Qui-Gon paced the edge of the square painted on the floor. The room was large and free of furnishings, had no windows and only one door.
It was a training room for Jedi, one of a thousand like it in this building. Free of distractions and obstacles, it forced the student to use his or her own skills to fight. Only the Force and one's own body were available as weapons.
Qui-Gon looked at his apprentice and smiled. They both enjoyed sparring in this room.
As he had been commanded, Obi-Wan stood in the center of the room, only his eyes moving as he followed his Master's slow pacing around him.
But even if he was still in body, he had not yet quite mastered the technique of how to be still in mind. Or to be more accurate, Qui-Gon thought, how to be still in heart.
As he paced around his Padawan he could not help but pick up the emotions the younger man was broadcasting: determination to complete the exercise, eagerness to please his Master, happiness, contentment, love, desire.
It would have been less distracting had he not had to calm those same emotions within his own heart. He had sat in mediation for an hour before meeting his apprentice here. Soothing the desires inside him was a daily thing, so that he could concentrate on training young Obi-Wan, and not on loving him.
Perhaps bringing him here, where they would train barehanded, will-to-will, was unwise. It tested his resolve, and surely it tested Obi-wan no less, and was all the harder to ignore for his apprentice. But it was necessary.
If they could not focus here, set aside what they felt in this room with no distractions, how could they hope to serve as Jedi, as Master and apprentice, out there?
All of that was true and Qui-Gon believed it. But at the same time there was part of him that cried out in denial every time he turned aside his feelings, or instructed Obi-Wan to do the same.
The look Obi-Wan always gave him when he did so did not help matters either. There was always a flash of hurt and confusion before he would do his best to comply with a mild, "Yes, Master."
He set those thoughts aside as he paced before Obi-wan. There were lessons to be taught, and dwelling on what he preferred would do no service to his Padawan.
Even if that look in Obi-Wan's eyes, even now, made him want to stop and take him in his arms and forget such things as could wait for another day. He reached again for the calm center in his being.
With a wave of his hand he swept his apprentice's feet out from under him.
Obi-Wan didn't fall; instead he instantly grabbed onto the Force and used it to steady himself and stay upright. Even if his feet hovered a centimeter off the floor in defiance of gravity for a moment longer than necessary.
Qui-Gon gave him a brief glance as he settled back onto the floor. Another wave of his hand, and he felt the Force push against Obi-Wan from one side even as he himself moved in on the other.
Obi-Wan meant Force with Force, pushing back with equal strength, allowing him to remain still.
Until Qui-Gon stopped pushing.
With no corresponding energy to brace against Obi-Wan was thrown off balance and stumbled back a few steps. Into his Master's arms.
For a very short moment Qui-Gon remained still, stunned at the force of the sensations from the unexpected embrace. He quickly recovered his equilibrium... only to lose it again as he saw Obi-Wan's eyes.
His apprentice was staring up at him, his emotions even more unguarded than usual. And they all found their equal in Qui-Gon's heart.
"We cannot," was on his lips. Then, instead, were Obi-Wan's.
The kiss was short but heartfelt and when Qui-Gon stepped back he could not find it in himself to resist. That hurt, confused look was back in Obi-Wan's eyes and Qui-Gon decided he hated it.
He stepped forward again and took his apprentice in his arms.
"M-Master?" The confusion was still there but the hurt was fading, replaced by something that looked remarkably like hope. One hand came up and tentatively touched Qui-Gon's cheek.
He sighed. "I fear this is a battle neither of us shall win. Perhaps it is time to save our strength and stop fighting." He tried to sound wise, but truth be told he could barely restrain himself from smiling.
Yes, that was definitely hope, now joined by an almost incandescent joy. "If you say so Master." Obi-Wan was smiling too.
Qui-Gon tilted his head only a fraction, then Obi-Wan was meeting him again, kissing him enthusiastically. It took Qui-Gon a moment to get his attention and push him gently away.
"Not here, I think. This room is not exactly designed for enjoyment." This time he *did* smile.
Obi-Wan ducked his head at that, blushing. He looked wonderful when he blushed, Qui-Gon found himself thinking idly.
"My quarters are closest, Master."
"So they are," Qui-Gon replied. He followed his apprentice out of the training room.
It was lucky that they passed no one but droids in the corridors on the way; neither of them was doing as good a job as they should at keeping their emotions from broadcasting to passersby. Even then, Qui-Gon saw one of the droids look back at them, over its shoulder. But the Jedi's attention was brought back to his apprentice, as Obi-Wan reached out and opened a door.
