Previous episode || Next episode


Author: Emma Grant
Rating: NC-17
Summary: [2.05] Xan takes Obi and Siri on an undercover mission.
Warnings: explicit drug use
Disclaimer:  (We're barely in Lucas's universe at this point --  same names, and a conception of the Jedi that GL probably wouldn't recognize!  So don't sue us.  This is so not what you intended.
Note: Thanks as always to Rita and Helens for all the support and help.  We've been setting this particular storyline up for months, and we truly appreciate the fact that so many people are still reading this little self-indulgence of ours.   As many of you know, we're starting to push the series in a slightly different direction, so any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated!


"Be careful," Qui says, lips an inch from mine.  He kisses me then, full of feeling, and I realize this is going to be the first time we've been apart since we became lovers.

"I will," I reply, planting a soft kiss on the corner of his mouth in return.

He backs away and sighs, forehead creased.  "I wish I were going with you."  He shakes his head and looks away.  "I've been stuck here at the Temple long enough."  

I grin at that.  "You'd really be horrible at undercover work, you know."  And I mean it.  He's the consummate diplomat, and I don't think he could shed his Jedi identity in any conceivable circumstance.

He ruffles the hairs of my closely trimmed beard with his fingertips.  "I don't think I like this look on you."

I shrug, smirking.  "And here I was thinking of keeping it."  I try not to think of brushing it against his thighs.

"Well, the hair is good."

I card one hand self-consciously through the shoulder-length mass of black hair the covert ops department gave me earlier this morning.  The Jedi who specialize in covert  ops research are geniuses at designing physical attributes to accompany the identities they create for us for our missions.  They can also change one's appearance dramatically in a surprisingly short period of time.  My hair has been grown so often over the years that I've learned to enjoy the strange tingling after-effect of the process.

Qui fists my hair and his eyes sparkle.  He likes the after-effects too, apparently.  We'll have to explore that later.

The door of the departure lounge slides open and Obi-Wan enters, ruck sack slung over one shoulder.  He grins at both of us, delighting in the shocked look on Qui's face.

"Do you hate it?" he quips cheerfully.  I stifle a laugh.  His padawan buzz cut hasn't been grown out; rather, it was colored bright green.  And styled into little spikes all over his head.   He seems to have acquired a large number of piercings as well.  The look is so incongruous with the Jedi robes he's still wearing that I can only shake my head in disbelief.

"Padawan, I abhor it," Qui remarks dryly.

"Good," Obi retorts, just before he kisses Qui, hard.  

"Aaggh," Qui grunts, pulling away.  "No, you didn't--"

Obi sticks out his tongue to reveal a silver stud.  Qui looks properly horrified.

"It's only temporary," I suggest, trying to contain my delight.  This obvious display of generation gap always amuses me immensely.

Obi shrugs.  "I suppose I don't have to keep it."

Qui rolls his eyes and turns back to me.  "I assume I can entrust him to your… guidance these next few days?  Please return him with fewer punctures in his body, if possible."

I grin as Qui pulls Obi into a hug.  He grimaces as spiky hair presses into his face.  

The door slides open again and we turn to see Siri enter, followed by Adi Gallia.  Siri's appearance is striking as well -- her shoulder length blonde hair has been grown out considerably and braided into thick fuzzy locks that cascade down her back.  Streaks of color run through some of the strands haphazardly, giving her the look of someone who's just come from a party.  

She squeals at Obi and sticks out her tongue to reveal that she, too, has had it pierced.  

Qui and Adi share a look.

"We should go," I remind them, and there are hugs all around.  Adi admonishes me to take care of her padawan before enfolding the girl in a tight hug.  This is Siri's first mission away from her master.

Qui pulls Obi to the side to talk quietly with him for a moment, and I turn my gaze away when he kisses the boy tenderly.  I get one more kiss from Qui, and I'm finally able to get Siri and Obi moving towards the transport.  

I don't look back as we walk away.  I'm not used to having someone to say goodbye to, and it's unnerved me a bit.

I send Obi and Siri to their quarters to change as soon as we make the jump into hyperspace.  The trip will take a standard day, but I want them to get used to their new clothes as soon as possible.  They haven't done this before, and I'm a bit concerned that they're too enthusiastic about the "pretending to be someone else" aspect of this assignment.  They need to blow off a bit of nervous energy by grinning at each other for a few annoying minutes before they're ready to talk seriously about the mission.  

