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Triumverate [2.14]

Authors: Elocin Oco & Ms Swift
Rating: NC-17
Summary:   Qui-Gon learns to deal with changes in his relationships with Xan and Obi-Wan in the aftermath of their failed mission.
Disclaimer: We are playing with other people's toys, but we always put them away neatly. No money was made, of course.
Note:   Thanks to Emma and Rita for their patience and understanding while we picked up the pieces and started again. We're finally catching on!


Obi-Wan is curled against me, his morning erection nudging my thigh. We wake up like this most mornings, these days.  I've wanted him to need me again, and now he does. I should be careful what I hope for.

"Qui," he murmurs, guiding my hand to his cock, his fingers trailing up my arm as I start stroking him. I watch his eyes flutter closed as tight lines of pleasure mark him. He's hiding from me, shielding so I can't feel him.  It doesn't last long and he comes with a soft grunt, jetting onto my hand and leg. His face softens and he smiles sleepily, and all I can think is: I miss Xan.

Xan hasn't come to me since the mission. I've tried to give him the space he needs to sort this out, but I want so much to help him.  He's been aloof these last weeks; more aloof than normal, even for Xan

I flinch as Obi-Wan's hand swirls over the wetness on my leg, idly rubbing it in. I pick up his hand before he can reach for my cock. I'm not hard.  I don't want to be, not today. I miss Xan too much.

"What's wrong?" he asks, frowning.

"I'm just not in the mood."

Obi-Wan sits up quickly, leaving me to stare at the rounded white flesh of his hip. In a moment he flounces off the bed, towards the fresher. "Hells, just go see him," he says, turning at the 'fresher door, "and put yourself out of your misery."

He disappears into the fresher and I stare at the door for a moment.

He's right. I've been waiting for Xan to come to me. I should just go to him. I suspect Obi-Wan is speaking from experience. Even though he still sleeps with me most nights, in the last couple of weeks he's had the odd night away, and he seems more like his old self. I can only assume he finally went to see Bail.

But Xan isn't anything like Bail Organa. The more I try to force Xan to talk to me, the more he pulls away. I know I can't just show up on his doorstep and start making demands. But if I don't go to him, who knows how long it could take? He's the most stubborn man I've ever known. I really want to go back to sleep and forget the whole thing, but that's only delaying the inevitable. I've got to make a decision, and I need to make it soon.

I eye the chrono on the wall and sigh. Obi-Wan reserved the salle for us and he was supposed to be here ten minutes ago. It's not like him to be late. I've already warmed up and now I'm just wasting time. I'm too restless to wait for him today.  

I walk over and get my commlink from my bag but before I can activate it, I hear the door hiss open.  "Padawan, you're late. You'd better have a damned good--"I turn around and find myself staring at Xan. "Oh. I thought..."

"Qui," He says smoothly, nodding.  "I'm supposed to meet Obi-Wan."

I'm completely confused for a moment before it dawns on me that my sneaky, sith-spawned apprentice has set us up. I should be furious at him for trying to manipulate me, yet again. It seems to be what he's best at -- well, at least lately. But instead, I only smile. For all his clinging, Obi-Wan was trying to fix everything.  "To spar, I suppose?" I ask.

"No, to talk about the weather. Of course to spar!  What the fuck is going on?" he demands.

"I think we have to assume Obi-Wan wants us to work out our differences."

He mutters something. I only catch the obscenities, but I know he's cursing Obi-Wan for meddling. Something about 'helpful' people.  I can't help but stare at him. He's thinner than I remember, more haggard than he's looked in a while, but still incredibly sexy. Gods, I've missed him so much.

"So, how are you doing?" I grimace as soon as the words leave my mouth. What an opening.

"I'm fine. And yourself?" He shoulders his bag and shifts restlessly, looking like he wants to bolt out the door. I notice he's carefully avoiding my eyes.

"I'm fine. I've been spending most of my time with Obi-Wan. I should thank you for helping him. He's much better."  

Xan's eyes narrow and he turns his head slightly.  "Obi-Wan just needed a swift kick in the ass. Stop fishing for information."

"I'm not fishing. I'm being diplomatic in seeking information."  He's still not looking at me. He's looking at the floor, at my shoulder, anywhere but at me. Oh, he can run from me, but he can't hide, and it's killing him.

Xan shrugs and heads towards the door. "Well, that's settled. I'm fine, you're fine, Obi-Wan was trying to be cute and helpful, and you suck at being diplomatic. See you later."

With a wave of my hand I engage the lock before he can escape.

He turns around, glaring at me. "Do you think a lock is going to stop me?"

"No. I think you really don't want to leave." I'm not giving up. Maybe I shouldn't push him, but I think he needs pushing. Obi-Wan gave me this opportunity and I'm not about to let it slip past. Besides, I want him desperately. Apparently he's feeling it too, from the look on his face; staring at me, his cheeks flushed with frustration, looking like he does after I've sucked him off. Oh, enough of that. I lick my lips, swallowing thickly. I force myself to meet his eyes. "We need to talk about what happened. Obi-Wan has told me a bit about Knight Benyat, but I would like for you to tell me. And what the fuck is happening with us, Xan?"

Xan drops his bag and crosses his arms over his chest, and I hear his teeth grind together. "Fuck is exactly what isn't happening between us. I don't want to talk about it, Qui. Don't push this. I need time."

His eyes have that intense look that drives me crazy, but I can't let him see. I mirror his pose and glare back. "How much time do you need? It's been weeks. Maybe I'm tired of waiting."