He followed his apprentice inside, the soft swish of the door closing behind them sounding loud in the charged silence.
Obi-Wan turned to him then, and Qui-Gon could see some of the uncertainty back on his face. "Master, I-"
Qui-Gon smiled. Obi-Wan was beautiful. He reached up and touched his apprentice's cheek and waited calmly. It didn't take long at all. Obi-Wan's uncertainty seemed to drain away at his touch and he reached up and mirrored Qui-Gon's gesture, the beginnings of a smile teasing his lips.
Qui-Gon captured that smile by kissing Obi-Wan again. Obi-Wan moaned, his arms sliding around his master as he pressed his body close.
Definitely no uncertainty there, Qui-Gon thought rather giddily as he felt his apprentice's arousal press against him. Qui-Gon pulled him closer and reveled in the freedom of finally holding him, finally kissing him. He ran his hands down Obi-Wan's back, feeling the lines he had memorized during training sessions. His apprentice shivered at the touch, his own hands moving restlessly over Qui-Gon's back.
And all through this the kiss continued on and on...
Qui-Gon was pleased to see his apprentice had learned his lessons so well. How to hold one's breath was taught at a very young age... but it was only now that it was *really* coming in handy. Qui-Gon broke the kiss, though, when he laughed.
Obi-Wan looked at him quizzically, though he didn't stop smiling.
Qui-Gon didn't try to explain. Instead he glanced at the belt which held Obi-Wan's shirt in place. Should he ask? Or should he leave the necessary conversation for afterwards?
The glance had managed to convey his question however. Obi-Wan's smile widened as he reached out and captured Qui-Gon's hand, then brought it to the fastenings on his belt, giving permission as wordlessly as it had been asked.
Qui-Gon moved quickly with the assurance. He undid the belt and let it fall, then brought his hands up, bringing the ends of the shirt up, over Obi-Wan's head. He dropped it as well; Obi-Wan was staring at him, eyes wide and focused directly on him. It was like being captured by a stasis-field -- a bright, shimmering green stasis field.
Then Obi-Wan's gaze dropped -- to his Master's belt. He glanced back up, eyebrow raised, question in his eyes.
His apprentice needed no more encouragement. Qui-Gon found himself deprived of belt and shirt as quickly as he had gotten rid of Obi-Wan's.
He then found Obi-Wan pressed against him again -- this time the skin on skin was enough to send his senses focusing. Obi-Wan's skin was warm, so smooth against his own. He wanted to push himself against his apprentice and never let go. He ducked his head and placed a kiss on Obi-Wan's neck.
That earned him a gasp and an involuntary thrust of Obi-Wan's hips against him. He kissed the same spot again and got an even stronger reaction. Apparently his apprentice had a very sensitive neck. It was good to know such things about one's apprentice, Qui-Gon told himself with a touch of amusement. He left the spot alone and began searching for other, equally delicious, spots.
He found several too and thoroughly enjoyed the finding too -- having Obi-Wan moaning and shivering with pleasure in his arms was beyond wonderful. But then the tables turned.
Showing a remarkable amount of control Obi-Wan pushed just far enough away to meet Qui-Gon's eyes. "My turn, Master," he announced and began his own search for hot spots.
And he was being very thorough.
Qui-Gon quickly found himself unable to do anything but remain on his feet -- and he had to cheat, and use the Force to help with his balance.
He had had no idea the simplest of touches would ignite such a fire in his spirit -- but here he was, trembling under Obi-Wan's fingers and mouth as though the sun itself were burning a path inside.
Obi-Wan dropped to his knees in front of him, his hands resting on the waist of Qui-Gon's pants. Hesitating, the apprentice looked up, asking for permission before going any further.
"If you stop," Qui-Gon managed, "I shall send you to the Stars Room for a week." One bit of training his apprentice hated.
Obi-Wan laughed. "I have no intention of stopping," he assured his Master, then deftly removed the last obstacle between his and his goal.
Naked, hard, and fully aching for his lover's touch, Qui-Gon concentrated on standing still. Obi-Wan seemed to be doing his best to wreck his concentration, however. Again the apprentice was being very thorough in his explorations -- with one notable exception. Obi-Wan's mouth and hands seemed to be everywhere except the one spot that Qui-Gon wanted them the most.
