Siri Tachi reached out and pulled the Force into her body, letting it flow through her limbs and out her fingertips and toes as she stretched her body up. She centered herself solidly, and moved into the next form of the G'lia kata. Her movements were fluid, controlled. Perfect, Anakin Skywalker reflected as he watched.
He'd been watching her for almost an hour, and he was riveted. She did this kata so well, so much better than anyone else he had ever seen do it. It didn't hurt that, in addition to presenting a perfect picture of one-ness with the Force, of control, of strength, of the connection between body and mind -- she looked really good doing it. The seventeen-year-old could certainly appreciate the way her muscles moved under the skin-tight black leather bodysuit she always wore. He admired the fact that she was a rebel even in the way she dressed. He'd often thought that he'd wear black when he became a knight. Why not? He admired her for many reasons.
And at the moment, he was admiring her ass as she crouched, her muscular buttocks bunching up pleasantly. She was one of the strongest women he had ever known, and one of the most beautiful. Not the most beautiful -- that title belonged to one woman in particular, but Siri...
Sometimes he really envied Ferus. The thought of being physically corrected by Siri, of having her body pressed behind his, pushing him into place... his stomach fluttered slightly at the thought.
Sometimes he wished she were his master. He loved Obi-Wan dearly, but Siri was so much more free in her manner, less strict in her interpretations of things than was his master. She was more like Qui-Gon in many respects, in Anakin's opinion at least.
He turned to acknowledge Obi-Wan as he came to stand beside Anakin, watching Siri as well. They watched for several long minutes as she progressed through the most difficult sequence of movements of the G'lia. Anakin half expected his master to verbally direct his attention to the perfection of Siri's movements, to turn even this simple pleasure into a lesson, but he didn't. He was, in fact, suspiciously quiet. Anakin stole a glance at him, wondering what was holding his attention so firmly.
Obi-Wan's eyes were fixed on Siri as she moved. Not fixed, Anakin thought, but glued on her physical form. Obi-Wan's lips were parted slightly, and his cheeks were flushed just a bit. The expression on his face was one that Anakin could not recall ever seeing before. He looked entranced. He was breathing a bit too heavily for someone who was standing still.
Anakin returned his gaze to Siri to see that she was holding the final form of the kata: kneeling, arms stretched over her head, back bent, head falling back, chest thrust forward... The expression on her face was one of joy, not the serenity that he was accustomed to seeing on most Jedi. She was sweating from the physical effort, and her short blond hair raggedly fell away from her face. Her lips were parted, and her cheeks were flushed, almost as if--
He looked back to Obi-Wan, and realized what he was seeing -- his master was entranced by more than a well-performed kata.
Siri had felt the presence of the men in the room, had felt their eyes upon her, and hadn't given it much thought. She got those sorts of looks quite often, especially when she was away from the Temple. She knew she was beautiful, and she couldn't care less about her appearance. It simply wasn't important to her, and so she'd cast aside all traces of traditional femininity when she'd assumed her position in the Order as a knight. Her master had always adorned herself with the traditional cosmetics of her people, but such things did not appeal to Siri in the slightest.
Of course, there were times when being a beautiful human female had its advantages. She'd been able to gain access to sensitive information and settle nasty disputes with the aid of a well-timed smile. In many places in the galaxy, male domination was the norm, and she'd found that her beauty had been a valuable tool in many situations.
Of course, at times like this, it was just annoying. She opened her eyes and cast a casual glance at her admirers. Anakin had shown interest in her for several years now. He looked at her in a way that no seventeen-year-old padawan should, as if he knew things that he wasn't supposed to know. Things that no Jedi was supposed to know, truth be told. Things that Siri knew -- and had experienced first-hand during her long years undercover working for the pirate slaver Krayn.
He was grinning slyly at her now, and raised an eyebrow suggestively. She shot him a stern look back. He was cute -- hells, more than cute, but... no. Not with a padawan. She winced internally. Especially not that padawan.
