The Death Trap Test

by Augusta Pembrooke (

Archive: yes to Master-Apprentice and The Rising Force; all others please ask.

Category: First time, Romance, Challenge

Rating: NC-17 for sexual content

Warnings: none

Spoilers: none

Summary: my response to the "I don't want to die a virgin" challenge. Didn't mean to catch this particular bunny, but it had other plans.

Feedback: yes, of course.

Author's Note: I picture Obi-Wan as several years younger than the legal age in the US. If this bothers you, feel free to picture a very naive eighteen-year-old.

Master Yoda stood with Mace Windu in the observation room and studied the rank of monitors. The displays showed every aspect of a small featureless room in which Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi were sitting on bunks across from one another. Yoda's face was expressionless, but he was worried. Qui-Gon had been his most difficult, and consequently his most beloved, student and he could never see him go into danger without some concern.

The danger here was from within, as Qui-Gon and his apprentice prepared to take one of the most dangerous of all the tests a Jedi ever had to face. Some knights who could be brought later to discuss it have rated the Death Trap Test as a much more traumatic experience than even their own knighthood trials. A few knights, of course, breezed through the ordeal effortlessly, and wondered why everyone thought the trial was so difficult. These knights were usually rated fairly low on the imagination scale.

Not all Jedi were even given the chance to take the test; it was considered something only the strongest and best-adjusted should be expected to survive without at least some psychic damage. And even with only the finest being given the opportunity, there were some notable, and alarming failures.

The test itself wasn't difficult, and it didn't have a solution as such. At its simplest, the Jedi to be tested were put inside a mind-field, where they were made to believe that they had been tried and found guilty of a serious crime on some remote world, and were to be executed the next day.

The situation was designed with no way out, and the mind field instilled the subjects with this belief. The test wasn't one of ingenuity to see how many different ways the subjects could find to try to escape; it was purely a test of how they would face what appeared to be their own inevitable deaths.

The most superior Master/Padawan pairs and paired knights were given this trial before they could be rated to accept the riskiest of assignments. Perhaps ten percent of all Jedi were asked to take the trials; of that number, roughly half made it - survived to the end of the thirty-hour period without breaking down or developing long-lasting psychic traumas of some kind.

In the room under observation, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan sat down in the simulated cell and waited for the test to begin.

Qui-Gon had been very reluctant to allow himself and his padawan to be subjected to the test. It had been known to prove dangerous not just to the mind of the subject. There had been at least one instance in which a master, convinced that their deaths were imminent, had sent his frightened young padawan into a comforting sleep that led quickly down to death to spare him further anguish. This master, upon emerging from the field and realizing what he had done, was one of the saddest creatures Qui-Gon had ever seen.

He didn't necessarily believe that he would do likewise; he didn't think Obi-Wan would face death with such fear that he would think it necessary. But he wasn't sure, and it was this lack of confidence that frightened him. He knew himself well enough to know that there wasn't much he wouldn't do to spare Obi-Wan from pain and suffering, and if he were to be the cause of Obi-Wan's needless death, he really didn't think he could continue to live with that knowledge.

He had explained all that to his padawan, how risky the test was, and how it wasn't necessary that they take it at all. But the two of them were becoming the most highly respected team in the upcoming master/padawan roster, and the council was eager to give them some of the more important and dangerous assignments. So Obi-Wan, never lacking in self-confidence, had wanted to try. The important assignments were a lure to him - he was drawn to the danger and the knowledge that what they were doing was of critical importance to the Order and the Republic. So for the sake of his padawan's future as a knight, Qui-Gon had acquiesced.

Now they sat and waited for the field to come on. Once on, nothing known to current Jedi science could turn it off or open the cell's doors before the mandated thirty hours had expired. No one knew why it had been designed to be so inflexible - the test designer was four-hundred years dead and he had left nothing to explain it.

Obi-Wan was a little bit skeptical - they had been thoroughly briefed on what was to take place. They knew in advance that they were going to be made to believe they were about to die - how could they not remember that during the test itself?


Between one moment and the next ...


Obi-Wan looked across the room at his master and wondered how he could remain so serene, in light of ... everything. Qui-Gon looked up at that moment and caught his eye, and got up and moved over to sit beside his apprentice and put his arm around him.

Obi-Wan subsided thankfully against Qui-Gon and sighed. "I don't know if this sounds selfish or what, but... I'm glad you're with me. Or I'm glad I'm with you, I guess. I mean, I'm glad neither of us is alone now."