He goes completely rigid and he opens his mouth, but nothing comes out, so he shuts it with an audible snap.  "Well that's too fucking bad. Wait, or do without, that's your choice."

I widen my stance, and hook my thumb in my belt. His eyes follow my hand and travel on to rest on my cock. Oh, he's not wanting to wait, not at all. "Yes, it is, because neither of us is leaving until this is settled between us. You had sex with him?"

His eyes dilate and his breath catches in his throat. "That's none of your business," he says, but it doesn't come out nearly as harsh as I think he meant for it to.

I've got him now. I walk over to him, circling him slowly. His shoulders are tense and he looks ready to spring. My fingers trail across the small of his back, and I lean in and whisper in his ear: "You want me to say I'm jealous of a dead man? I am."

"Fuck you," he manages.

"Soon, Xan. Soon." I laugh, and stand in front of him. "You want to tell me what's going on in that head of yours now? Or should we make ourselves comfortable until you give in?"

"I don't need this shit," Xan hisses at me, his eyes snapping.

"Unfortunately, I do." I pounce on him, grabbing his neck firmly. He's too shocked to resist as I pull him close and I kiss him.

His response is automatic -- his hands tangle in my hair as my lips claim him. It's going to be wild and reckless; I can tell just by the way he's kissing me back. He pins me to the floor and presses his mouth hard against mine, then releases his grip on my hair and begins pulling at my tunics, pushing his hands inside the fabric. I grope for my belt and fumble it open so my tunic can fall open and he can have my chest. He nips at my skin, teeth scraping over my nipples, tracing his tongue along the contours of my muscles.

I shrug free of the now crumpled layers of fabric, fully exposing myself to him; offering myself. He takes advantage and consumes me with lips, fingers and tongue. I've missed this, just missed being close to him. Sex with Obi-Wan is great, but Xan is my equal -- a man. I love the strength in his arms, and the rough yet tender feel of his hands on me.

We roll on the floor so I'm on top of him now. With Xan I never feel I'll crush him; sometimes Obi feels so fragile beneath me that I hold back. I never do that with Xan and I don't intend to now. This is animalistic, the two of us finally admitting our need to be together. I roughly peel his tunics away and fumble with his leggings until I manage to free his cock. It's erect and ready for me, and I stroke it hard and fast, relishing his groans of pleasure.

We roll again, so once more he's on top of me, and he rips at my leggings, working them down until they stop at the tops of my boots. He's not even going to bother getting them off. He pushes me over, then grunts at me. "Knees."

I oblige, wrestling into position despite the tangle of boots and leggings around me. I want him in me that much. "Yes, Master." I reply slyly.

"Don't you forget it," he laughs, positioning himself behind me. He begins to push into me, then stops suddenly. "Damn," he snaps, "no barrier."

I turn and grin. "Forget it. I don't care. Fuck me."

"No." He crawls over to his bag, digging madly for a barrier, stopping to glare at me as I start to move. "Don't you dare take those boots off... or even fucking move."

"Yes, Master." I do exactly what I'm told. I can't wait for him to come back.  He crows with delight as he finds one in a tatty wrapper. I pant as he rolls it on his cock, stroking himself as he does.

"Thank the gods I'm always prepared," he whispers as he crawls behind me again.

He pushes hard and I grunt at the forceful entry of his cock. I drop my head to rest on my arms and push back against him, till I feel the fabric of his leggings against me.  It's been far too long since I had this. He pulls out almost all the way before shoving into me again, a bit harder this time. He's driving me now, each thrust of his cock punctuated by the harsh explosion of his breath, jarring me.  This is what I wanted ; Xan, my Xan, fucking me.  My hand covers my cock and I jerk it in time to his thrusts. I need to come.

He leans over me, kissing my shoulder before sliding his hand over my own. The touch of his hand on my cock sets me off and I come, surprised by the sudden intensity his touch stirs. I keep moving, forcing myself to follow his rhythm as he rides me. He's panting, but now there are words mixed in -- he's muttering, "fuck, yes, Qui, gods, fuck," and his hand, the hand that has my come on it, moves back to grasp my hip hard enough to bruise. I'm sure Obi-Wan will notice it, and for a second I wonder if he will care.

I don't care.  It doesn't matter, because Xan's coming with a harsh guttural cry. I shudder as he pulls away, leaving me empty, and I collapse to my stomach while he rolls away to rest on his back.  

I sit up, grimacing at the throbbing ache of my body. I'm still tangled in my clothes and Xan is lying there, his leggings askew, bare-chested, but grinning. "I don't think this is what Obi-Wan had in mind," he says, laughing.

It's a gorgeous sound, hearing him laugh, and being able to laugh with him makes it even better. "I think it's exactly what he had in mind."

He sits up and looks at me, still grinning.  "In that case, let's not disappoint the boy."

"I was going to leave you," Xan says. "You should know that."

It's dark now. After we left the salle, we returned to his quarters and spent the evening here, in bed. Now, he's stretched out on his side of the mattress, careful to not touch me. He's never been one to cuddle after sex, saying the last thing he wants after getting off is a hot, sweaty body bringing him down. No one will ever accuse him of being romantic. He's also not one for chatting, so I'm surprised he's speaking at all.  "What are you talking about, Xan?"

I hear him sigh, exasperated that he has to explain it to me. "I was going to leave you for Jal."

"Oh." I don't know what else to say. I suspected he loved him, but I didn't know how much. It just makes me more jealous, for a moment, before I realize how stupid that is.

