Title: Fighting the Feelings

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Star Wars

Rating: NC-17 (or at least R), het, forced sex

Parings: Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan, Obi/OFC

Disclaimer: None of this universe or its characters are mine. The Star Wars universe, concept, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon all belong to Lucas. Siri and Adi belong to Jude Watson's Jedi Apprentice (official) book series. This is just a creation by a humble fan who gets nothing but entertainment from this (and maybe a little squickage, but that's her own fault).

Summary: Sequel to 'Bearing the Bondage' in which Obi-Wan is touched more from his experiences than he had anticipated. Haunted by the memories, he shuts himself in his quarters and shuts himself off from everyone.




Fighting the Feelings



     Physical sensations. That's all they had been. The torture. The pain. The sex. Obi-Wan was a Jedi, and Jedi did not let emotions interfere with their missions. And certainly not with missions of this nature. Chained up in that dungeon, he had spent hours upon hours separating his emotions from the physical, as he had been instructed to do. Trained to do. And when he'd been freed, that rush of emotion that came with Qui-Gon's protective, loving touch had been all he'd needed to tell him that he had succeeded. But afterwards, as the pain of his torture remained on his skin and in his cock, the memories of his experiences would not leave. So used to the physical, he had a hard time distinguishing what had been what in that basement. Blocking out the emotional connection to the vile acts of sex had been easy enough to do. But blocking out the pain that had come hand-in-hand with the pleasure had been much more difficult.


     Obi-Wan woke with a start, clutching the side of his face as though it stung with fresh pain. He felt the bandage there and slowly he remembered that he was back home and the wound was an old one. He slid from the bed with Jedi grace. Beside him, Qui-Gon stirred but did not wake, caught in a deep slumber. Obi-Wan remembered vaguely what such a sleep was like. It had been a long while since he had experienced it.


     He headed over to the refresher, shutting the door behind for privacy. He sat on the toilet seat and pulled off the bandage around his shin. The wound was still visible, though certainly not the sort of thing that needed protection with a bandage.


     Swiftly he turned in place and snatched a tissue from the box. "hihUmffffff! hehChfffff!" Muffled into the tissue, he was sure Qui-Gon had not been roused by the sound of his sneezes.


     The cuts that covered his body were likewise. Most had been made by the women's fingernails or small knives and thus had not been too deep. But there was one on his arm that still looked terrible, and that was the one he showed to Qui-Gon most often whenever his master wanted to inspect his progress in healing. He remembered that one much too well.



     Obi-Wan opened his eyes for the first time, finding nothing but darkness. His eyes skillfully adjusted and he saw the form of the blonde woman in front of him. When he strained against his bonds, exceptionally painful zaps ran across his skin. They were so powerful and all-encompassing at first that he didn't notice the pleasurable stimulations that accompanied them.


"I see you've discovered our little helper," she whispered, and Obi-Wan felt a single slender finger stroke the length of his cock. "Didn't enjoy that very much, did you?" She laughed, and a shiver ran through him. "Or perhaps you did enjoy it more than you thought you would?"


Obi-Wan tried to answer no, but pain shot through his throat as though coming from his voice box and he did not manage a full sound before the intensity of the pain grew too much. Then he tried to shake his head no, but that movement as well make pain race through his body. And this time he gasped to realize the result it was having on the rest of his body.


"The more you move, the more pain you will feel," the woman explained with information that Obi-Wan would have been happy to have received minutes ago before he'd cause himself any pain at all. "The more pain you feel, the more pleasure you will feel. And the more pleasure you feel, the easier it will be for you to perform." Her whole hand this time stroked him with hard, firm strokes that felt nothing like the sort he was used to. In no time he was limp again, much to her very obvious displeasure. "If you cannot maintain it long enough to please me, I'm afraid I'll have to hurt you, Beautiful."