She forced herself to shift her gaze to Obi-Wan, who was standing beside Anakin, leaning against the frame of the door. He was staring at her, an expression on his face she'd never seen before. She returned his open gaze solidly, trying to read him -- something that was never easy to do with Obi-Wan -- when suddenly, quite surprisingly, he blushed. He looked away and collected himself with astonishing speed, but not before she recognized that blush for what it was.
She struggled not to grin, allowing only a flicker of a teasing smile to grace her face. He met her gaze once more, and realized that she'd seen -- and to her amazement, he shrugged slightly and smiled back. The stern Jedi master was gone for that moment, and standing there in the doorway was the beautiful padawan she'd had such a crush on in her late teens. The beautiful, utterly untouchable Obi-Wan Kenobi, who only seemed to notice only one other human being in the galaxy -- his equally beautiful master. That padawan had a wicked sense of humor and a dazzling smile, something the Jedi standing before seemed to have lost years ago.
She'd once followed him into the men's showers by the training salles on a dare from her giggling friends. She hid behind a row of lockers and shielded herself tightly as she watched him strip off his sweaty exercise gear. The sight of water streaming across his sculpted body had been amazing enough, but when he started to touch himself... She'd been unable to resist sliding her hand inside her own leggings, touching herself roughly, and biting down on her cheek as she came. The sight of his soap-slicked hand roughly stroking his hard cock to completion was one she had locked away in her mind, and occasionally opened like a favorite book in the privacy of her own quarters.
The memory brought a slight flush to her cheeks even now. She'd been eighteen at the time, younger than Ferus was now, but old enough to understand that sexual relationships were... well, forbidden was a bit strong of a word for it, but... //Better not to go there//, she thought, unconsciously biting her cheek.
The memory had filled her mind in a matter of seconds, and she wondered if he'd seen any of that memory on her face. She wondered if he'd ever looked at her this way before, and she simply hadn't noticed. She wondered if she should really be thinking these thoughts at all, considering the circumstances.
He broke eye contact abruptly. "Anakin, a word," he said softly. The stern master was back. The two men disappeared down the narrow hallway of the transport, leaving her to stretch and finish her exercise time in the small cargo hold.
She rose to her feet elegantly, shaking out her muscles, mind still slightly occupied with Obi-Wan. She was fairly certain that he was celibate these days -- maybe he had been all his life. No one took a vow, and it wasn't a requirement, but most Jedi avoided sexual contact altogether. They were taught from a young age that sexual relations led inevitably to attachments, which were most certainly forbidden, and that one should think very carefully about engaging in such activity at all.
Of course, they were wrong. Siri had to grin at that. She'd discovered the pleasure of casual, even anonymous, sex during her years away from the Order, and firmly but quietly believed that the tendency towards celibacy was direly outdated. She still found opportunities for the occasion liaison, and though a few experiences had tugged at her emotions, her commitment was to the Order. She didn't want love, or even a relationship. She just honestly wanted someone to fuck on a regular basis. Someone she actually liked and found attractive.
She glanced back at the passageway, wondering. Obi-Wan had his hands pretty full with Anakin these days, and could probably use the opportunity to blow off a little steam every now and then. Of course, she wasn't quite sure how to approach him about the subject, considering the nature of this mission. And could one really just walk up to a Jedi knight, flash a sultry smile, and quip, "Fancy a shag?"
"What was that all about?" Anakin asked with a barely disguised smirk. The boy had followed him back to the small room they shared on the transport and now sat on his bunk, grinning.
"What do you mean?" Obi-Wan replied smoothly, though he had a feeling he knew exactly what Anakin meant.
Anakin leaned back on his elbows. "You know what I mean, Master. I saw how you were watching Siri just now."
Obi-Wan smiled. "Yes, Anakin, I was watching a fine example of the G'lia kata. I hope you paid close attention as well." He picked up his data pad and began scrolling though a list of files.
