an embittered Jedi's life that he could not imagine
what it would have been like without him had disappeared. In his place was a
young man brimming with confidence in himself and the Force, sure that he
could do anything by will alone.
I would that it were so, Padawan, Qui-Gon sighed to himself,
knowing that there would be no rest for him this evening. His emotions were
so tightly tangled together that shielding them from the younger man was
becoming an active exercise rather than something routine. The bond they
shared was close - too close. Through it, he knew that Obi-Wan desired the
same thing he did but it could not be. There would be no chance of anything
happening that would damage the other man's future with the Jedi. The
pleasures of the flesh were too ephemeral to even consider it.
There it was again. That dark pulsing at the edges of his consciousness,
letting him know that Obi-Wan's thoughts were centered on the same subject
his were. Too close. Something was going to have to be done and soon.
Setting the printouts on the table beside him, Qui-Gon rose, his
expression one of total composure. "I am going to meditate, Padawan.
Should you need me I shall be in the south garden."
An answer would come in time, Force willing, for there was one thing the
older Jedi was certain of: things could not remain as they were for long.
There's a pain
A famine in your heart
An aching to be free
Obi-Wan watched his Master stand, unable to stop himself from picturing
the movement of the powerful muscles beneath the tunic, and felt surges of
sexual energy running through him, shocking in their blatant intensity. He
choked back surprise and annoyance at his own lack of control, even as he
heard Qui-Gon's pronouncement of the need for meditation. Obi-Wan thought
vaguely to himself that perhaps he should try meditation immediately...
especially with Qui-Gon looking at him expectantly.
"Yes, Master. Perhaps I'll join you later." His voice was mild,
but he felt ready to scream aloud at any moment, and desperate thoughts of
Qui-Gon's mouth and tongue on him were making him sweat...he beat the images
back, squeezing his eyes closed for an instant. Qui-Gon's gaze remained a
tangible temptation, as close a sensation to fingertips on bare skin as
Obi-Wan could tolerate. He shifted anxiously, hands flitting restlessly over
the lightsaber components he had been working with, accomplishing nothing
with their empty motion.
Still, Qui-Gon looked at him.
"Padawan? Are you well?"
Obi-Wan felt the heated flush which was creeping across his face and
contemplated a number of answers, biting them all back. He reached out with
the Force, not even certain he was able to conceal the turmoil in his own
mind, and felt for Qui-Gon's emotions. His Master's mind was like the still
surface of a pond; no ripples, only an untroubled serenity.
"Of course, Master." What the hell did Qui-Gon care for the
Council and Code, anyway? He had to be aware of the depth of Obi-Wan's
feelings. This was not a new situation, after all... Obi-Wan knew it had
been building for a number of years, at least in his own impatient heart. He
couldn't believe Qui-Gon hadn't wondered, once or twice, what it would be
like to lay together with Obi-Wan, joined together so deeply that nothing
mattered, not the mission, not the Council, nothing but the slow, deep
movement, the cries of passion, the...
Qui-Gon seemed to hesitate for the merest fraction of a second, studying
Obi-Wan's rigid body, before leaving the room as he'd planned. Obi-Wan
shuddered with relief the moment the older Jedi was out of sight, and his
fingers clenched reflexively around the cold pieces of his lightsaber.
Something was going to happen, something to force the issue.
And he might have to be the one to make sure of it -- if he had the
Can't you see
All love's luxuries
Are here for you and me
Once the door slid closed behind him and Qui-Gon was certain that Obi-Wan
was not going to follow him out into the corridor, the Jedi leaned against
the cool, featureless wall, closing his eyes and rubbing his temples trying
to will his body back into quiescence.
I'm going to have to do something about this. But not tonight, not
when the image Obi-Wan had unknowingly shared with him still burned in his
mind, sending flaring pulses across frayed nerve endings so that it felt as
if his whole body was under the lash of an expertly handled whip.
The one consolation in all of this was that he was sure his apprentice
was unaware of his failing in this matter, of how close Qui-Gon had come to
giving in on numerous occasions. The completion of the difficult mission on
Banterah, Obi-Wan looking up at him, grinning, his lips parted slightly in a
way that begged for a kiss. The way the younger man's eyes strayed to him as
they watched the couples dancing at the banquet. The terrible dark urge he
had felt to whisk his Padawan from the hall to their rooms and partake in a
more primal version of those rhythmic movements....