Her other hand raised, revealing a jewel-encrusted dagger. Obi-Wan's eyes opened in realization and he gasped as the flat of the cold blade gently caressed his skin. He shivered, nose running again slightly, as she rubbed the blade over his body until she found a spot she liked. Then she turned the edge to his arm and began stroking with pressure. It was like a hard, cold scratch against his arm, over and over, wearing him down. His skin there became red and raw, and with each and every stroke pain coursed through his body, building him up to climax. He wished she would stop, but could say nothing. He was not entirely sure what he had expected from this whole part of the mission, but surely such physical abuse to bring about his arousal had not occurred to him. Obi-Wan closed his eyes, suddenly understanding in part what the members of that exclusive club where he had been purchased might have been there for. He heard light, amused laughter and felt his body begin to shake from the urges. "That's it," she cooed, scraping the blade harder against his arm until his skin gave way and he began to bleed. And then the wound stung all the more when she touched it. It hurt so much that his body began to thrust forward out of urgency. The pain of movement seized him and pleasured him to move even more in some sick never-ending circle of torture. He felt the blade cut into him, not deep enough to cause him to lose much blood, but just deep enough for more pain. It was that which caused him to finally finish, shooting forward as though with no restraint, passionate and urgent. The woman laughed shrilly as he climaxed, shaking with pain from his only half-restrained moans. In seconds, she was covered with him.


Then he relaxed back against the wall, the pain leaving but for his still bleeding arm. "A very good first try," she said softly. She ran the sharp tip of the blade from neck to naval. "I enjoyed your performance immensely." Obi-Wan shut his eyes as she began to rub herself. Revolting. "How about another?" she asked, scraping the dagger in another stinging but superficial cut on his belly. He was tired, exhausted, but the device made him hard again and they started over. She cut him more, and when she mounted him, she liked the blade clean of his blood and instead gripped him so tightly her touch chaffed him. With cuts and raw skin, none still worse than his bleeding arm, she climaxed as well and climbed off him. He opened his eyes, assuming it was all over for at least a while now.


He was still hard, and she gave him a nod as she regained her own breath. "That's more like it." She leaned forward, raising herself up on her toes. At first, Obi-Wan was terrified she might try to kiss him. But as her face drew closer to his, she raised a hand and slapped him hard against one cheek. It stung with pain and he nearly cried out, remembering just in time not to. "Something to remember me... until next time," she said. Then she spun and walked from the dungeon, not bothering to tend to his wounds or his member. Obi-Wan closed his eyes, dreading their next encounter. If she was this bad, what must the other two women be like? And why had he believed this was something he could handle? For one he wished he had set aside his pride and eagerness to please and just refused the mission.



     Obi-Wan winced as he touched the deep wound, feeling pain stab at him. His cock twitched instinctively and he swore much more loudly than intended. When he probed with the force, however, Qui-Gon was still in a deep sleep. Obi-Wan was full of fatigue, his body aching for rest. But he could not sleep any more this night. His cheek still stung as though he had been freshly slapped by the blonde one.


     His head swam with confusion and congestion, head pounding. But this time his headache caused him no pleasure down below, nor did his sneezes. "hehCHUFFF! Hehptufffff!" he sneezed, nose buried well in two tissues. He sniffled wetly and exchanged the used ones for fresh ones before heading out of the 'fresher.


     Obi-Wan had absolutely no desire to return to bed. Qui-Gon was there, sleeping peacefully, blissfully unaware of his Padawan's discomfort. Obi-Wan did not confess how much pain he was in, did not tell any of what had transpired in that cold, dark dungeon of theirs, did not explain that he no longer had any desire to leave the safety of their room. Obi-Wan had been more guarded than ever, not risking to let a single thing out to his Master about any subject, lest he let details of the torture slip out with them. But he was sure he did not want to go back to bed. While he loved Qui-Gon's warm arms and tender kisses, they made him aroused and he did not want to be aroused. Not when the pain was still so fresh in his mind.


     So he settled on the sofa in the main part of their quarters, legs straight out in front of him for the bandages around his knees prevented him from bending his legs fully. There was nothing for him to do except sleep, think, and work. He did not feel like sleeping any longer, and he certainly wished all of his memories gone, so he took up a datapad. Sniffling into the tissues in one hand, he scrolled through the information with his other. His week's assignments had finally been sent, and Obi-Wan looked them over carefully, trying to decide which one to begin first when deep down he did not feel like doing any of them.