Anakin snorted softly. "That's not what I meant. You were watching more than a well-performed kata." He raised an eyebrow, as if daring Obi-Wan to deny it.
Obi-Wan felt his jaw clench in the way it always did when one of Anakin's smart-ass remarks hit its target. He should have put a stop to this sort of thing years ago, but he didn't, and it was too late to begin doing so now. He decided to say nothing, focusing on his data pad instead.
The room was silent for a long moment. At last, he heard a sigh. "I'm sorry, Master. I was only teasing. I meant no disrespect."
"Then what did you mean?"
Anakin chewed his lower lip, apparently trying to choose his words carefully. "I sensed... some tension between you and Master Siri, that's all. I thought..." He looked away.
"You thought what?" Obi-Wan took a step closer to stand directly in front of the boy. "Anakin, look at me." His padawan raised his head to meet his eyes.
Anakin opened his mouth to speak, but shrugged instead. He looked like he wanted to be anywhere else at the moment. Obi-Wan couldn't help but smile at his apprentice's discomfort.
This sort of teasing had become more frequent in the last year, and it had an increasingly sexual bent. Obi-Wan wasn't certain he'd been handling it well. Barely more than a dozen years separated them in age, and Anakin generally seemed to regard him more as an older brother than as a father figure.
He decided to take pity on the boy. "I do try to be a good role model for you, Padawan, but sometimes it's quite difficult. I'm only human and Siri is very..." He smiled and ran a hand through his hair.
Anakin broke into a relieved grin. "Well, yes, she's so... heh." His hands flew up in a vaguely vulgar gesture.
"Yes, she is," Obi-Wan agreed, trying to rein in his own smile before Anakin got the wrong idea about the nature of this conversation. "I would be lying if I said I didn't think of Siri in that way, that I didn't... fantasize about her, and certain others, occasionally. We are human, and to deny those sorts of feelings would be unhealthy, to say the least." The words were coming a little more easily now. He looked at Anakin squarely. "But the Code is clear on this point. To act on that desire could lead us to develop feelings which are entirely inappropriate, so we... so I must find another outlet for them. You understand me, don't you?"
A grin split Anakin's face. "You fantasize about her when you masturbate -- is that what you're saying?"
If the floor had opened up and swallowed him at that moment, Obi-Wan would have been grateful. Instead, he blushed crimson and burst out laughing. It was his only defense. Anakin laughed as well, clearly relieved.
"Yes," Obi-Wan grinned, suddenly feeling more relaxed than he had in weeks. "That is precisely what I'm saying." He sat up and straightened his tunic, trying to restore a little of his dignity in the process. "I suppose that I need to meditate on my... feelings where Siri is concerned, and I should probably speak with her as well. No doubt she will have an interesting opinion on the subject."
Anakin stood, smiling broadly. "Well, I'll leave you to your... meditation, then."
Obi-Wan tried to glare at him, but he couldn't. He could only grin in response. "At least I'll have the room to myself for a while," he retorted as Anakin left the room.
Alone, he fell back on the bunk and exhaled, smiling at the fact that he'd been caught. He'd known Siri all his life. She'd always been beautiful, even when she was a little girl. In his eyes that beauty had always been just another feature, like her arrogance, her stubbornness, her ability to piss him off in almost any circumstance, her inability to admit when she was wrong, and the cute way she wrinkled her nose on those rare occasions when she did. It was just part of what came to mind when he thought about her. Which he had been doing quite a bit of lately.
She certainly had her moments, he reflected. She was a strong Jedi, frequently impatient and unorthodox, almost like... Well, yes, she did remind him of Qui-Gon sometimes. But she reminded him of Anakin sometimes as well.