Control. That was the key to this. If his meditations did not bring him
an answer Qui-Gon knew he would have to discuss the matter with someone,
preferably not a member of the Council.
Sometime during his ruminations, the Jedi had begun walking again, his
long, easy strides carrying him toward the softly lit archway leading to the
south gardens. This had been his favorite place in the Temple for as long as
he could remember, a setting that usually brought him peace and serenity the
moment he entered. But not today.
Making his way along the path that led through the lush ferns and
tropical plants that had been carefully cultivated here, Qui-Gon at last
reached his destination and knelt, automatically settling himself in to a
comfortable posture as he began to turn his mind inward. Soft splashes from
the small waterfall-fed pond filled his ears, and he slowly began to relax
as the iron-hard control he held his emotions under loosened, sending a
small shudder through his body.
There is an answer, find it. A last conscious thought before he
lost himself in the pervasive song of the Force, opening himself up to
whatever visions or guidance it might provide
Bring your chains
Your lips of tragedy
And fall into my arms
Obi-Wan tried for the tenth time to fit two small pieces together inside
a tiny compartment of his lightsaber. A red-hot frustration which was
anything but peaceful flared up in him, and he had to actively resist the
urge to fling the weapon across the room. He gritted his teeth and sat back
in the chair, willing his breathing to slow, his muscles to relax. Qui-Gon
would not be pleased with his lack of patience. Nor would his Master be
particularly accepting of Obi-Wan's private reluctance to quiet his mind,
for fear he would dull the rush of feelings which was suddenly plaguing him,
troubling him much more acutely than ever before.
As tempting as it would be to blame all this on Qui-Gon, his Master had
never given him the slightest bit of encouragement. Always the perfect
mentor, the perfect Jedi...but Obi-Wan was suddenly struck by recent
memories, clues which were small enough to be almost insignificant, but
staggering when seen as a whole.
For instance, there was his Master's stark fear when Obi-Wan was injured
on a short mission to Endor, and the way his hands had lingered on Obi-Wan's
body, tending him gently as the minor wounds healed. Obi-Wan had been hurt
many times before, and much more seriously, but the terror he sensed in Qui-Gon
that day was something new. Yet, he had allowed himself to believe Qui-Gon's
explanation, as his Master brushed it aside as an overreaction, a fear that
dissipated when the true extent of the injuries were known.
The nagging questions began to twist through his mind after that mission,
the sneaking suspicions forming. They curled themselves insidiously around
his desire for his Master and began to take root. And there were other
moments...his Master seemed unable to stop looking at him, in public,
in private, even when Obi-Wan was supposed to be asleep. The startling
erotic clarity of his dreams recently, which he now understood must be
influenced by Qui-Gon's own unconscious needs. And the subtle humming
carrier wave between them, its intensity growing every day, until it was
like a swirling electrical charge...
Go to him.
Unexpected and clear, the abrupt command came out of nowhere, catching
Obi-Wan off guard. He stood up from the table, pacing like a caged animal.
It was ridiculous. He couldn't do this. The consequences would be more than
Qui-Gon could accept. It would upset his Master's carefully ordered world,
throw everything known into chaos, create a situation which was dangerous,
totally out of control. His respect for his Master's life work, the
dedication he'd shown to Obi-Wan and his path as a Jedi, was primary to him.
Go to him.
More urgent this time, overthrowing reason. The living Force was flowing
through him, driving him, and Qui-Gon had instructed him never to ignore the
call of the Force.
He would go to the gardens. And perhaps they would talk, and go over this
thing openly, and he could have a measure of peace and calm, and concentrate
on the simple tasks which were quite beyond his capacity in his present
state of mind.
Obi-Wan took a deep, resolved breath and turned to go.
And found Qui-Gon in the doorway.
Taking note of his student's surprise, the Jedi Master remained where he
was, the look he gave Obi-Wan impressive in its inscrutability. "I
believe we should talk, Padawan."
If the words hadn't been so painfully drawn from his lips, Qui-Gon would
have laughed at the absurdity of the situation. His apprentice looked as
restless as he felt and the older Jedi was compelled to draw on every bit of
his training to maintain his collected appearance.