He sits up and turns on the lamp. "That's all? Oh?"  

I rise to my elbow, and give him an inquiring look. "What else should I say? You're here with me. That's all that matters. Live in the moment. The rest takes care of itself."

"I reveal myself to you and you use trite, Jedi philosophy as pillow talk."

I arch an eyebrow, smiling slightly. "I wasn't aware you did pillow talk."

"I don't," he frowns. He looks so young and petulant, with his hair all rumpled, sticking up at odd angles. He cuts a sideways glance in my direction. "If I'm in bed, there's not a lot of time to talk," he says archly.

I take the hint and move over to him, my hand moving to stroke his cock through the thin sheet. "I guess you don't want to talk anymore then."

He falls back on the bed, his eyelids fluttering, and he pulls my head down. "Live in the moment," he says before kissing me.

I've missed this. I suck his bottom lip and pull away. "Nothing's changed between us, Xan. That you were leaving doesn't matter. You didn't. I'm sorry losing Jal Benyat hurt you so much, but it changes nothing between us."

His fingers trace over my lips and a lost, far away look betrays his smile.  "Qui, just shut up and fuck me."   His hands curl around my neck, and he's kissing me softly, deeply.  A kiss that makes my brain shut down, which is fine by me. I've got everything I need at the moment.

I come home early the next morning, expecting Obi-Wan to still be in bed. He's sitting cross-legged in the middle of the common room, meditating. I'm surprised. It's early for him, especially if he's been out, as I know he was planning to. I creep past him, not wishing to break his concentration.

"What are you doing?" Apparently his concentration wasn't that deep.

"Going to my room," I reply.

He scowls at me as he jumps to his feet. "Where have you been?"

"Obi," I reply, smiling at his grumpiness. "I think you know where I've been." I quirk an eyebrow at him. "And I thought you wanted it."

"Well, I didn't expect to have to sleep alone." His bottom lip sticks out petulantly. "It's the first time since... you know." I really want to suck that lip. Kiss him. But first I'll tease him for a bit.

"You were going out. I thought you might have 'other arrangements'."

"Well," he pouts. "My 'other arrangements' are off-planet at the moment, so I had to sleep alone."

"Obi," I tease. "You're a big boy now."

"But I need someone to cuddle the nightmares away," he complains. I look at him quizzically. Surely he's beyond that now. He can't resist it; his lips begin to quirk into a wicked grin. "I need someone to kiss my sweaty brow." He slides closer to me. "To caress my clammy hands." He begins to run his hands up and down my thighs. "To lick my..." He harrumphs and pulls away. "You smell of him. Go shower. Then I may let you make it up to me."

Xan asked me to go running with him today and I wanted the time with him too much not to go. We've been back together for a few days and I've been with him as much as I can, trying to make up for lost time. Now that we are back at my quarters, I'm doubting the wisdom of running with him. It only serves to remind me I'm not as young as I used to be. I fall on the couch, panting from exertion, watching as he jogs in place for a moment and then starts stretching his legs as he cools down.

"You should do this too," he says. "You'll get a cramp at your age."

I arch an eyebrow at him, and wonder if he can read my mind. "You weren't complaining about my age last night."

"That's because I couldn't talk for the cock in my mouth," he smirks.

"Precisely. And I think it's time to shut you up again." I reach down and stroke myself through my shorts.

"You can shut me up anytime, Master."  We both turn to see Obi-Wan standing in the doorway to the kitchen. He's grinning at me, his eyes dancing. I smile at him. "If Xan's complaining, I'd be happy to oblige."

He slinks over to me and puts his hands on the back of the couch, hovering over me by inches.  I feel the heat off his body. "I am younger and hotter," he says. I look over his shoulder at Xan and smile.

Xan rolls his eyes and makes a very obscene gesture.

I can understand his frustration. Obi-Wan has been a constant thorn in his side since we reconciled. Xan has been remarkably tolerant of him, but I can see it's starting to wear a bit thin. And the way his eyes tighten -- is that jealousy I see? I almost laugh, but choke it back.   "Tsk, tsk. Is that any way for a Jedi to behave?"  I ask Xan, condescendingly.

Obi-Wan missed the gesture and looks at me, clearly confused. I just smile at him and he glares at Xan, his eyes narrowing. "What is he talking about?"

"Like everything else that happens between me and Qui, it's none of your damned business."

Obi-Wan kisses me softly before moving away. "Alright, Xan. Don't get your dick twisted. I'm going."   We both stare as the door opens and closes behind him.

Xan falls on the couch beside of me. "Fuck. How do you live with that?"

I laugh. Living with Obi-Wan is a stroll through the park compared to living with Xan. "You get used to not having privacy. You'll find out when you take a Padawan of your own."

He shakes his head. "I sometimes doubt I'll ever have the patience to train a brat."  

I can't help but think about Bruck Chun. I frown at Xan, wondering if he's considered what his opinion might do to the boy. "How are thingsgoing with Bruck?"

"Oh, no. Don't go there," Xan says, shaking his head firmly.  "Bruck is fine. But no."

"Xan, surely you've realized the council expects you to take care of him. Knight Benyat would want you to."

Xan stands and stalks around the room. "Jal would be wrong. Bruck is too much like me, Qui. I can't cope with it."

"That's exactly why you should consider it. You can keep him from making the same mistakes."

Xan stops and stares at me in disbelief. "Weren't you listening? He's too much like me. He won't listen." His look changes to something akin to horror. "And living with that? Day in and day out?" He shudders violently.