Obi appears first, smiling at me shyly.  We're dressed similarly, with mismatched bits of body armor over well-worn clothing.  He smirks a bit at the amount of dark eyeliner I applied to myself.  Does he think he's the only one who can look decadent?  I stifle the urge to ruffle his green hair, settling for grinning back at him.  He's adorable at moments like this, and I have to remind myself that this is Obi-Wan Kenobi, the man my lover cares for more than anything.  My smile fades a bit.  

Siri emerges from her tiny room with a flourish, dropping her long cloak to reveal body hugging black leather with a few strategic cut-outs revealing golden expanses of skin.  Obi and I just smile at her as she slinks across the room.  She stops halfway, folding her arms across her chest and tossing those long blonde locks over her shoulder.  "Ironic, isn't it?  I get to look sexy when there's no one around to appreciate it."

Obi shoots me a strange look when I laugh.

"I trust you remember your weapons training," I say as I open a large case before them on the table.

"Fuck," Siri says, her eyes widening appreciatively at the contents: several different styles and sizes of blasters, vibroblades, small stunners and detonators.

I hand her a Crotal 256 blaster.  "Are you a good shot with one of these?"

She grins as she turns the weapon over in her hands.  "Crack."

I hand Obi two smaller blasters, and he straps a holster around his thigh. He leans over and his hand moves automatically to tuck his missing padawan braid behind his ear.  He frowns at himself when he realizes it.  

Siri chooses a sleek-looking vibroblade and powers it on, briefly mesmerized by the glow of the blade.  I choose a blaster for myself, something powerful and understated, and tuck a detonator into a pouch on my belt.  

"Now, 'sabers," I say, tossing mine into the case.  

"What?" I look up to see them both blinking at me.

"'Sabers," I repeat, enunciating the word carefully.  "In the case."  They exchange a glance, both clearly disturbed by the idea of leaving their personal weapons behind.  "Look," I tell them with a sigh, "you can't take them with you.  The risk is too great.  We don't know what happened to the operatives, and it could be that their true identity has been uncovered.  We cannot risk anyone in the cartel discovering that we are Jedi as well."

"Xan, how can you…?"  Obi's lips are a thin line of irritation, and he looks away.  "We could conceal them, you know.  In case of an emergency."

"Meaning that in an emergency, you would use it," I retort.  "That is unacceptable.  We are not here, Obi-Wan.  We cannot reveal ourselves as Jedi."

"What are you talking about?"

I grimace; apparently the basic premise of covert work has evaded Obi-Wan.  "You do realize that we are about to infiltrate a spice cartel, and then somehow find and recover two Jedi operatives.  Have you any idea how many tenets of the Code we're about to break?"

His jaw drops at that, and his face flushes.  "I won't--"

"Yes, you will," I reply, struggling to keep my voice even.  "We were assigned this mission, and we will complete it."  

"I don't understand," he says, crossing his arms over his chest.  "The Senate… This is beyond the charge of the Jedi.  We're not allowed to--"

"Thank you for reminding us all of the limitations of the Code," I reply through gritted teeth.  "I realize the situation may be too complex for you to comprehend, but Covert Ops does not report to the Senate.  We do not even report to the full Council.  The Code does not apply."

"The Code always applies," Obi-Wan replies, raising his voice as much as he dares.  "Isn't that why you wanted me on this mission -- to remind you of that fact?"

It's all I can do not to spit out my words.  "Your loyalty to the Code will get us all killed."

"Only if your recklessness doesn't!"

"Enough!"  Siri shouts.  We turn to see her glowering at us, hands on her hips.  She stares at Obi hard, until he swears quietly and looks down.  After another moment, she breaks the silence by tossing her 'saber into the case.  "I trust you, Xanatos," she says.   

I nod, though I can't bring myself to say anything.  I glance at Obi-Wan.  He exhales, and then nods.

"Fine," he says, and hands me his lightsaber.  As I take it, our eyes meet.  He doesn't trust me, and I can only hope it won't be a problem.

We pass the next few hours in silence, much to my distress.  The tension between the three of us is distracting, and I need to do something about it.  I lean against the wall in the main chamber of the transport, closing my eyes.

"Siri?"  Obi-Wan enters the room, and I blur the Force around myself before he sees me.  He looks around and calls her name again before she emerges from her cabin, squinting at him -- she must have been asleep.