     "hehChffffff! hihChufffff!" he sneezed, the sound muffled into the tissues. Sniffling, he looked up to see if his sneezes had woken Qui-Gon this time, but his master still lay sound asleep. Obi-Wan had a feeling that whatever guards he had raised to protect Qui-Gon from knowing his thoughts and actions might also be keeping Qui-Gon from hearing him fully. Either way, Obi-Wan was glad for the time alone and selected an assignment to work on first. But each time he sneezed, he looked up to be absolutely sure Qui-Gon had not been woken by it.



     It was early in the morning when Obi-Wan finally put away his work. He went back into the bedroom and crawled beneath the blankets once more. Qui-Gon smiled in his sleep and instinctively draped an arm around Obi-Wan. The Jedi Master pulled him close with a smile and Obi-Wan, staying stiff and not reacting, let him. He did not mind his master's touch, in fact it made him glad, made him feel as though nothing were wrong, as though nothing had happened. But the truth was that something had happened. And for all the kissing and the hugging and the cuddling which made him feel better, he would not allow Qui-Gon to do anything more to him. It had been nearly a month since their return and they had not bedded each other even once. They had not even fondled each other, which was normally very commonplace between them. Qbi-Wan felt bad about this, but Qui-Gon said nothing but that he would wait patiently until Obi felt better.


     Qui-Gon woke from sleep not long after, smiling to find his Padawan in his arms. "Mmm," he purred, looking over at Obi-Wan with a dreamy but sleepy expression. "Good morning, Love." He was getting used opening his eyes to find his Padawan already awake in the mornings. It seemed as though Obi-Wan slept less and less with each passing day.


     "Bordig," Obi-Wan replied stuffily. Out of consideration, he had been trying his very best to keep his sneezes and sniffles to a minimum. So he was relieved now that he did not have to worry about waking his master with them.


     Qui-Gon snuggled closer to him, giving Obi-Wan a gentle kiss on the cheek. "How are you feeling this morning? You look exhausted."


     Obi-Wan shrugged and turned away, for at that moment he felt another sneeze or two coming on and did not want to catch Qui-Gon in the spray. He cupped a hand over his mouth and nose, not remembering what he'd done with the tissues. "huhtChhhh! hehChooo! hiKshahhhh!"


     "Bless you," Qui-Gon soothed, noticing the lack of tissues along with Obi-Wan's nose, red and raw. "Would you like me to get you some tissues? Or perhaps a handkerchief?"


     "Either is fide," said Obi-Wan. With a shiver at the cold air, Qui-Gon tore from the bed and returned moments later with both. He gently cupped a tissue to Obi-Wan's nose and did not have to prod the young man to get him to blow his nose. They had been through this routine too many times before for that. Then he eased the soft handkerchief into Obi-Wan's hand for use later. Too many tissues turned Obi-Wan's nose red and embarrassed him a bit. Handkerchiefs were much more the Jedi thing to blow one's nose in. "Thag you," Obi-Wan snuffled.


     "I suppose you answered my question well enough," said Qui-Gon, gently stroking Obi-Wan's cheek. "You look so tired, even after a night of sleep. And your congestion sounds terrible." He pressed the back of his hand to Obi-Wan's forehead. "And I think you may have a temperature." Qui-Gon got up once more and returned with a thermometer. He had Obi-Wan blow his nose once more, assuring that Obi-Wan could at least breathe out of his nose a little, before easing the thermometer into his mouth. They counted together, and gave each other nods when enough time had passed. Qui-Gon pulled out the thermometer, giving it a careful look. "Only a point above normal, but that doesn't mean much. Fevers aren't so common for head colds. I only have to look at you to know you're not feeling well enough for classes again."