I can't help but laugh. Then I can't stop laughing, even when the tears roll down my cheeks.  Oh, he knows how he gets, and how I love him for it.  I stand up and pull him into my arms. "He's exactly what you deserve."

He nuzzles along my jaw, nipping.  "I know what I deserve."

I pull away. "We were talking about padawans."

Xan's mouth thins out to a slash across his face. "No, you were talking about padawans." He sighs in exasperation. "If you must know, I've got my eye on an initiate. We'll see how that goes."  He takes my face firmly in hand and turns my head so he can nip at my earlobe. "I was talking about what I deserve."

I smile at the feel of his teeth nipping my ear. "Since Obi-Wan's gone, let me show you."  

"Obi-Wan's back," I murmur against Xan's lips. We are on the sofa and Xan pressed against me. I don't see how he could possibly want me again, after the afternoon we've had, but apparently he does.

"There's nothing in this kitchen, Qui, nothing at all." Obi-Wan's voice filters into the common room. He appears in the doorway holding a hard looking half loaf of bread.

I shake my head and pull away from Xan.  "Whose turn was it to go to the Quartermaster, Obi-Wan?"

Xan tuts. "In my day, the kitchen was always stocked perfectly."

"Well, in your day the padawan wasn't too busy fucking the master to worry about the kitchen." Obi-Wan flashes a triumphant grin and I suppress a laugh. I'm fully aware of what's happening here and I'm finding it gently entertaining, flattering even.

"Well, seeing as Mr. Perfect Padawan has fucked up on the 'feeding his master classes', why don't we go out and eat, Qui?"

I open my mouth to agree, but Obi beats me to it. "That's a great idea, Xan. Let me get changed. I'm off to Rising with T'nell later. We can go to the diner and he can meet me there."

Xan looks flabbergasted, but Obi flits off to his bedroom before he can object. I smile indulgently at him. "Let him eat with us, Xan. And while he's clubbing with T'nell..." I raise my eyebrows suggestively.

Xan throws his hands up in exasperation. "Fine. He can come to dinner. But you owe me owe me big time."

The food at the diner is plentiful and cheap, so we eat well. Xan's sitting opposite me, watching emotionlessly as Obi drapes himself around me.

I have to say, Obi looks stunning: black leather pants hanging seductively on his hips, a thick silver-buckled belt, a figure-hugging aqua top highlighting the green tones of his eyes -- eyes that are generously swathed in kohl. His hair is carefully tweezed into strategically tousled spikes, dusted with glitter. Thankfully, he's refrained from piercing himself tonight. It strikes me I haven't seen him do that since the mission. He's talking animatedly, touching me constantly. Xan, in contrast, is still, subdued, waiting.

"Obi!" T'nell bounces up to the table and squeezes in beside Xan, grinning. He nods at me and nudges Xan with his elbow. "I haven't seen you in a while."

Xan looks at me through his lashes and the sullen expression leaves his face. He turns to T'nell and cups a hand around his neck. "If I had known you were looking, I would have let myself be found," he says and kisses him. Xan knows how much I love watching him.  He's playing with T'nell, his lips stroking, and he makes sure we see the clash of tongues.   I want to whimper along with T'nell before Xan finally pulls away, grinning. I know my eyes have darkened and he sees how much I want him.   I'm not trying to hide it.  He casts a triumphant glance at Obi, letting him know he won that round. What a position to be in, a prize for these two to fight over. I must admit I feel a bit smug

T'nell, for the most part, looks dazed and confused. I chuckle and he looks at me frowning. "Why do I feel like I'm missing something?" he asks me.

Obi-Wan glares at Xan, and answers before I can. "Because you are."  

T'nell looks back and forth between them, frowning. I can see the wheels turning in his head, and finally he shrugs and turns his attention back to Obi. "You're looking good tonight."

Obi grins. He loves praise, loves to be reminded just how beautiful he is. "You don't look half bad yourself." He laughs. "Shall we ditch the old fellas?"

"Yes." He goes to move, then sits back down again. "Oh...meant to say, I heard the oddest rumor today. Keli had heard it from some senior padawan whose master is connected to the senate committee processes. He heard it from someone who--"

We all look at him. "T'nell," Obi snaps. "The rumor?"

"Oh, yes. Well everyone's saying the Senate is planning an investigation into some mission or other. That its outcome has serious implications for the Order."

Xan and Obi exchange a tacit look. "Which mission?" Xan asks, trying to appear only casually interested.

"He didn't say. It's all confidential, you know. Anyway, come on Obi, let's get you out there. Looking like that, they'll be all over you."

"Yes," Xan purrs. "Get yourself fucked, Obi. I certainly intend to." He smirks at Obi and flicks his eyes in my direction. "And please, don't wake us when you come home. I expect we'll be exhausted."

Obi narrows his eyes at Xan, and then a mischievous smile plays on his lips. "You have fun, then. And don't wait up."

I wake to find someone wrapped around me. I'm surprised; it's not like Xan to sleep that way with me.

I wiggle round to face him and realize it's Obi-Wan. I vaguely remember him clambering into the bed when he came home.

I hear a terse voice from the other side of him. "Why do you let him do that, Qui?"

I sigh. "I'm his Master.  He needs me. He's been through an ordeal." And I love him, possibly even more than I love Xan.

Xan rolls his eyes at me. "Honestly, Qui. You spoil him, you and half the Temple. That's his problem. Bruck Chun has had much more to deal with, with a fraction of the support. And it's bad enough you're fucking him. Must he intrude on our bed too?"