"Are you…" He pauses, perhaps considering his words.  "Do you feel ready for this?"

Siri stretches and yawns, then nods.  "Do you?"

Obi sighs.  "I think so.  I'm not happy about it, though."

"I know you're not," I say, dropping the shield.  Obi and Siri both gasp and spin to face me.  I smile and push off from the wall.  "But I need to know I can trust you before we start this.  Lives are at stake, you know."  I stop before Obi-Wan, and he looks up at me steadily.

"How did you do that?" Siri asks.  I turn my head slightly to smile at her.  There are a lot of things I know how to do that they don't teach at the Temple.  I'm not sure how many of them I'd be able to justify, if pressed.

Obi-Wan ignores both her question and my lack of response.  "I won't pretend to agree with you, Xan.  But I will follow you, despite my misgivings."  He forces a small smile.  On impulse, I seize his face in my hands and kiss him.  He pulls back quickly, a little shocked.

"Oooh, do I get one too?" Siri laughs.  

"Yes, but no tongue for you," I reply before pecking her on the mouth.  They both smile.

The tension seems to have eased a bit, but I'm still worried.  It's one thing for Obi to agree to do his duty here and now; it's quite another for him to do it when I need him to.

Everything seems to be proceeding according to plan.  We landed in an inconspicuous spaceport near the capital city of Gollin 3, and we managed to draw no unwanted attention to ourselves as we made our way through the darkened alleys of the Blanikh District.  I have no contacts in this sector, so we're on our own entirely.  It's the kind of situation that would normally give me a thrill, but this time I'm responsible for the welfare of two inexperienced padawans and two missing Jedi operatives.  Needless to say, I prefer to be responsible only for myself.

In a fairly dingy, but promising, establishment, I park Obi and Siri at the bar with instructions for them to keep their eyes open for potential trouble.  Then I cruise, looking for the local spice hopper.  Usually they aren't so hard to spot -- well-dressed, but without a gram of class or taste.  They're typically well-armed too, and I spot my first candidate based on that criterion alone.  She's a Hylatl, a humanoid with pronounced ridges on her forehead and large glowing eyes.  And a really big blaster.

I offer to buy her a drink and strike up a "casual" conversation.  It quickly becomes clear that she is precisely who I was looking for, and we come to an arrangement.  She leaves with my comm code and a large number of credits, and I head back to the bar, where Obi and Siri are… kissing.  Fairly heatedly, from the look of things.  His hands are gripping her ass, and one of her hands is out of sight altogether.

I settle next to them at the bar and order a drink, hoping that the sound of my voice will startle them out of their moment of passion.  Obi leans subtly against me, a pre-arranged signal.  I put a hand on his thigh and squeeze slightly, and then focus with the Force to press into his mind.  

//What the fuck are you two doing?  You were supposed to be watching the door.//

//We were.// I hear in my head, //We're capable of doing several things at once, you know.//

Somehow I doubt they're really capable of monitoring the room while glued to each other's faces.  I give them another casual glance.  It's full-on, open-mouthed snogging.  Sort of odd, really.  

Obi can apparently sense my confusion.  //We became a little tired of everyone hitting on us.  This seemed a good solution.//

//You can stop now, you know.//

I try to mask my irritation as they pull apart rather messily.  Siri's eyes linger on Obi's lips for a moment, before she clears her throat and hardens her expression.  Obi-Wan shoots her a strange look.

Siri's hand covers mine on Obi's thigh, and I focus harder in order to reach both of them at once.  Neither of them are able to initiate this type of contact, though they both tried very hard to learn during the short trip here.  It's easy enough if there's a training bond in place between two people, but to be able to do it with a random Jedi requires a different level of skill altogether.  

It's not the sort of thing that's taught at the Temple, of course.

I'll berate them later for their behavior at the bar -- no need to get into that now.  While casually sipping my drink, I use the connection to tell them about the contact I made and the information she gave me.  If all goes well, we'll receive a comm within the hour telling us where to go to meet a representative from the cartel.  

They both nod, expressions serious and thoughtful.  We drink in silence for a few minutes, watching the crowd.  I've spent years of my life hanging out in such establishments, watching the locals, listening to the chatter in a dozen languages.  The air is smoky and stuffy with the scent of fifteen different species, just like any other bar of this type in the galaxy.  It's so familiar that I'm almost comfortable.