     Obi-Wan nodded in agreement. He had not attended a single class of any sort since his return. While it was commonplace for Padawans to be absent for long lengths of time on missions with their masters, they still usually attended classes and trained with one another when back on the home world. Upon Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon's return home, it was quite evident that Obi-Wan was in no shape to drag himself off to classes or to saber training for that matter. His whole body ached with bruises and begged him to rest so that it could heal his cuts and scrapes. He had possessed a rather terrible head cold as well, a result of a pre-existing sniffle and much exposure to the cold and damp of the dungeon he had lived in for weeks as a sex slave.


     Qui-Gon had spent every spare moment tending to Obi-Wan, bringing him hot herbal teas and bowls of ice cream for his pained throat. He had personally seen to it that nearly every sneeze was dealt with and that Obi-Wan rested as much as he should. But after the head cold came a stomach flu, and they moved from the bedroom to the refresher for days until Obi's stomach settled. He burned with fever besides, and slipped in and out of consciousness. He was nauseous for another week on top of that, refusing to take much food or drink or leave the cool comfort of the 'fresher. When he seemed to recover from that, he came down with another cold with violent sneezing and so much coughing that the tea did not seem to soothe his throat in the least.


     With a sad shake of his head, Obi-Wan agreed that no, he did not wish to try and attend classes. In fact, he had welcomed each illness for that very reason, and had not tried very hard to recover. "Do not worry about missing the work," Qui-Gon said gently pulling his Padawan's head onto his lap and running his hand through the fuzzy hair on top. He clearly remembered a time when a younger Obi-Wan would have fought him to be able to attend classes, even with a raging fever and a stuffy head. He remembered having to force Obi-Wan back into bed and explain that the work would be there when he felt well again. But this time, with Obi-Wan hopping from illness to illness, he could not see when his Padawan would start to feel better again. It was almost as if the young man's body knew he wasn't ready to face things outside their room yet and was happy to make excuse after excuse.


     "ihhhkShhhhhh! hehTchooo! huhTchhhhhh!" After the sneezes, Obi-Wan's face remained slack, looking desperate for another sneeze. Qui-Gon reached out through their bond, intending to use the force to help ease one more out of him, but found that Obi-Wan's shields were set up too high and too thick for him to do so. So Qui-Gon sat there patiently, petting Obi-Wan uselessly until the final sneeze struck. It took nearly two minutes, and Obi-Wan was tossed forward at the strength of it. "hihKushhhhhh!" He sniffed powerfully and Qui-Gon held a tissue up for him.


     "Stay in bed today," Qui-Gon ordered softly, petting with one hand while he folded the tissue and gave Obi-Wan a dry spot on which to blow his nose again. "And I want you to try to meditate." Obi-Wan turned his head to look skeptically up at his master. "I know, you've got the sneezes and they interrupt, but I want you to try. You still..." he sighed, trying his best to put kindly the fact that Obi-Wan was not connecting properly, "You still need to work with the Force. Practicing will help you feel better." Qui-Gon tapped Obi-Wan lightly on the nose.


     But Obi-Wan highly doubted practicing meditation, which he did for hours a day anyway without Qui-Gon knowing, was going to help him feel any better physically. It did, however, keep him from thinking about his experiences over and over again. It gave him peace and tranquility for as long as he could keep it up before his illness took his body and mind back from him. "I thought Yoda discourages use of the word 'try'," said Obi-Wan with a smile.


     Qui-Gon gave his shoulder a tight squeeze. "Then don't tell Master Yoda I used it." He bent over and kissed Obi-Wan's cheek. "Now get some more sleep, Love. You spent the whole night sleeping and you still look as though you only managed a few minutes."


     Obi-Wan pulled away from Qui-Gon, laying his head back down onto his pillow and letting his master tuck the covers around him comfortingly. Qui-Gon kissed his forehead gently, then risked a stronger kiss on his lips. The Jedi Master pulled away, wishing he could send gentle waves of love over to Obi to help him fall asleep faster. But his Padawan's barriers were strong and solid. At least he was still in connection with the Force in that way. "I'll be in to check on you again at lunch," Qui-Gon said as he rifled through his drawers for a clean change of clothes. "But as always, give me a call if you need me. And if it's a real emergency, call one of the healers." Obi-Wan, his eyes closed, nodded obediently.