He wondered how he could communicate to his apprentice what he wanted -- what he needed. Then he recalled the most basic of Jedi training: watch, and learn. He reached out and took Obi-Wan by the hips and pulled him close.
Loosening Obi-Wan's pants, Qui-Gon let them fall and placed his hand where he wanted it.
Obi-Wan stiffened at the touch, then moaned pushing his hips forward. After a few seconds his own hand mirrored Qui-Gon's actions.
Good, Qui-Gon thought. He always was a bright pupil. Qui-Gon continued moving his hand, the sensations in his own body pushing him on. He heard Obi-Wan's breath panting sharply, and held the young man close.
The hand holding him began to speed up its movements, Obi-Wan's mute plea for him to do the same. He did so, now following his lover's motions as a guide rather than the other way around. Obi-Wan pushed against him, standing as close as he could without making it impossible to hold each other.
Qui-Gon could feel the climax building in his apprentice as easily as he could feel his own and knew that neither of them were going to last much longer. Leaning over he once again captured Obi-Wan's mouth in a kiss. The embrace was returned eagerly, passionately... and was all the more he needed. Qui-Gon swallowed his outcry with difficulty -- they didn't need concerned Jedi rushing to his assistance -- and let himself go. He could feel Obi-Wan shuddering in his arms as he did the same and in equal silence.
Perversely, at the next moment all his Force-induced self-control reasserted itself and he was able to stand easily. He maintained a firm hold on Obi-Wan until his apprentice looked up at him.
The gaze was unguarded and so overflowing with wonder, amazement and love that it threatened to take Qui-Gon's breath away all over again. He hoped Obi-Wan could see his own feelings in his Master's eyes. It would be a shame to let such feeling remain unshared -- after so much denial.
The shy pleased smile that barely turned up the edges of Obi-Wan's lips told him his apprentice had seen them. Qui-Gon sighed, a feeling of happiness and peace filling his entire body until he thought he would float away, if he did not maintain control.
Now what? The question presented itself to him.
He knew what. He considered the pleasure-flushed face of his apprentice, then said quietly, "We must return to our practice."
A pause as his words registered. Obi-Wan's expression shifted from pleasure to confusion, briefly to hurt, then settled into acceptance.
"Yes Master," he said with a nod, pulling away from Qui-Gon's embrace.
Qui-Gon pulled him back, instantly. He gave his apprentice a smile but told him seriously, "We must not allow your training to falter. We are Jedi, first," even as his hold of Obi-Wan seemed to belie his words.
He saw the understanding in Obi-Wan's eyes. "We are Jedi, first," he repeated nodding. "But second...?"
Qui-Gon nodded. "Second." he repeated, and kissed his apprentice, his lover, again.
Obi-Wan smiled at him when he pulled back. "Let us return to practice then Master. The sooner we finish the sooner we will have time for seconds."
Qui-Gon laughed, once. "Always you are pushing for seconds, Padawan." He referred to the many nights the Jedi and students gathered for communal meals, enjoying the skills of their most accomplished cooks.
His apprentice laughed, totally unrepentant. "In this I may well push for thirds and fourths as well." Then he grew serious for a moment. "I love you, Master."
Qui-Gon did not reply for nearly two beats of his heart. Then he half-sighed, half-smiled, and gave his beloved a strong hug. "And I you, Obi-Wan. But now we *must* return to training." This time he *did* let go, though only after another moment, and let Obi-Wan step away.
With a total lack of self-consciousness Obi-Wan set about the task of getting dressed. Qui-Gon watched, also without any self-consciousness... for his apprentice's nudity.
Settling his belt back into place Obi-Wan looked up at his Master expectantly. Then he started to smile.
Qui-Gon realized that if he intended to hold them to his words and return to their training, *he* should get dressed, as well. He could feel his apprentice's eyes on him watching him with a warm approval as he went about the mundane task.
When he was finally dressed and the only traces of their loving was in their eyes, in their smiles, and vibrating throughout their entire bodies -- sure, no one would notice -- Qui-Gon headed for the door.
Obi-Wan followed him, a step behind.
Just as the door opened Qui-Gon felt a pinch.
Without faltering a step, he continued walking. He felt for a brief moment his Padawan's disappointment at his lack of reaction. That was fine.
Two steps into the hall he returned the pinch -- lightly, and in front where Obi-Wan had pinched *him*.
He wasn't a Master Jedi for nothing.