I find my thoughts wandering to the missing operatives, knowing that it could have just as easily been me.  Would anyone have come to look for me, had I gone missing?

I doubt it, somehow.  

I sling back the rest of my drink and suggest we return to the ship.  The padawans hop to their feet.

I grip Obi by the back of the neck and shoot Siri a meaningful glance.  She slips her arms around my shoulders and kisses my neck.  We're standing in a shadowy alley, and it probably looks to passersby that I've just picked up a couple of young tricks for the evening.

//Are you ready for this?// I ask.

//Yes,// I hear, in unison, in two distinct voices.

//Just remember -- if in doubt, keep your mouths shut.//

I feel the smirk from Obi at the same moment that I hear his voice in my head:  //Yes, Master.//  I release him with a little shove.

We round the corner and find ourselves facing what looks like the door of a brothel.  I double-check the building number against the address I memorized, and then take a step forward to touch the signal.  A moment later, a weathered-looking woman opens the door just enough to stick her head through.

"Yesss?" she says, eyeing us coolly.

"We're here to see Jassock," I tell her.  

She snorts.  "Sure you are."  But she opens the door and gestures us through.  We step into the entryway of what is -- undoubtedly -- an actual brothel.  A few pleasure workers are lounging around in chairs, smoking suspicious substances.  They glance our way curiously.

"Wait here," the woman says in a tone that indicates she usually isn't disobeyed.  

As soon as she disappears from view, one of the prostitutes slides to his feet and crosses the room, smiling at us.  He stops before Obi and makes a show of checking him out.  Obi smirks, but otherwise doesn't respond.

The boy -- who can't be older than fifteen standard years -- pouts slightly before stepping even closer and smiling in a way he must believe is alluring.  "Oh, come on.  I'll let you do anything you want to me."  He blinks long lashes, his glassy eyes staring up at Obi dreamily.  "Anything at all."

Obi squints and opens his mouth to speak.  

"Anything?" I interrupt, pushing into the boy's mind a bit.  He shifts his gaze to me blankly.  I grin at him, then slide one hand around the back of his neck and pull him close enough to breathe into his ear.  "What if I just want to hear you scream?"  I bite his earlobe hard enough to make him yelp slightly.  

He stiffens and I release him.  He staggers back and glances at Obi once more before turning and walking out of the room, shaken.

I smirk, feeling Obi-Wan's shock and anger clearly.  "You ought to try to have a sense of humor, you know," I grumble.

"I fail to see the humor in threatening underage prostitutes with torture," he hisses back.

"That's because you're too young to appreciate the erotic beauty of pain," I reply smoothly.  I can see his head whip towards me, but my attention is caught by the door opening and our hostess's form reappearing.  

"This way," she says.  We follow her through the door, and find ourselves in a small nondescript room.  "Leave your weapons here."

"Now, wait a minute," I protest, holding my hands up.  "I'm not going in there without--"

"That's the deal," she replies, eyes hard.  "Jassock's rules."

I shrug and roll my eyes before nodding to Siri and Obi.  We empty our holsters onto the table.  

"I hope to hell this room is secure," I complain, "because I'm holding you responsible if I lose my favorite blaster."  I note that Siri's vibroblade hasn't been placed on the table.

"Yeah.  Sure."  The hostess jerks her head towards another door.  "And if Jassock shoots you for mouthing off, can I keep it?"

I glare at her and walk through the door.  A large dark-furred wookiee is on the other side, and I nearly run into him.  I crane my neck up and blink.   "You're a big fucker"

::And you're a smart-ass,:: he replies.  ::Watch your mouth, or I'll find a better use for it.::

I swallow hard at that, and feel Obi's hand goosing me as the wookiee turns and walks away.  "Now that was funny," he whispers.

"Fuck you," I retort.  "You've never seen a wookiee hard before."     

Obi makes a choking noise.

The wookiee leads us down a winding corridor and into a lift.  His gigantic hand/paw punches in a code, and I notice Siri's eyes are fixed on the keypad as he does.  She flicks her eyes at me and nods very slightly.  Impressive.

"So, how do you like working for Jassock?" I ask airily.  The wookiee glares at me.  "Fine," I grumble.  "Not very chatty, are we?"

Obi rolls his eyes.

The lift door opens and we are led down another winding hallway, and then into a room where we are frisked by a few rough-looking characters.  I cast a glance at Siri, nervously watching to see if she hid her vibroblade well enough.