     Obi-Wan listened closely as his master showered and dressed. Qui-Gon reentered their bedroom to leave a new box of tissues and a glass of water on Obi-Wan's nightstand. He did not wish to disturb his Padawan's efforts by speaking or touching him, so he blew a silent kiss and headed out for the day.


     Obi-Wan's eyes opened again. He waited a full minute before sitting back up, using both his own and his master's pillows. His back seemed to hurt less, the more pillows he used. He pulled his datapad out from beneath his pillow and set back to work on his assignments his master had no idea he was keeping up with. The bedroom was dim, lit only by the light which flooded in from the main room. But the bright light hurt his eyes still, and so he simply concentrated harder on the words. Not long after finishing a paper on the natural resources of the inner rim, his eyes grew too tired to concentrate, so he put his work away. Within seconds he had fallen asleep sitting up, head tilted to the side against his shoulder and one of the pillows.




     Obi-Wan woke sometime after lunch. He knew Qui-Gon had been there, for his glass of water was refilled and there was a note stating that there was soup in the cooler he could heat up if he was hungry. But after two weeks of eating practically nothing, Obi-Wan's stomach had shrunk and he could only really manage a meal a day, if that. It was a kind gesture of his master's however.


     "hehEhshhhh! hihEhtchhhhh!" He reached over and made good use of the tissues. They made his nose hurt when he rubbed at it but it seemed he had misplaced the handkerchief already. "ehhh-Hetchhhh! hihKeshhhh!" He blew his nose, but it didn't help much to alleviate the tickle. "ehhhHitchhooo! UGH!" he strained his neck from the sneeze.


     Obi-Wan's neck was already sore and stiff from its position as he slept, though it seemed since the incident that he had only been able to really sleep while sitting up, out of habit. Much to his extreme displeasure, he woke this time to find the bed sheets soaked through at his waist. Obi-Wan swore loudly and fervently, though felt neither anger nor shame. It was a perfectly natural bodily function, and perfectly logical considering he had not taken Qui to bed nor touched himself since before their mission. Still, dealing with it was somewhat of a pain.


     He pulled himself carefully out of bed, stepping out of his sleep pants immediately and wiping himself off. Then he stripped off the sheets and tossed it all into the laundry. Like part of a routine, he made his way to the 'fresher for a real shower before he did anything else about the bed. The smell of himself was sickening and he wished it gone immediately if not sooner.


     He took two, sometimes three, showers a day now. When he had a cold, he was able to justify it to Qui-Gon for the steam helped clear his head. When he had felt sick to his stomach, the need to wash and rinse his mouth out well had provided the excuse. But in truth, he enjoyed the warmth and strength of the water against his skin, even when his injuries hurt for it. He enjoyed hiding in the steam as it filled the room. He enjoyed sobbing with the loud rush of water to cover the sound. And he enjoyed stepping out, feeling clean and warm and smelling only of fruity soap rather than his own seed. He would step out and wrap a warm, fluffy towel around his body, forgetting for a few minutes that it was covered in cuts and bruises. Then he would bandage himself back up and retreat to a warm nest of blankets.




     That was exactly where Qui-Gon found him hours later when he came home for the day. Obi-Wan woke, finding himself wrapped warmly in blankets and cradled in a smiling Qui-Gon's arms. Obi-Wan smiled back. "Dice way to wake ub." He sniffed and rubbed at his nose which had already begin to tickle.


     "Well, you look happy." Qui-Gon snuggled him closely and kissed his cheek. "How was your day?" Obi-Wan shrugged, though the movement was not visible beneath the blankets. Qui-Gon gestured to the sheet-less bed. "Did you get sick again?" Obi-Wan shrugged and Qui-Gon hugged him closer. "I'm here to take care of you now, all right?" Obi-Wan nodded. "Dinner?" Obi-Wan nodded and Qui-Gon chuckled. "Are you going to talk to me or just make movements all night?