Obi-Wan shifts drowsily and wraps himself around me again. I shrug, and Xan sighs and climbs none too delicately out of bed.

"Do you want caf then?"

I smile sheepishly. "Yes please... and tea for the mynock."

"He can make his own." He stomps off to the kitchen.

Obi-Wan awakens fully and smiles at me, eyes twinkling. "Obi-Wan," I begin, trying to sound stern. "You really shouldn't--"

"What?" he asks, beginning to stroke me softly, a seductive smile curling on his lips. I find myself responding, so I shift away from him.

"It's not fair on--"

He slides under the covers and begins to lick me.

"Obi-Wan." I lift the bedclothes. He grins wickedly. "What?" he repeats.

I shake my head and relax back. What a situation to be in, with my padawan under the covers doing what my ex-padawan in the kitchen was doing last night.

A cough alerts me to Xan's presence. He stands in the doorway holding two cups of caf.

"Obi-Wan." I snap. He stops and re-emerges from under the covers, wearing what can only be described as a smug expression.

"Don't let me get in the way, Kenobi," Xan says. I can't quite read his mood, which suggests he isn't entirely angry.

"I thought you might want to join us," Obi-Wan purrs. I suppress a laugh. Xan's face darkens slightly.

"Obi-Wan," I say sharply. "Go and dress. You have things to attend to."

"Yes, Master." He slinks reluctantly out of the bed, then slides gracefully -- nakedly -- past Xan. Xan shakes his head and rolls his eyes theatrically.

Observing them now, I realise there's a difference in the way they're interacting with each other.  It seems easier, more accepting. It must be born of sharing a traumatic experience. Or something.  

"Sorry, Xan," I say. "He's just asserting his claim."

"I refuse to let him get to me.  I know what he's doing... I'm just letting it slide."  He comes and sits beside me on the bed, handing me the cup of caf. "But perhaps you could discourage him from crawling in with us again?"

I put the drink down and pull him into a hug. Poor Xan. I don't think he envisaged this when he considered getting involved with me again.

We slide down on the bed, and he begins to kiss me. That's one thing he definitely can do better than Obi. I melt into him and his hands glide down my sides. I could really get used to this level of attention.

"Shit.... SHIT."

We pull apart at the sound of Obi's voice coming from the common room. "What is it, Obi-Wan?" I call.


It's all he says.

Xan shifts away from me. "He sounds upset."

I nod and climb out of bed, pulling a robe around myself. Obi's sitting at the datascreen, half-dressed.  He looks shaken. "What is it?" I say, walking round behind him. He just points at the screen.

I read over his shoulder. It's a summons: a summons to appear before a closed Senate Sub-Committee which is investigating the Jedi's involvement in exposing sex slave rings.  

I place a hand on his shoulder. He's trembling slightly, and his face is white. He looks up at me, and for a moment I see not the confident young man, but the insecure boy. "Will you come with me?" he asks quietly.

"Of course I will, Obi."

"I need a stiff drink after that workout," I laugh, palming the door mechanism. Xan and I have been sparring for a couple of hours. He received a summons too and he wanted to work off some of the anxiety of that. We'd been hoping to indulge in a different sort of sparring now, but that's ruled out when we see Siri sitting on the floor and Obi sprawled on the couch. Whatever the conversation had been, it ends abruptly when we walk in.

Xan looks at me, grinning wolfishly. "Did we interrupt something, Obi? We could stand out in the hallway for the minute it will take Siri to finish you."

"Stop it, Xan.  This is serious," Obi-Wan says. "We can't go before a Senate Committee! They'll expect us to tell everything!"

Siri nods her agreement. "We can't go in there without having our stories straight. We should sit here and work this all out."

Xan sits down in the chair and I stand behind him. "Look, this isn't anything. The senators will come in, ask a few questions, tut tut over the dead people, then tell everyone it was a terrible, unavoidable tragedy. This isn't a big deal."

Obi-Wan is glaring at Xan now. "That's easy for you to say! You're not going to have to explain what happened!"

Siri smacks Obi-Wan on the leg. "Shut up! They're going to blame him for everything! Even though technically, it's not his fault."

I wince and glance at Xan. He's looking calm and composed except for the tick in his jaw. I'm just waiting now for the inevitable explosion. He will either fuck them or throttle them, and with Xan you can't always be certain.

"Well, he was in charge," Obi says. "He bought Jal and left us broke.  And he's not going to have to tell everyone he was captured and raped..."

Xan jumps in, cutting Obi-Wan off.  "I think you should both shut up.  We all made mistakes."  He glares angrily at Obi-Wan. "I told you: this is nothing. It will blow over. There is no story to get straight. Just tell them the fucking truth."

Siri looks at Xan, her gaze steady. "Whose truth though? Yours?  Mine? Obi's? Bruck's? What is the truth?"

"Which ever one you like best. That's what the Senate will do; choose whichever truth they like and leave the rest behind." He looks at me briefly. "I don't have to listen to this. I'm going to my quarters." He stalks out the door, and the room is silent in his wake.

"It's not his fault," I say finally. "He was doing what he was trained to do. What both of you will have to do someday. He shouldn't have to justify what happened. You both owe him an apology and, padawan, I'll make sure you give him one."

Obi-Wan sits up straight and shoots a sulky look at me, setting his jaw in that resolute way of his. I glare back. Siri looks back and forth between the two of us, aware of the oppressive silence. She coughs and stands. "I think I should leave you two to talk. Obi, I'll be in touch. If you want to talk more about this, let me know."