In those moments when she was completely immersed in the living Force, she especially reminded him of Qui-Gon. Today in the cargo hold had been one of those moments. At first, that was what had caught his attention -- the expression on her face, the way the eddies of the Force seemed to swirl around her, moving with her as she breathed -- his breath had hitched in his throat at the sight. Then he'd looked a little more closely.
She really is beautiful, he thought, thinking of the way the black leather had clung to her body as she moved, caressing her sweat-slicked skin. The kata was perfect. She was the only person he'd ever known who could do it so perfectly and make it look so easy. And so... erotic.
Meditate, he thought. I really ought to meditate.
There was a knock on the door. Out of the corner of his eye, he glimpsed Anakin's datapad on the desk. He must have realized he'd forgotten it.
"Anakin, you don't have to knock," he called. Did the boy really think he was so wound up about Siri that he would need to jerk off immediately? Maybe when I was his age.
Another knock. He rolled onto his feet and took the two steps across the room to the door. "Anakin, I'm finished masturbating for the day, so you don't have to--"
The door slid open at his touch, revealing a very amused Siri.
"Fuck!" The word left his lips before he could do anything to stop it, and he immediately cringed.
She smiled wryly. "I'll be sure to knock from now on, then."
"Ah, no, it was a joke..." He grinned helplessly and gestured behind him, motioning for her to come in. "Please. I'm sorry about--."
"No need to apologize, Obi-Wan. It's a perfectly natural--"
He held up his hand to cut her off. "I was apologizing for my language."
"--natural reaction when surprised, I was going to say. Perfectly understandable." She cocked one eyebrow up, clearly amused at his discomfort.
"Yes, well... What did you need to see me about?"
She held up a datapad. "We received an update on the Krisilian situation before we made the jump into hyperspace. I thought you'd like to look over it, and then we can discuss any modifications to the plan."
He nodded and took the datapad, grateful to have something else to think about. He sat on the bunk and began scanning the report. Siri sat next to him quietly.
She took a moment to look at him as he read. He seemed so much older than he ought to, as if these last eight years, all of his knighthood, had taken the toll of twice that many. He hadn't had any time to adjust to his new station, to grieve for his master, or to continue his own learning before assuming the responsibility of training the most powerful and controversial padawan that the Order had seen in a millennium.
But he didn't look worn down, she thought upon closer inspection. Just... tired. In some ways, he still looked like a boy. Rumpled reddish-blond hair reached his shoulders, a length with which he seemed content. He'd recently grown a beard, and she could tell that it was not yet completely filled in, which had the strange effect of making him appear disheveled, despite his otherwise trim appearance. She wondered briefly if he was trying to look more like Qui-Gon, as if modeling his master's appearance would somehow make up for the wisdom and maturity he felt he lacked.
His eyes flicked up at hers briefly, noting her unabashed stare, and returned to the datapad. He shifted slightly on the bunk.
This makes him uncomfortable, she thought. She'd seen the way he was watching her earlier. That had surprised her somewhat, since she'd always assumed he was only attracted to men. Well, to one man certainly. She'd seen the way he used to look at Qui-Gon. When she'd left for her long undercover mission, the Temple gossip had been that they were lovers. She'd never asked him about it, though; it was none of her business.
He exhaled softly, whistling slightly as he did. It drew her attention to his lips. She moved a little closer, under the pretense of reading the datapad over his shoulder. He stiffened slightly at her proximity, and turned to look at her.
She smiled slyly. He swallowed and fixed his eyes on the datapad once more.
Hard to get, eh? She leaned closer still, so close that she could feel the heat of his body filling the space between them. He was not reading now, but was stubbornly pretending to do so.
"Obi-Wan," she whispered, her voice soft and low. He turned his head slightly towards her, looking at her from the corners of his eyes.
"What?" His voice was tight, almost irritated.
She took the datapad out of his hand and set it aside. "I think we need to talk."
"Talk?" He was blushing just a little, just enough that she could notice how she was affecting him. "Siri..." He slid away from her and turned his body to face her. He took a calming breath. "I want to apologize for my... for the way I was... looking at you earlier today, in the cargo hold."