     "Sorry, Baster," Obi-Wan snuffled, then he snuggled back. "I'b glad you're back." He missed his master's comforting touch. In the dungeon he was used to spending many hours of time alone but the sort of attention he got now with Qui-Gon for company was certainly more preferable to the sort he had received from the women.



     "And how are you doing this morning my Beautiful?" Obi-Wan opened his eyes to see the brilliant blonde hair and bright eyes shining at him through the darkness. His stomach churned. He felt her hands on his side. Her fingernails felt like sharp nails and when she scratched his skin it stung. "What's wrong? Don't like a little pain?" She leaned forward, hand raised and Obi-Wan flinched, expecting a slap like the one she gave him at the end of each one of their encounters. But instead of a slap, to accompany the pain he got from flinching, she scratched his cheek. Three long, deep cuts formed along his cheek, bleeding down his chin, his neck, his chest. Closing his eyes did not make the pain go away, or prevent him from feeling her tongue as it worked its way down his front, cleaning up the blood. When she got to his crotch, she paused, then gently ran her fingers down the shaft.


Obi-Wan trembled, the thought of what she might do to him there terrified him. But she was careful with that piece of him at least, drawing blood in about a dozen other places. He began to feel weak as though something else were draining out with him along with the blood. Or perhaps it was something else seeping in. He sniffled and pulled away, having to sneeze again. Every bit of him was in pain now, and his crotch throbbed with the forced pleasure of it all. "huhEPshfffffff! ihPffffff!"


The woman's eyes flashed. "Did I tell you that you were allowed to sneeze, Beautiful?" His eyes were wide, wishing he could answer but then deciding it was probably best for her not to hear the words he would have used. "I don't believe I did," she said. "And I don't want such a beautiful boy in any pain that I don't give him myself." She cupped his face in both hands and out of the corner of his eye he could see the small, slender, bloody knives she had been using as extensions of her own fingers. For a moment he was worried she might try and kiss him, then he felt the sharpest, most intense pain ever in his chest and he realized she had lowered one hand and stabbed him. Not deep, but certainly more painful. He cried out at it and felt pain stab at his throat.


She gripped his erection carefully and shoved herself upon him. "Give it to me," she ordered, pressing her body to his so that his blood smeared against her chest. Then she pressed the tips of her knives into his back just so he could feel them there. "Give it to me, or I will make sure you never give anyone anything again."


Eyes tightly closed, he gave her all he could, thrusting hard, crying out as the pain of moving so violently with her weight upon him continuously shocked him. He wanted to hold back, wanted to get her done with and have her leave him be. But she refused to dismount and come at all until he began to. So she rode him hard and long until the pain in his chest at hitting hers and the shocks running through his body for moving at all caused him to orgasm despite his wishes.


Panting and expecting her to pull herself off him, he opened his eyes. But instead she smiled her wide, vindictive smile. "Again, Beautiful." He could not help but shake his head, pain shooting through his body. "Now, now, that's no way to treat your favorite lady." She scraped her claws down his chest, only cutting the surface. "Again. Or I promise you, no food, no drink, no company." Obi-Wan would have preferred that in favor of no talking. But as there was nothing at all he could do about it, he let her scratch her way to another orgasm.


Around the third or fourth he hurt so much he could not tell the pain from any other sensation. But his head spun so much he hardly noticed it. Perhaps it was the lack of blood. Or perhaps she had laced the knives with something that was meant to make him lose all sense of how many times she took him. Whatever it was, everything passed in a fuzzy haze. Flesh. Blood. Semen. Pain. Horrifying pain. Especially bad at each orgasm. He passed out completely many, many hours later around number six or seven, thankful not to remember what else she did to him.




     "I'll make us some dinner," Qui-Gon whispered, kissing him again before rising.


     But Obi-Wan grabbed his hand, clinging tightly. The idea of leaving their quarters terrified him for all the people around, and all he wanted was to be alone. But when he was alone, all he wanted was Qui-Gon to be with him. "Dod't leave be. Dot quite yet."