His trance had started off normally, bringing with it a sense of ease but
the moment he had opened himself fully to the Force that had all changed.
The first image had been of hands, just that, nothing more. Unable to
discern who the hands belonged to or what their meaning was, Qui-Gon had let
the vision carry him along, knowing that trying to control it would only
lead to a headache later.
Details appeared as the image sharpened and Qui-Gon recognized the hands;
the tanned skin, the broad palms and long fingers, the calluses raised from
years of training - they were his own.
The vision acquired a tactile component as it shifted, changing to a
picture of his hands moving across an expanse of lightly sun-kissed skin,
tracing and learning each line, each sweeping curve as muscles contracted
and relaxed. Moving lower now, across the tight, flat stomach and the
indentation of a navel. Stopping to trace the shallow cup, swirling one
finger inside in an attempt to catalog every bit of the bounty spread before
Lower still now, to the flaring head of the penis, lifting it from the
bed of crisp gingery curls to stroke down its length. Capturing and rolling
the silken length between his palms, listening to the harsh gasp of his own
breathing as it twined and mated with Obi-Wan's...
The vision shattered apart at that, splintering around Qui-Gon in a
multitude of tiny, razor sharp pieces, each one slashing at the Jedi's
already tattered self-control. This could not be. He could not allow it. But
by the hells he wanted it, wanted to feel the smooth stretch of his
Padawan's flesh beneath his hands, to hear the hitch in Obi-Wan's breath as
he brought him nearer the edge...
Go to him.
The words were a command, not a suggestion, and one that would not be
The situation had to be dealt with, diffused, before it consumed both of
them. Qui-Gon stood, for the moment feeling every bit of his age, and
started back to the rooms he shared with his apprentice. As hard as it would
be, the older Jedi knew that if they could not work through this he would be
required to step aside as Obi-Wan's teacher - something that tore at his
soul and, though Qui-Gon struggled not to acknowledge it, at his heart.
Go to him.
Demanding now, an urgent prodding like a shove between the shoulder
blades, causing him to lengthen his stride. The door slid back at his
approach and Qui-Gon halted, assaulted by the full force of his Padawan's
emotions. Praying for the strength to deal with this as he had to, the older
Jedi waited until Obi-Wan turned, the apprentice's expression changing from
one of determination to wary expectation.
And when our world it falls apart
And the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it
Obi-Wan felt tense and tight, his body a mass of throbbing energy with no
outlet, as he watched Qui-Gon enter the room. Keeping himself at a distance
from the younger man, his Master sat heavily in the large chair near the
"I've never known you to abandon your meditations after such a short
interval, Master." Obi-Wan's observation was pointed, sharp with an
"When one is seeking answers, Padawan, one must first ask the
questions." Qui-Gon's tone was controlled, but there was an edge there,
just underneath the philosophical patience. "Discovery comes as the
inevitable is confronted." A pause, then Qui-Gon added, "We cannot
continue this way."
Bewitching blue-green eyes met nocturnal, deeper blue, their gazes
merging, pulling together like tides toward shore. Obi-Wan felt emotions
crashing through him at an unthinkable rate, jarring him as they smashed
together, rational thought and better judgment splintering against
"If you're going to tell me it's forbidden, don't bother. I don't
care," Obi-Wan said darkly, abandoning any ideas of calm discussion or
putting the issue to rest. "I can't control what I feel...what this is.
I've tried. I already know I can't have what I want." His tone was low,
almost dangerous. "And I won't let you send me away. I won't go."
Qui-Gon's throat constricted as Obi-Wan looked at him, waiting, wanting
him to solve the problem but leaving little room for resolution. His own
hunger seemed to be clawing its way up inside of him, scratching toward the
surface, leaving bloody trails across his heart, his conscience, his
"This mustn't happen," the Jedi Master said, somewhat
desperately, feeling his control crack even as the words landed flat between
them. "If you won't go, then I will. After so many years, to lose what
you've accomplished would be unacceptable. You must become a
"If you try to hand me off to another Master, I'll leave the
Jedi." Obi-Wan saw the words hit his Master, who flinched as they
struck true. He knew Qui-Gon did not doubt his sincerity. "You want me
to complete my training, and so I shall. But not without you."