He nods tersely and she leaves. I look him over. He seems rattled; he has been since he received the summons. "What's the problem, Obi?" I ask, sitting beside him on the couch, wrapping an arm around him.

"Master, you know what happened to me on that mission. I'm not relishing the idea of sitting in front of a committee while they question me about it." He sniffs and looks away.

"Bruck will have to do the same. Why don't you speak to him about it?  He could help--"

He shrugs my arm away and jumps to his feet. "Master, I don't want to talk to him about it. You don't understand. It was him." He watches me as I absorb the information.  His face is white. "He did it. He raped me, abused me, hurt me." He rubs his face in his hands. "He did it." His voice is barely more than a whisper now.

I stand too, staring at his pale face. In that instant I see it: it's Bruck. It wasn't the abuse; it was the fact that Bruck was the one who perpetrated it. I want to comfort him, but he has that closed-up look, standing with his hands crossed over his chest. I'm sure he'll resent it.

"Obi," I say gently. "Tell me what happened."

"I don't want to talk about it. Really."

I move closer to him, but he glares at me as though he doesn't want his personal space invaded. "You should tell me, Obi-Wan. I can't help or understand if you don't."

He continues to stare, but the glare softens into something different and he sucks in a breath. "He... initiated me. They forced him to." He looks away and I have no idea what he's feeling, his shields are so firmly clamped over his emotions.

"But I'm sure he regrets that. Why does it mean so much to you?"

"Master, you have no idea of my history with him, of how he bullied me as a child." He begins to knead his forearms with his thumbs. "Then to have him do that to me. He makes me feel as though it's something else he holds over me." His hands drop uselessly to his sides. I take hold of them.

"This wasn't bullying, Obi. You said he was forced."

His grasps tightly at my hands, but still he won't look at me. "Don't you see? He saw me break. He knows my limits. He saw me at my lowest point ever.  Worse still, he put me there." He finally meets my eyes with his. "And he enjoyed it."

My jaw gapes at the final comment. "Obi-Wan. I'm sure that's not true." He nods stubbornly. "Why would you think that?"

"I know," he says quietly. His gaze drops to the floor. He looks so upset, so vulnerable; he can't appear before the committee like this. We have to confront what's happened.

"I think we should go and see Bruck, clear the air. You need to do that before this investigation gets under way." I give his hands a reassuring squeeze. "You have a lightsaber session with him this afternoon? We'll do it then."

"Master, I don't think I." he begins, but he gives up and glares at me, as if the weight of his stare will pressure me into changing my mind.

But I'm determined now. "I insist. It will do you good."


I lead Obi into the training salle for his afternoon session with Bruck. He's already there and I'm somewhat surprised to see him sparring with Aubris Feln, but not as surprised as Obi.  It impresses me how quickly he schools his features into a neutral expression. He strips down to his training tunic, then approaches Bruck, bowing his head in greeting.

"Kenobi. How are you?" Bruck smiles. "And you brought Master Jinn with you today. It is a pleasure to meet you again after all this time."

I stride forward and shake the hand he offers me. I remember him from when they were initiates; there was something I didn't particularly like about him then. It hasn't gone away. "You too, Bruck," I reply. I nod in Aubris's direction, he returns the gesture.

Obi-Wan eyes Bruck warily. "Bruck, can we talk? We need to discuss what happened that night during the mission, before we're questioned about it.  Perhaps after we've."

"But we're not allowed to, Obi-Wan," Bruck says, shrugging and walking away. "It says so on the summons. Confidential."

"But, I'd like to. I need to."

"You must follow the rules to maintain the validity of the enquiry," Aubris interrupts. "You have my sympathy though, Obi-Wan, having to discuss all this personal business in front of a committee." Aubris is smiling, but there's no empathy in the expression.  He's mocking Obi-Wan. The moment hangs and Obi looks as though he's been physically slapped. Aubris switches the smile off again and turns to Bruck.  "Boys, I'd like to see you spar now. I think you'll be surprised at how Bruck has come on."

Obi and Bruck walk to the center of the salle and begin a brief warm-up together, and then they spar. Aubris is right -- Bruck seems to be giving Obi a fair challenge today. But then, Obi is a little preoccupied. I wonder for a moment exactly why Aubris is so interested in Bruck.

Aubris sidles up beside me. "Is Obi-Wan all right, Qui? He seems off color."

"He's concerned about the investigation, Aubris. That mission was difficult for him personally. And your little jibes hardly help matters."

"I offered him nothing but sympathy, Qui." I suppress a sigh. He and Obi-Wan will never see eye-to-eye. It's a shame. He's a useful ally. "And this has all been difficult for Bruck too," Aubris observes. "But he seems to be taking it in his stride."   He turns to face me now, that sly, conspiratorial look on his face. "You realize, of course, that the Senate aren't the only ones asking questions." He raises an eyebrow. "Other 'select' people will be following this inquiry with interest too, others who have long believed our Order allows the Senate too much control over our affairs."

He focuses his attention back to Obi and Bruck, just in time to see Bruck disarm Obi-Wan in a powerful move I'm certain Aubris has taught him. I eye him thoughtfully. I have questions that need answering. I wonder if Aubris and his allies can help me with them.   