     Qui-Gon had a look of momentary confusion but then he nodded and sat back down on the bed. He let Obi-Wan crawl back into his arms and brushed his hand over Obi-Wan's forehead. He knew his padawan had no fever but it was a force of habit when he was trying to comfort the man. Obi-Wan whimpered so quietly in reaction Qui-Gon nearly missed it. Qui-Gon knew better than to ask what was wrong. He had asked so many times when they had returned home. Several times a day at first. But after a while he realized he would get no answer by asking, and instead took his own advice and remained patient. Obi-Wan would tell when he was ready.


     "hehKushhhhh! hihChuhhhhh! hehChuhhh!"


     He sniffed wetly and sat up to get a tissue, but Qui-Gon held him down and grabbed several for him. "Calm, Padawan, let me tend to you." He gently wiped Obi-Wan's nose, which was chapped and raw but oddly felt no pain the way Qui-Gon did it. No pain. What a lovely thought.


     "Thag you, Baster," Obi-Wan sniffled. "It always feels so buch better whed you do it." He gathered a fistful of Qui-Gon's robes and brought them to his face. He sniffled hard and wiped tear-filled eyes on the robes. He knew he wasn't supposed to be angry. Knew he wasn't supposed to let all those negative emotions in. He wasn't even really supposed to let some of the good ones in. But being fucked senseless for weeks seemed to have tossed to the surface every single emotion he'd spent his entire childhood coming to terms with and repressing. Even though he'd manage to separate the physical from the emotional as it happened, now, weeks later, the line seemed dangerously, terrifyingly blurred.


     Qui-Gon pulled him up and hugged him closer. He kissed Obi-Wan's good cheek and stroked the back of Obi-Wan's head soothingly. "Then let me take care of everything," he whispered imploringly. "Let me take care of you. Please, Love."


     Obi-Wan sniffled and pulled back to look him in the eye. "You do take care of be."


     Qui-Gon shook his head. His tone changed from being soft and intimate to cold and distant. "Not all of you. Not any more." On a whim, Qui-Gon took a stab at reaching through to Obi-Wan through their bond, but the barriers were up and as strong as ever. He pulled Obi-Wan closer roughly and kissed his forehead with a bit more force than was needed. "I'm going to make dinner." And this time when he rose, Obi-Wan only looked after him, sitting alone on the bed once again.




     The Jedi Master cooked dinner, looking as though he were so absorbed in the creation that he did not want to be disturbed. He dipped a finger into the sauce to test it and added a few more shakes of seasoning. The noodles were half softened on the stove, and the bread half toasted in the oven. And his Padawan came over from the bedroom, a blanket wrapped around his shoulders, to sit at the table. The young man's head was bowed as though with shame, as though he could not bare to look Qui-Gon in the eye.


     "There's some tea here for you," Qui-Gon said flatly, calling over his shoulder. "How long has it been since you took the herbs the healer prescribed you?"


     Obi-Wan retrieved the tea, stirring it as he sat back down. It seemed to be the perfect temperature, as though Qui-Gon knew when he would be coming over. "Dot sure," Obi-Wan replied, trying to convince himself that this room was so like the dungeon and he had lost all track of time, when in reality he knew it had actually been five and a half days.


     "Not sure or not sure you want to tell me?" Qui-Gon asked, keeping his back to Obi-Wan as he stirred the sauce and tested the noodles. It did not require an answer.


     Obi-Wan remained silent at the table, inspecting its smooth surface as though it were highly fascinating. "hehChhhuhhhhh! hahChuhhhh!"


     Qui-Gon turned, looking back at him and digging a handkerchief out of his pocket to offer over. But Obi-Wan took a napkin from the center of the table and used that to blow his nose, with a bit of a wince at the roughness. "Try not to sneeze at the table, Obi-Wan," sighed Qui-Gon, bringing over two plates of pasta, then the drinks and bread.


     They ate in silence for much of the meal, staring down at their plates so they would not have to look at each other. Qui-Gon received no compliments for the meal that Obi-Wan's cold probably did not allow him to taste much of. And Obi-Wan received no kind words whenever he sneezed, even when he did remember to turn away from the table.