"Watch it," she growls at the man frisking her, gripping his wrist tight enough to cause the man to wince in pain.  "I didn't hide anything there."  She glares at him and he backs away, to my surprise.

"Sorry, miss," the man says.  It's another second before I realize she used the Force to convince him to stop searching.  I try not to grin -- I'll be sure to praise her for that later.

The wookiee gestures us through yet another door, and we find ourselves in a spacious suite of rooms.  I hear laughter and music coming from one of them, though the room we're in is empty except for a desk with a terminal on the far side.  

Seemingly out of nowhere, a young man appears, professionally and stylishly dressed.  I begin to wonder if we look a bit scruffy for this mission.  The man sits behind the desk and waits.  The wookiee grunts and pushes me forward.

This scene is supposed to intimidate us, and so I let myself feel intimidated, while trying to appear overly cocky.  Obi and Siri are supposed to follow my lead, and so far, they're keeping up nicely.

"You asked to see Jassock regarding the shipment?" the man says, folding his hands together on the surface of the desk.  His dark skin almost shines in the artificial light of the room, and it's quite a contrast to the iridescent white of the desktop.  My eyes trail back up to his face.  He's human, and probably a few years younger than me.  Hundreds of small braids of hair sprout from his head, giving him a bit of a quirky look.  His dark eyes search mine for a moment, and I smile.  He's quite attractive, and he's not uninterested in me.  That might come in handy.

"Yeah," I reply, wetting my lips with the tip of my tongue.  "My employer would like to take some of it off your hands."

"And your employer?" he asks, sitting back in his chair slightly, smiling at me.

"Wishes to remain anonymous, for the time being."

"That may cost extra.  Jassock likes to know where the product goes."

"I'm sure I can think of a way to make up the difference," I say, as teasingly as I dare.

The man smiles, and then laughs, eyes flashing.  "Yes, I'm sure you could."  He stands and walks around the desk, stopping in front of me.  "We'll discuss this in the morning.  Why don't you join the party until then?"  He jerks his head towards the noise, and the braids flop around entrancingly.  

"Sounds like fun," I grin, glancing at Obi and Siri.  They nod, though I can sense a little unease from both of them.  

We follow our host down yet another corridor, and I begin to wonder if the padawans could find their way out again if necessary.  The party noise gets louder and louder, until we find ourselves facing a door.  It slides open, and we're greeted by a scene that could rival Rising on a busy night.  Beings are everywhere, dancing, talking, fucking… and many of them are clearly very high.  The lights are low and the air is smoky, in direct contrast to the room we were just in.  

My mind spins as I wonder where all of these people have come from -- surely the security we passed through isn't the only way into this place.  I make a mental note to warn Obi and Siri when I get a chance.  Perhaps one of them can start investigating.  

Our host gestures for us to follow him across the room to a dimly lit corner where a group of people are lying on cushions, in various stages of undress and inebriation.  In the center of it all is a Twi'lek woman, elegantly clad and cautiously surveying the scene around her.  She sees our approach and raises a sleek blue eyebrow at our guide, who nods at her in response.  She pushes to her feet and moves to stand before us.

"I'm Jassock," she states, studying each of us carefully in turn.  "I understand you'd like to do a little business."

"Yeah," I reply, smiling at her.  "A lot of business, actually."

She regards us for another long moment and then looks at the man standing beside us.  "Tam, clear some space for our new guests, and bring them a little treat."

Tam whispers to a uniformed server, and then proceeds to push a few people on the cushions aside.  They scramble away without having to be told twice.

We settle to the floor, Siri and I on either side of Jassock, and Obi-Wan next to me.  He stretches out his legs over mine and smiles at Jassock.  

After a moment, I realize he's only touching me because he wants to talk.  I send a mental query.

//What are we going to do, just hang around all night?//

//Yes.  Observe.  Listen.  See if you can learn anything that might be useful.//

He looks around at the debauchery.  //Are we going to… participate?//

//That's up to you,// I tell him.  //It may be a useful way to gain information.  I wouldn't suggest you take any substances unless you're certain you can flush them.//

I feel the mental equivalent of a nod, and he moves away.

Jassock and Siri have been talking quietly, and I focus my attention on them.  Siri giggles, and then a server appears with a tray.  I blink at its contents for a moment.

"These are from the current shipment," Jassock says, watching me carefully.  "Why don't you sample what you're going to buy?"