"I understand, Padawan," Qui-Gon murmured into his apprentice's hair. "I wouldn't want you to be alone for this, and I'm glad you wouldn't want me to be alone. We'll face it like we face everything, together."

"It just seems so unfair," Obi-Wan said. "They didn't even listen to us."

"I know." Qui-Gon stroked his hand up and down Obi-Wan's arm, drawing him closer into his embrace. "I know."

The watchers in the observation room noted Obi-Wan's silent tears, which he blotted in his master's tunic, and sighed. "Very difficult to watch, this is," Yoda muttered, his ears drooping sadly.

"Always difficult," Windu agreed, feeling his own eyes get a little misty in sympathy with the young man.


Several hours had passed in the thirty hour trial. Obi-Wan had slept for a while tucked up against his master's chest, and now the two were idly recalling some of their fondest or most alarming experiences. It wasn't unusual for subjects to engage in this kind of life remembrance, and for a while, Windu left off the observation to have some food and rest. The recorders were catching everything anyway.

When he returned, the conversation on the displays had taken a more personal turn; Obi-Wan had begun to quiz his master on the particulars of his sexual career. Qui-Gon was answering him with reasonable good humor, and was offering enough detail to keep Obi-Wan happy without unnecessarily intruding on the privacy of his past partners. Some of the more interesting of Qui-Gon's exploits had caused Yoda a great deal of amusement. Unfortunately, whatever passed in the course of the test was privileged information, and Yoda would be unable to tease his former padawan with knowledge of these adventures after the test was over.

"So far, so good?" Windu asked.

"Survive it, I believe they will," Yoda said, with more cheer than he had shown earlier. "Survive it in style, perhaps; better partners will they be, after such sharing as they are experiencing now."


In the ersatz prison cell, Obi-Wan fell silent. The silence stretched on for a period of time, and finally Qui-Gon was moved to break it. "Obi-Wan?" he asked gently, tipping the young man's head up so he could see the tears standing in his eyes.

"I'm sorry, Master," Obi-Wan said. "I'm trying, really."

"I know, my Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon dropped a kiss on his eyebrow. "You are the best padawan a master could have hoped for."

"You know what I regret most?" Obi-Wan said, burying his face in his master's tunic again and wrapping his arms around his waist. "I really didn't think I'd have to die a virgin."

Qui-Gon's arms tightened and he laughed a little. "You're still young, Padawan, there's plenty of time..." His voice trailed off as he realized what he had said. "I'm sorry. I truly am, Obi-Wan."

"Master," Obi-Wan raised his head and looked into Qui-Gon's eyes. "There really is... plenty of time, I mean."

Qui-Gon studied his apprentice's face, searching for some alternative meaning. "You would...? Are you?"

"Am I asking you to love me? Yes." Obi-Wan reached up a hand and gently touched his master's cheek, stroking his temple and then trailing a finger lightly down his nose to his lips.

Qui-Gon took the caressing fingers into his mouth and nipped on them, before saying, "You know it is forbidden, and why, my Obi-wan."

"I know; because the inequality of the master-apprentice relationship assures that there can never truly be consent on the part of the apprentice, and any master-apprentice sexual union is de-facto a coercive one," Obi-Wan quoted dutifully. "But we're both going to die tomorrow," Obi-Wan went on. "I don't think you can get any more equal than that."

"You make a definite point, Padawan," Qui-Gon said as he nuzzled his face into Obi-Wan's hair.

Obi-Wan pressed his cheek against his master's and whispered urgently in his ear, "Please. I don't want to die without knowing what love feels like."

Qui-Gon drew back his head to look again into the young man's eyes. "Never doubt that you're loved, my dearest. I've loved you for years, and wanted you for nearly as long."

"And I you," Obi-Wan sighed against his master's lips, as Qui-Gon brought his head down to kiss him.


"Stop this, we must," Yoda exclaimed in annoyance.

"Stop this, we cannot, and you know it," Mace told him. "We've sat here and unwittingly watched a master KILL his padawan, and you would, if you could, interrupt the test rather than see Qui-Gon kiss his?"

"To confirm a team for the toughest assignments, the trial does. Yet broken up this team must be, if interrupt these proceedings we can not," Yoda insisted.

"Not necessarily," Mace suggested. "We must see the trial through to the end, in any event. We'll decide what will become of the team later."


Obi-Wan fell into the kiss with abandon, lying across his master's lap and twisting his hands into his hair. He opened his lips for his master's searching tongue, and groaned against the feel of it thrusting insistantly into his mouth. Qui-Gon's hands were drawing his robe off his shoulders, and pushing his tunic aside in a quest for the feel of soft skin.