     "I saw Siri and Bant today in the cafeteria," Qui-Gon finally said, dipping a piece of bread into his sauce. "They miss you and said for me to wish you well on their behalf. Because, of course, you're not answering their communications."


     Obi-Wan forced a cough, trying to make it look like his throat was suddenly bothering him too much to answer. Qui-Gon pushed both his water and tea closer in solution, as though he did not accept coughing as a proper response. Obi-Wan drank but remained silent. Qui-Gon, on the other hand, sighed deeply. "Obi, if you cannot let me in, at least talk with your friends. Siri especially, she'll understand. She went through it, too."


     But Obi-Wan was quite sure that whatever she had gone through, it was nothing compared to what he had faced. It was different for women. He understood that now.


     Yes, his part had been voluntary and it had made all the difference in the infiltration. Even had he the choice to make again, he would have agreed for it meant another would not have had to suffer like that in his place. But that did not make it any easier on him. And he would be damned if he was going to confess all his problems to Siri who was so strong and spirited and had apparently carried on with her life just fine.


     Obi-Wan dropped his fork with a clink into what was left of his meal and scooted back from the table. "Bay I blease be excused, Baster? I'b feelig sick to by stobach agaid." Qui-Gon restrained another sigh and nodded. If he had learned anything as Obi-Wan's master, he had learned patience. Obi-Wan retreated back to his blankets on the bed, burying his head beneath as though he thought it might hide him completely, never to be found again.



     Jedi do not dream in the normal way. When they wake, their memories of their dreams are typically suppressed. They might remember a brief image or two, but nothing more. Dreams were created by one's subconscious to work things out, but they were not real in any sense. Jedi were trained to harness their entire selves and work things out on their own. So when Obi-Wan opened his eyes hours later, hand pressed again to his cheek as though the wound was again fresh, he knew it hadn't been a dream that touched him.


     Not a dream, but a memory. A vivid, painful memory that was fighting hard to get out. His stomach churned and he lifted his head to try and remind himself that he was home. He wished desperately he could simply have stayed in the meditative state.


     Qui-Gon had made the bed around Obi-Wan and was now sitting on his side, reading something. He looked up and smiled to see Obi-Wan alert once more. "Cheek hurting you again?"


     Obi-Wan nodded, trying to ignore the fact that the phantom pain that had seized his head had also seized his crotch with a shameful phantom burst of pleasure. That coupled with the fact that he was in bed with Qui-Gon, and he made sure a pillow was covering his waist as he crawled up to be beside his master. "I'b sorry," he whispered softly, lying his head on Qui-Gon's shoulder the way he did when they were out reading and working on the couch and he got too tired but did not want to leave to go to bed. And Qui-Gon put his arm around Obi-Wan's shoulders as he did to signal to his Padawan that he could rest until bedtime.


     Obi-Wan stiffened suddenly, then jerked forward with a sneeze. "hehKIHshhhhhh!" He sniffed hard and Qui-Gon already had a handkerchief held out for him. Obi-Wan hesitated, and Qui-Gon took it as an invitation to wipe his nose for him as usual. Whatever tension there had been earlier, it all seemed to be gone now. He sniffed and smiled at Qui-Gon's gentle, caring touch. "Thag you," he whispered.


     Whispering back, "You know there's a chance I might not understand you if you told me, Obi-Wan. But there is no way I will ever understand if you tell me nothing."


     There was a certain loveable logic in that which Obi-Wan found irresistible. He wanted desperately to explain, but there was so much and he had not the first clue where to start.


     "Start anywhere you like, Obi-Wan," said Qui-Gon, a smile broadening on his face, but not from the subject matter. He had sensed his Padawan for the first time in weeks, and though it had been a rush of confusion and anguish, the point was that it was something. He set down his datapad and picked up Obi-Wan's hand with his free one. "I have all the time in the world to listen."


     Obi-Wan squeezed his hand back, grateful for the relaxed comfort. And grateful to feel the simple emotions that came with the physical contact. Not all emotions had to come from pain. He took a deep breath and began, finally, by explaining the scratch on his face.