"So we have a deal, then?" I ask.

"No more business talk," she responds smoothly.  The skin around her eyes crinkles, and I realize that she's likely much older than she first appeared.  She's clearly had a lot of work done.  She sits forward and reaches across my body for the tray, blue forearm brushing against my groin as she moves.

Fuck.  Am I going to have to…?  I force a smile.  

Jassock points out a few different substances on the tray.  "Crystallized Artinian spice.  Refined Hwalik weed.  Toy.  Yalla Bantha.  Liquid gold.  What'll it be?"

I smile, stalling.  Everything on that tray is a Class One narcotic, highly illegal and addictive.  Even I have a hard time flushing substances like those from my system; I have no idea whether Obi and Siri will have a chance.  There's nothing lighter on display, and fearing that one of the padawans will have to choose next, I pick the hardest item on display.

"I guess this is a special occasion," I remark, picking up the syringe containing the liquid spice.  I feel a wave of shock from Obi-Wan, and I ignore it.

Jassock smiles wickedly as I clench the syringe in my teeth and roll up my sleeve.  Obi-Wan slams his thigh against mine, and I ignore him yet again.  I clench my fist and pull my sleeve tight around my bicep, looking for a vein.  

"Boss," Siri says.  I look up at her, and see the concern in her eyes.  She opens her mouth, but doesn't say anything.  

Jassock pulls Siri into her lap and fondles one of her breasts.  "Don't worry, precious.  There's more where that came from."  

I watch Siri's expression flit between annoyance and concern, and I wink at her.  I know what I'm doing, and the best way to convince the two of them is to show them.  I slap the skin of my arm until it turns pink.  A vein rises at last, and I take the syringe in hand, holding it up and compressing it a bit to be sure there isn't any air in the liquid.  I focus my senses on my arm, pulling the Force into me, and then carefully pierce the skin.  The needle is cold, and the heightened awareness makes the pinch feel more intense than it normally would.  I depress the syringe slowly, and focus hard on pushing.  

The world wobbles a bit, and a haze drops over my vision.  I start to… fuckfuckfuck  I clench my teeth.  A fuzzy shadow, and another pinch in my arm.  I push.  Someone strokes my forehead.  It feels so…  it's tempting to just float here for a while.  I push.  

Oh.  I'd forgotten about that.  The way it…


The world starts to come back into focus, and I realize the arms around me belong to Obi.  My mind isn't completely clear, but I only feel mildly drunk now.  I stroke Obi's thigh.

//Don't worry.  I know what I'm doing.//

//Xan!//  I feel a burst of relief, and then anger.  

I open my eyes to see Jassock kissing Siri.  She breaks away to smile at me.  "Hello there," she says.  

I only smile dazedly in reply, since I shouldn't be able to speak after a dose of that stuff.

"Wanna dance?"  I hear.  I look up to see a boy extending a hand to Obi-Wan.

//Go,// I tell him.  //See if you can find another entrance to this room.  All these people couldn't have come in the way we did.//

He squeezes my shoulder and leaves.   

I relax into the cushion for what seems like an hour.  No one talks to me, and no one bothers me.  I use the time to search and to continue to purge the spice from my bloodstream.  I reach out as much as I dare with the Force, but I can't sense any other Jedi nearby.  This shouldn't surprise me, since I've often masked my Force signature while undercover.  It worries me, though, because if the operatives were being held against their will, I wouldn't expect them to shield.

"Wake up," a soft female voice calls.  I open my eyes to see Jassock looking down at me.  "I have a surprise for you."

I clamber to my feet, noticing that Siri is snogging Tam not far away.  Her job is to gain access to the cartel's communications array, and I'm sure Tam could be useful for that.  Obi is still nowhere to be seen.  I stagger after Jassock, catching Siri's wary glance as I do.

Jassock pulls me by the hand to a door.  I reach out a bit, sharpening my senses as much as I dare.  After only an hour, I should still be fairly wasted, and I slur my words as best I can, asking, "Where're we goin'?"

"Patience, now," she coos.  "You'll like this.  I promise."  The door closes behind us, and we're in a small circular room with a large cushion on the floor.  A spotlight focuses on the cushion and brightens, and that's when I notice the crumpled figure stretched out there.

Jassock leads me forward.  A man is lying on the cushion, hands bound behind his back, his thin body curled around itself.  I blink at Jassock, a bit confused.