I sit on the couch looking over one of Obi-Wan's diplomacy assignments. It needs to be handed in tomorrow and he seemed unsure about it, so I promised to check it for him. I'm worried at how insecure he seems after the day's events. I'm looking at the datapad, but really I'm watching Obi-Wan. He's supposed to be working, but he's not concentrating.

He's poking around at the keys distractedly, and then something grabs his attention. His breath catches and he leans forward, pressing the heels of his palms against his eye sockets.

I put down my datapad. "Obi?" I ask tentatively. "What is it?"

He doesn't move or respond.

"Obi-Wan?" I stand and walk so that I'm behind him. "What's wrong?"

He finally lifts his head and turns to me. "Bail," he says. Nothing more. There's no clue to what he's feeling.

My heart jumps a little. Have they split? Could Obi handle that? I'm slightly ashamed of the hopeful feeling that consumes me. "What about him?"

"How could he do this? Doesn't he realise how much it'll hurt me?"

He seems dazed, incapable of giving me more information, so I bend down and for the second time today find myself reading a message over a shocked Obi's shoulder. It is from Bail, telling Obi-Wan he has been instructed by Senator Antilles to sit on this committee, the one investigating the botched mission. Obi-Wan will have to talk of what happened in front of his boyfriend. I feel anger rise. Does Bail have no idea how this will hurt Obi-Wan? How difficult it will be for him? I've seen the man's ambition. I know the answer to that. But I must appear sympathetic.

"Why don't you go and talk to him?" I suggest. "Find out why he has to do this."

"I can't," Obi-Wan says numbly. "He's off planet. I don't think I could face him right now anyway. I need to." His voice trails off and he rubs his face. "How could he do this to me, Master?"

"He's a politician, I'm sure he has his reasons. And I don't think he intends to hurt you." I cup his chin in one hand and lift his face. "I know you believe he loves you, Obi-Wan, but remember as a politician he also loves power. Only he knows which he loves more. He's not a Jedi, he can't understand our lives, the things we see, the hardships we cope with. Sometimes only another Jedi can understand."

"Like you understand?" he asks, his eyes and voice hopeful.

I nod.

He clasps a hand around my wrist. "Master, could you talk to Senator Antilles, ask him to remove Bail from the committee?"

"Obi-Wan I can't do that. It's his job to make those decisions," I say as gently as I can, caressing his cheek with my thumb. He's upset. I want to help, but I just can't. There really is nothing I can do.

"Well," he says, sadly "I don't know if I can do this, Master."

My thumb stills and I tighten my grip on his face. "You can and you will. Obi-Wan it is your duty to be there. And really you have no choice. I agree it is a conflict of interest for him to be there, but if you expose it, you expose your relationship to even more scrutiny.  I don't think you can handle that. Do your duty, as he is doing his."

He pulls away from me and stands up jerkily. "Fine, but I don't have to like it."

"No," I murmur. "You don't."

Obi-Wan sullenly clears up the remains of last meal. He's skulking around in his leggings and undertunic, and he's barely spoken to me at all since telling me about Bail. There's still no sign of Xan either. Both of them are upset. I'm beginning to wonder if there is enough of me to go round. I'm worried about them both. I want to go and look for Xan but I don't want to leave Obi alone. I'm completely torn.

Obi comes out of the kitchen and flops listlessly into the chair.

"Are you going out tonight?" I ask him. "It might do you good to blow off some steam."

He jumps to his feet again. "What... like it was good for me to go and speak to Bruck and be humiliated by Aubris Feln? Like it's going to be good for me to sit in front of Bail and tell him about the night I was hazed as a sex slave? Why don't I go out to Rising and get turned down by some cheap trick? That would finish my day off just perfectly, wouldn't it?"

He storms towards his bedroom, but I head him off, catching his arm. "Obi, come on... I'm sorry all this has happened. I understand it's hard, but you need to face it and deal with it." He tries to fight for a moment, but I pull him close and he sinks into me. His hands grasp into my tunics and he goes completely quiet, but I feel his body convulsing and I know he's crying. He's finally releasing some of that maelstrom of emotion he's been internalizing for weeks. All I can do is hold him until it passes.

Once the silent shaking has ceased, I bend forward and kiss him softly on the top of his head. He raises his face toward mine. His eyes are red and he looks so miserable I just want to scoop him into my arms and carry him to the bedroom, and kiss the tears away. I lean forward again and he parts his lips and we kiss, a long, lingering kiss. Gentle, almost loving. The kind of kiss I've not had from him in a long time.

He loosens his fierce grip on my tunics and takes hold of my hands, leading me towards my bedroom. I follow willingly. He lies back on the bed and I unfasten my belt and shake off my tunics, then lower myself gently onto him and take his mouth in another kiss. He winds his fingers into my hair and pulls me closer, kissing me almost desperately now.

I pull away from him and slide down to loosen his leggings, then gently tug them off him. He unfastens his undertunic and wriggles out of it, then lays naked and supine beneath me. I grab the undersides of his thighs and gently lift his hips from the bed, exposing his ass. I look up and he smiles. He knows what's coming and I know how he loves it, so I drag out the anticipation.  

I nip gently at the skin of his buttocks, then begin to trace my tongue across the skin, teasingly flicking it across the entrance to his body. He groans and shifts beneath me.

"Qui-" he moans. "Please." I laugh gently, then rake my tongue along the cleft of his buttocks two or three times. He whimpers and raises his hips, pushing himself towards my tongue, begging me to do it.

Finally, I urge my tongue into the muscle, pushing it slowly inside his body. He positively curls in pleasure, and I push deeper with my tongue while pressing my fingers into the flesh of his thighs. He moans, and then he says my name. The low rumble of his voice sends a shiver down my spine.