Qui-Gon felt trapped, and stunned. The decision was not his to make any
longer. If he pushed Obi-Wan away to ensure he became a Jedi, his Padawan
would discard that future to make a path with Qui-Gon. And if he succumbed
to the feelings between them, he would be setting them on a path which might
lead to utter disgrace, and the loss of everything he held dear. Two paths,
with the same probable outcome.
"You cannot throw away your destiny, Obi-Wan." As soon as he
said the name, he saw Obi-Wan shudder with the emotion generated by Qui-Gon's
voice, felt the power of that emotion lash through him, and shuddered
himself in response.
"My destiny is here, Master." Four strides, and Obi-Wan was on
him, straddling him in the chair, his mouth open and moving harshly,
coercing his Master's lips into obedience. His kiss, brutal with the
intensity of his need, softened as Qui-Gon yielded to the raw passion which
ached within them both. He held Qui-Gon's face between his hands, pulling
him up into the ravenous kiss.
He was lifted, and with a gentle shove Obi-Wan tumbled backward onto the
ground, Qui-Gon stretched against the length of him, lips still fastened to
his. Qui-Gon's hand touched the back of Obi-Wan's neck, and Obi-Wan arched
up into the kiss, a low sound of pleasure coming from a place long buried
Doubts, denials, and conflicts were stripped away by the rough, seductive
sound and Qui-Gon's fingers spasmed, closing over the tender skin at the
nape of his apprentice's neck. The pressure drew another guttural moan from
the younger man and Qui-Gon greedily swallowed the vocalization, drawing it
into himself and savoring it as he did everything about Obi-Wan.
Pinned by the weight of his Master above him, Obi-Wan writhed, seeking a
way to strip the clothing from the larger man without losing any of the
contact between them. Each near-frantic shift pushed his aching body against
the pressure of Qui-Gon's thigh and rewarded Obi-Wan with an answering
thrust of the other man's hips.
There was no time for subtlety or gentle seduction; the need within both
had been too long denied for any of the niceties of romance. Now there was
only the driving need to possess and be taken, to cross that final boundary
that separated them and indulge in the acts that had had been reserved for
the most private places in their minds and thoughts.
The feel of hands working at stripping his robe and tunics away brought
Qui-Gon partially back to himself and he tore his mouth from his
apprentice's to stare down at him. "Padawan..." The sight before
him made any other words impossible. Obi-Wan's sea-change eyes shone with a
sensual abandon. A sheen of sweat caused his skin to glow and his lips were
swollen from the force of the kiss they had shared. His beauty was
fascinating, an elixir more powerful than any aphrodisiac. Pushing himself
up on his hands, Qui-Gon separated their bodies slightly, trying desperately
to get some handle on the maelstrom of emotions whirling inside him.
"Obi-Wan," he began again, allowing himself the luxury of trailing
his fingers down the younger man's cheek.
"When will the time for talking be finished, Master?" Obi-Wan's
tone was raw and needy and he shifted again in an effort to bring the other
man closer. "You felt the call as I did. Now you try to reason it
"I cannot deny what I know to be the truth - not any longer, but
this is not the time or the place." The settling of the younger man's
expression into a dark glare drew a pained smile from Qui-Gon. "Do not
think this is any easier for me, Obi-Wan, but if we are to take this step,
it must be with a firm vision of what changes it will bring about. I would
not and will not do anything that will bring you regret." He lifted his
head higher, as though listening to a sound beyond the range of normal
hearing. "We cannot broadcast these emotions here, in the Temple, not
this first time." He stopped, looked at Obi-Wan's darkening eyes.
"If we do, we'll be stopped before we have begun."
"I don't care where we are or what the time is," Obi-Wan
growled mutinously and then sighed, seeing the look of stubborn firmness he
knew so well, and had learned to emulate. He studied Qui-Gon's strong
features, drinking in the rugged planes and angles of the other man's face
as if this would be his last chance to see them at this proximity.
"Tomorrow evening." The words had a weight to them, a finality
that secured the emotion tightly. "I will make arrangements." Qui-Gon
rose swiftly to his feet, extended a hand to his Padawan and pulled him up
from the floor. They stood, hands clasped, irrevocably sealing a bargain of
desire, a choice which would alter their lives forever.