"He's all yours," she says, stroking a hand over my groin.  "Liquid gold is a powerful aphrodisiac for humans, I understand."  She traces the outline of my cock though the thin fabric of the trousers, lingering in a sensitive spot.  I force my body to respond to her touch.  "This one's been a bad boy, so feel free to punish him all you like.  I'll be watching from over there."  Her body heat leaves my side, and I step forward, stifling a shiver.

I'm honestly not sure what I should do.  This man seems barely conscious, and it would be nothing short of rape to proceed as Jassock expects me to.  I dislike the idea of forcing myself on someone in his condition, though I realize this is a test of sorts.  I need to comply with Jassock's wishes.  I need to gain her trust, or I'll have no hope of finding out what happened to the missing operatives.

This is exactly the sort of dilemma I'm always presenting to my seminar.  I steel myself and make my decision.  I'll try not to hurt him, if I can avoid it.

I reach out to touch the man's shoulder, and he shivers slightly.  I grit my teeth.  Unfortunately, he's going to be completely aware of everything that happens to him.  I reach out with the Force, to see if I can tell if he's injured in any place I should avoid touching.

And it bounces back to me, as if it were…

I pull him to a sitting position roughly, and the first thing I see is the implant in his neck.  I swallow hard, pushing my emotion down.  I hesitantly look at his face.  He's about my age, maybe a few years older, though he's obviously been treated roughly.  His face is turned away from me, long reddish blonde hair streaming over his shoulders.  He's clean, if malnourished and abused.  They at least want him to look appealing, and there aren't many obvious bruises.  My eyes are suddenly riveted by his skin -- not just skin, but freckles, everywhere.  

Freckles.  Oh, hells.

Steeling myself, I take his jaw in my hand and turn his face toward me.     

It's Jal Benyat.  

My mind spins, and I'm thankful that I'm supposed to be stoned as I fall to my knees before him.  Jassock laughs, somewhere across the room.

Jal Benyat is dead.  He died, thirteen years ago.  They said his body was so badly damaged that they couldn't bring it back to the Temple for the ceremony.  He was there, in my bed, and he kissed me goodbye that morning before he left on that mission, and then I never saw him again.

But here he is, looking up at me with the same eyes.  No, they're not the same eyes -- they're dead, in a way.  Drugged, at the very least.  He shows no sign of recognizing me.  He shows no sign of any emotion at all.

I suddenly realize I've found one of our operatives.
I can almost hear Obi's voice in my head now: "How will we be able to find the operatives if we don't even know who they are?  Someone must have a high enough clearance to know who the operatives are."

"No," I'd said.  "Their Temple records are erased when they go into deep cover.  They're only identified by a code name, and there are no records matching their real identities with the codes.  In many cases, it's as if they simply ceased to exist."

"But Yoda knew who you were," he'd replied.  "You said that Yoda kept in touch with you."

I'd sighed, knowing this would be hard to explain.  "Yoda and I had a special arrangement.  He was the only one who knew where I generally was, and he didn't always know specifics.  He probably wouldn't even have been able to connect my code name with me."

"Then how did he communicate with you?"

"We had an arrangement."  He'd crossed his arms and sighed, saying that he hoped I had a plan for finding two missing Jedi we didn't know, and who could be anywhere in the sector.  

"I'm open to ideas," I said.  And I'd left it at that.

And now here I am, looking at one of the operatives we were sent here to find.  His eyes are still blank, and I wonder how to tell him who I am.  I wonder how much of him is left.  I wonder what's happened in the last few months.  Years.  Shit, why didn't I know this before?

I kiss him.  He doesn't respond, allowing his lips to be parted by my tongue and offering no resistance.  The gravity of the situation begins to affect me, and I realize with a jolt that there is now little chance I'll be able to get an erection naturally.  I continue to kiss him, sliding my hands down his body, and I start thinking.

If I try to back out, it's likely that Jassock will send him away, and I might never see him again.  So I'm going to have to stretch this out as long as I can, maybe even convince her to let me see him again.  If only I could reach him.  If he recognized me, if he knew I was going to help him…   

I release him for a moment and lean back on my heels.  I start to undress as slowly as I can, keeping my eyes fixed on his face.  He doesn't seem to be looking at anything, just staring blankly ahead.  