The two finally broke the kiss, gasping as they studied each other's face. "Yes, please," Obi-Wan whispered at last. "I want you."

"My gorgeous, luscious Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon groaned, as he buried his face in the young man's neck, kissing and nipping at the tender skin. "Do you have any idea how long I've dreamed of touching you this way? Kissing you? Feeling you?" His lips encircled one nipple and he sucked gently. "You are an old man's secret fantasy, one I thought would never be revealed."

Obi-Wan lightly swatted Qui-Gon on the head and laughed. "Old man, huh?" His hand between Qui-Gon's legs found his objective, and he caressed the thickness through the fabric. "Oh, Master," he sighed with satisfaction. He rolled away from Qui-Gon's embrace to lie on his back on the bunk, and opened his arms. "Love me."

Qui-Gon once again covered his padawan's mouth with his own, leaning over his body and running his hands down the boy's chest and thighs. One hand insinuated itself inside the waistband of the leggings, and a rock-hard erection met his touch eagerly. Slowly he explored the length with a light touch, a thumb circling the velvet tip, and smearing the droplet of dew within the sensitive slit, the fingers encircling the base and leisurely progressing toward the head.

Obi-Wan, trembling with a novice's eagerness, arched his back and gasped into his master's mouth. "No, too soon... I'm too close..."

The hand in his leggings wandered down to capture and feel the sac underneath the quivering member, then further below to lightly caress the tightness between the boy's buttocks. "Love," Qui-Gon murmured around his kisses. "You are so delicious, so hot..." His hand once again encircled the weeping penis, and he tightened his grip and pumped it firmly.

"Not yet," Obi-Wan gasped. "Please... I'm too..."

"We have hours and hours, my love." Qui-Gon released the boy's mouth from his and looked down into his eyes, while continuing to stimulate the young man's erection. "I want to see you come, Obi-Wan. Come for me now, while I watch your eyes. I want to see your face as I make you come."

This was too much for Obi-Wan's fragile control, and he arched up into Qui-Gon's hand, crying out as his orgasm overtook him. His hands locked behind his master's neck, he pulled him down onto his body, and buried his face in Qui-Gon's throat, panting.

"Oh, Master, I wanted to wait for you," he said when he could.

"You darling," Qui-Gon laughed. "You'll be with me the next time, I swear it."


A door opened and closed behind the watchers, and Mace turned to see a worried Adi Gallia enter and join them before the rank of monitors.

"How are they withstanding the trial?" she asked, looking at Mace, and then at the displays. "Oh. Oh my."

"Our finest team, lost to us, are," Yoda mourned. "End them as an effective team, this will."

"But still..." Adi watched, wide-eyed, as Qui-Gon lowered Obi-Wan back onto the bunk while removing his own robe with one hand. "What an interesting way to deal with your upcoming death. Certainly a better alternative than ranting against fate, or crying, or sinking into a depression, as most do. And not unexpected, given the deep affection for each other they share."

Mace smiled at this. Yes, if he were hours from his own death, he wouldn't mind spending it exactly as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were. With whom, though? He looked at Adi speculatively, and grinned when she caught his eye. Unobtrusively, she gave his backside an admonitory swat, and it was all he could do to keep from laughing out loud.

"Behave, you must," Yoda snapped. "Serious business, this is."

"Yes, Master," they said in chorus.


Obi-Wan lay back on the bunk and watched through half-closed eyes as his master stood up and began unbuckling his boots. "All of it," he instructed. "I want to see all of you."

Qui-Gon smiled and planted a kiss on his apprentice's raised knee as he complied, removing boots, then sash, then tunic. He was apparently moving too slowly to suit Obi-Wan, who sat up to help him when it came to removing his leggings. When he eased the fabric over the slim hips and muscled thighs, he inhaled abruptly as Qui-Gon's rampant erection sprang free of the confining cloth.

"Oh, Master," he breathed. "You're a GOD!" He ran his hands appreciatively up over Qui-Gon's chest, down his sides and around his buttocks, drawing the standing man closer to him and leaning in to kiss the tip of his penis, drawing his tongue around the rim and then sucking it lightly into his mouth. Qui-Gon put his hands on his apprentice's shoulders to steady himself - it was all he could do to keep from thrusting blindly into his padawan's throat.

Obi-Wan continued to taste and nibble gently for a few minutes, cupping his master's testicles in his hands and fondling them before laying back down onto the bunk. "Come here," he growled, and Qui-Gon was lying beside him at once.