"The way you were looking at me? Why do you need to apologize for that?" She smiled wider, shifting her weight forward so that she could lean closer still. His eyes widened and he licked his lips nervously. Force, he's adorable, she thought. Why haven't I noticed this before?
"It was inappropriate," he replied, his voice barely more than a whisper.
"How was it inappropriate?" she whispered back, her smile taking on a sultry glaze.
He rolled his eyes. "Siri, don't tease me."
"What if I want you to look at me like that?" she whispered, allowing her fingers to brush against his.
His jaw dropped slightly, and he forcibly looked away. "Siri, we can't. Are you suggesting...?" He couldn't even complete the sentence.
I should just kiss him and get it over with, she thought. He could use a good kiss.
"I'm not suggesting anything, Obi-Wan." He looked back up at her at that, confused and slightly flustered. "I'm simply telling you that I'm... available. And interested."
He swallowed hard. "Oh." He still looked uncertain, but it was a start. She grinned, and he rewarded her with a small frazzled smile. She slipped her hand into his and squeezed it, sliding her thumb across the back of his hand. He squeezed back, meeting her gaze steadily now.
She leaned forward and pressed her lips against his.
For a moment she was afraid he'd pull away, but he didn't. He let her kiss him softly, almost chastely, though he kept his mouth firmly closed. It was enough for the moment.
A startled sound at the door broke the spell. They pushed away from each other quickly, putting space between them, but not before two padawans had gotten a good view of their masters' shy kiss. Ferus immediately disappeared from the doorway, so quickly that Siri barely glimpsed his face. Anakin remained a moment longer, a small smile flitting across his features, before turning to follow the other boy.
Obi-Wan exhaled and closed his eyes. "Fuck." This time, he didn't apologize.
"It could have been worse," Siri quipped. He opened his eyes at that.
"Please, tell me, how could it be worse? I just spent fifteen minutes explaining to my padawan that acting on physical desire is inappropriate for a Jedi, and he returns to our quarters to find me kissing you."
"We could have been doing more than kissing," she offered.
He blinked at her. "It was a rhetorical question!"
He sank back onto the bunk, covering his face with his hands. Siri stretched out beside him, and he turned his head to look at her. "I wasn't ready for this, you know. I have no idea what I'm doing." He paused, and she realized he was talking about something else now. "He is so gifted, and so troubled. I'm not sure I can give him what he needs, Siri."
Startled by this rare moment of honesty, she studied his face for a moment before replying. "What about you, Obi-Wan? What do you need?"
He held her gaze, smiling softly. "Siri, you're my friend. I care about you and I respect you. I would be lying if I said that I didn't feel attracted to you. If not for Anakin..." He looked away, voice trailing off.
"I'm not asking for anything, you know. It was just a kiss."
"Just a kiss. Heh." He turned his head towards her again.
She smiled. "Not even a very good kiss. I can do much better. You only need to ask."
"A very kind offer. I'll keep it in mind." He sat up and glanced at the open door. "At the moment, I seem to have enough complications in my life."
Siri had a sneaking suspicion that this might actually simplify things for him. But it would probably take some convincing.
That, however, required time they did not have. They would arrive at Krisilia in twelve hours, where they would separate into two teams, to work on opposite sides of the planet for weeks. She doubted she'd be able to convince him of the rightness of this in such a short time. She had no doubt that she could simply seduce him if she wanted to -- men were easy that way, and she knew which buttons to push. She could fuck him right there, right then, and walk away and not think twice about it. But he was her friend, and that was more important than fleeting physical pleasure.
She stood and straightened her clothing. "I'd better go find Ferus. I think he might have been a little freaked out by this." Obi-Wan nodded absently. "Anakin seemed fine, though. He almost seemed pleased."
"I imagine that he is. He has one more thing to tease me about now."