What if he's been mentally altered somehow, so that he's just a docile toy for anyone to use?  My hands tremble a bit and I slide my shirt off of my shoulders.  I begin unfastening my pants, but realize I should probably wait until I can manage an erection.  

I lean over Jal, pressing him onto his back before grinding against him, kissing him again.  Still no response.  I glance at his face to see his blank eyes are fixed on the ceiling.

Nearly desperate, I clench his chin.  "Look at me," I whisper.  

He obeys, but his eyes are still blank.  He's just lying there, limp, defeated.  Frustrated, I turn his head to the side and press my mouth against his ear.  

"You're Jal Benyat," I whisper.  "You're a Jedi knight."

He stiffens underneath me instantly, and a wave of relief washes through my body.  He's aware, and the limpness was an act.  I bury my nose in his neck for a moment as I continue to grind against him, and then look at his face.  His eyes are more alert now, and he's searching my face carefully.  He clearly doesn't recognize me.  I look very little like the young padawan he knew, though.

"I'm a Jedi," I whisper again.  "I want to help you."  I push with the Force as hard as I can, and it bounces back yet again.  Frustrated, I move down his body to take his limp penis in my mouth.  He gasps slightly at the stimulation, and it occurs to me that he may not have experienced any pleasure in these scenarios.  He grows hard in my mouth, and soon I'm bobbing up and down in earnest.  He writhes beneath me a bit, and I finally feel myself responding.  If I focus on him and his pleasure, maybe this will work.  Maybe I can even find a way to remind him of who I am.

I release him and wriggle out of my pants.  Sensing what's coming, he positions himself on his knees and presses his face into the cushion beneath him.  The sight of his ass displayed before me is both intriguing and horrifying.  I wonder how many times he's had to do this?  I have a brief moment of panic about the fact that there's apparently no barrier or lube available, and then I notice his asshole is glistening -- he's been prepped for this.  I close my eyes at that, and grit my teeth at the knowledge that this has become his life.  Being fucked by random strangers, raw.  

I'm supposed to be stoned, so asking for a barrier now seems out of character.  It didn't occur to me to carry any on me this evening.  It seems I don't have a choice.  

Well, most diseases are quite easily cured.  I think.

I have to stroke my cock to get myself hard enough to penetrate him, and I feel him tense as I do.  I can only hope this isn't painful.  It doesn't seem like he can communicate much.  I thrust into him slowly and steadily, trying to remember him as he was when we were younger, trying to visualize this beautiful man draped across my bed, with the sun streaming in through the window.  He always shouted my name when he came, and it made me laugh.  I didn't think people really did that until I met him.  

He was the first person who told me he thought he might be in love with me.  And then he died.

I shut my confused brain down and commence with the fucking.  

I rest my weight on his back, moving steadily, and find his half-hard cock with my hand.  I try to coordinate the movements, but I'm so overwhelmed that it's difficult to concentrate.  He even smells the same.  I'd forgotten the exact color of his hair, or that he had that birthmark on his shoulder.  I bite it gently, and he sobs beneath me.

It's the most noise he's made yet, so I trace it with my tongue, thinking about how I used to lick every inch of his skin until he begged me to suck him off.  I feel myself getting close, and I slow it down.  

His bound hands are pressed uncomfortably against my stomach, and I pause long enough to untie them with a touch of the Force.  He whimpers and tucks his arms under his torso, panting.  I start to move again, and then realize I don't want him like this.  I want to see his face.  I pull out of him and turn him over, pulling his legs up onto my shoulders.

He stares at my face as I push into him again.  I don't know what he's thinking, and it frustrates me to no end.  I press myself onto him as I start to move, folding him in half and pouring my emotion into his mouth.  I push with the Force again, the way I would to initiate telepathic contact, and I let my frustration drive it this time.  I'm only barely aware that my thoughts are breaking through, and that I'm sending him a stream of images of us, in the gardens, in his quarters, in the back room of a club.  Suddenly he's kissing me back, tentatively.  His arms wind around my back.  He moans rhythmically.  I bury my face in his hair, fucking him hard, thinking his name over and over.  I feel his body clutch me as he comes.  He grunts strangely, as if he were trying to choke it back.  I keep moving, and I feel myself on the edge.  I push up onto my elbows for a little more leverage, and his eyes find mine.  

"Xanatos," he whispers.

I come, and then collapse.   


Read the author's notes on this episode!

Previous episode || Next episode

Back to the QAJ archive