I move in and out now, fucking him with my tongue. He responds to every thrust with a low groan, kneading his fingers into my shoulders, forcing me deeper. I move faster and his groans increase in volume. He loosens his grip on my shoulders and moves a hand to his own cock, stroking himself in perfect rhythm with the lunging of my tongue. He rocks his hips, working against my movements, making me penetrate harder, all the time fondling his cock. His body bucks and he comes, panting hard, arching himself against my tongue. Then he relaxes and I ease my tongue free of him, watching as he collapses back onto the mattress -- eyes closed, his face flushed, a sheen of sweat on his skin. He is beautiful.

I sense something from across the room, and I look over to see Xan standing in the doorway. His face is dark, stony, but I see a tell-tale bulge in his leggings. He doesn't move.  He seems transfixed, and I'm aware of some great dilemma burning within him.  

Obi follows the direction of my gaze and sees Xan. His breath is still coming in shallow pants, and a flicker of concern crosses his face. Xan has always known we do this, but he's never seen it. Obi sits up sharply and pulls the bedclothes across his lap, covering himself a little, wiping the come that glistens against his belly.  

Still Xan doesn't move. His expression hasn't changed. It's like he's been turned to granite. I slide away from Obi and climb off the bed, straightening my leggings, unable to hide my own burgeoning erection.

"Xan," I begin. "I didn't think you would come home. We... we-"

He raises a hand to silence me, the only response he seems capable of. I step closer to him and something sparks into his eyes. Is it anger? No, it's something else. His hand moves again, this time fisting into my hair. He curls his palm around my head and pulls, pulls me into a firm kiss. I resist at first, but he moves his other hand and holds me fast, kissing me hungrily, almost angrily. From the corner of my eye I can see Obi-Wan. Now he seems to be the one who has turned to stone as he watches the passion between us.

I pull hard and loosen myself from Xan's grip. I look between the two of them: Obi-Wan lying naked, vulnerable and post orgasmic on my bed, and Xan standing in the doorway, almost desperate to possess me. Gods, who will I choose, who will I hurt? Obi was so emotional today, and he gave to me in a way he's never done before. And Xan, he burnt today with anger and passion. He needs me to rein him in, to understand the darkness that sometimes takes him.

I force Xan away. I can't. Not until we talk, all of us. He grabs my shoulders, hard enough to leave bruises. "I need you, as much as he does." His eyes are burning me, and I'm breathless from his need.

Looking at him, I see it's the truth. His pain is hovering right under the thin veneer of anger and lust. "You are allowed to love me," Xan says harshly.

I grimace. He's right. I glance again at Obi-Wan, who is looking more than a little put out that I haven't sent Xan away. But how can I, when he needs me? I look between them helplessly. "I can't choose one of you over the other."

After a moment, Obi-Wan rises from the bed and turns me to face him. "Then don't." He looks over my shoulder at Xan, testing him.

I shudder as Obi-Wan kisses me, his hands lightly resting against my chest. I start at the sound of Xan's boots thudding against the floor, before his arms slide around my waist and he bites, none too gently at my shoulder.

Obi begins to slide down to his knees, stroking down my chest with his tongue. He reaches the waistband of my leggings and tugs them down to my ankles. I step out of them, unable to quite comprehend what seems to be happening. Now we're all naked. I feel Xan's skin pressing against my back as he leans and nips at my ear. Obi slides his hands up my calves, up the backs of my thighs, and snakes them around my waist. He bows his head forwards and takes my cock full in his mouth. I gasp. I have the warmth of Obi's mouth engulfing my cock and the warmth of Xan's breath ghosting on my neck.  

"Barrier." He whispers into my ear. I shiver as his tongue tickles my lobe.

"Always so practical," I breathe. I see a packet on the bedside table and I raise my hand and pull it to me with the Force. I know I would have chastised Obi for doing so, but this is a moment  I really don't want to break.

I hand the packet to Xan, and he rips it open and rolls the barrier onto himself. It's one of the lubricated kind, so Xan immediately positions himself behind me. I grasp my fingers into Obi's hair and he responds by taking my cock as far into his mouth as he can. He slides back slightly and then, as Xan presses into me, I drive deeper into his mouth. Gods. I could almost come then -- Xan's cock sliding into me, Obi's mouth sliding around me. I bury my fingers into the soft spikes of Obi's hair. This is ecstasy, two men loving me, taking me, possessing me.

Xan twines his fingers through Obi-Wan's, and together they hold my hips firmly as Xan starts pounding into me. Obi-Wan's lips glide over my cock, matching Xan's rhythm. It's too much, and I can't stop the orgasm that's bubbling up, forcing moans from my throat, air from my lungs. My hands cradle Obi-Wan's head as he swallows around me, sucking, easing every last drop from me.

Xan pounds harder into me, aroused by my moaning. He groans now and increases his rhythm. Obi frees my cock from his mouth and he rises to his feet again. He kisses me and I can taste myself on him. I pull him close and Xan winds his arms around my waist. He cries out loudly and the pounding stops as he grips hard and releases into me. In that moment I feel loved and wanted as I never have before. Xan collapses against my back, while Obi breaks the kiss and lays his head on my chest, his arms draped loosely around my neck.

I am completely and utterly breathless, and I now know I can't possibly choose. They give me different things. It dawns on me as I stand here: there's no question of me choosing between them. I love them both.




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