"You're still wearing too much, my Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon told him, as he divested the young man of the remainder of his disarrayed clothing. Then he pulled Obi-Wan atop himself and they both gasped aloud at the feeling of naked skin against naked skin.

"Oh, it's wonderful," Obi-Wan moaned, burying his face in his master's neck and squirming his whole body. "Why didn't we do this ages ago? Why doesn't everyone make love all the time?"

Qui-Gon responded by rolling over, bearing Obi-Wan beneath him, and kissing him soundly. "Tell me what you want, my padawan. I'll give you anything you want."

"Your cock, inside me," Obi-Wan said without hesitation. "I want you to fuck me. I don't want to have a speck of virginity left when ... when this is all over."

Qui-Gon might ordinarily have hestitated; he was large, and the boy was inexperienced. But under the circumstances... he slid over to lay beside his apprentice, spreading Obi-Wan's legs apart as he ran his hand through the semen still coating his stomach.

"This is probably going to hurt you a little at first, love," he told him. "You must relax into me, and let me do all the work." With that, he began stroking his slick hand between Obi-Wan's legs, circling his anus, sliding back and forth over it, before gently inserting the tip of one finger into the tense opening. Raising up on one elbow, he studied Obi-Wan's face intently as he gently probed further into his body.

"Does that hurt?" he asked as Obi-Wan let out a slight gasp, his eyes wide.

"No... not hurt - it's just strange. Full and..." Qui-Gon slipped the finger out and then back into its tight enclosure, and Obi-Wan gasped again. "Oh, it's good!"

"Excellent," Qui-Gon said, as he kissed his apprentice again.

It was as this point that Yarael Poof joined the trio of observers at the monitors, having to duck his long neck to be able to enter the small room at all; it was his skill at mental illusions that powered the mind field, and he was concerned about quality control.

He looked with interest at the activity on the screens and was pleased. "I see my illusions are persuasive; these two clearly believe they won't live to have to deal with the consequences of their current activities."

Adi cast about the room briefly and found a chair to collapse in, fanning herself with her hand.

Yoda snorted with disgust at his colleagues, but Yarael went on blithely, "You know, I have often wondered why we don't see this reaction more often in these tests; it seems psychologically valid for those facing death to deal with it in such a life-affirming way."

"Life-affirming! Contempt for the code, it shows," Yoda insisted.


Qui-Gon took some considerable time preparing his padawan for penetration, to Obi-Wan's extreme frustration. He was soon squirming against the fingers thrusting inside him, and begging his master to fuck him, fuck him NOW.

Finally Qui-Gon took pity on him, and moved to kneel between his padawan's legs, lifting Obi-Wan's buttocks to his lap and positioning himself. Leaning over and capturing his apprentice's eyes with his gaze, he whispered "Call me by my name, Obi-Wan."

"Master?" his lust-dazed apprentice asked.

"Call me by my name, Obi-Wan." Qui-Gon let the tip of his penis rest right at the entry to Obi-Wan's body.

"Qui-Gon," the boy panted. "Please, Qui-Gon, fuck me. I want you to fuck me, Qui-Gon..." then as he felt himself being pierced by the older man's penis, he cried out "Master! Ah yes, MASTER!"

"Well, it's a start," Qui-Gon muttered as he pressed further into the willing body beneath him, calling on every ounce of control he possessed to keep from plunging heedlessly into the tight heat. "Oh, padawan... Obi-Wan..." his voice tailed off into incoherent moans.

Soon he had worked his entire length into his apprentice's body, and he paused, leaning forward to press a kiss on Obi-Wan's chest. "Alright?" he asked gently.

"Qui-Gon," Obi-Wan opened his eyes and sighed. "I love you."

Reassured, Qui-Gon withdrew almost completely out of Obi-Wan's body, and then with a thrust of his hips, drove back deep into the welcoming depths that gripped so firmly around him.

He was rewarded with a hissed 'yesss' as his apprentice arched to meet him. Again he withdrew, and thrust again, and again, and now Obi-Wan was crying out endearments and encouragements, his own penis once again rock hard and aching for attention.

"Master... Qui-Gon... oh, like that - just like that, ahhh let me have it... all of it... "

Reaching between them with one hand, and balancing his weight on the other, Qui-Gon captured Obi-Wan's straining erection and began to pump his fist around it in time to his own thrusts.

Soon Obi-Wan was reduced to chanting 'yes, yes, yes' in rhythm to the now-frantic pace of their mating, escalating to a wordless scream as he felt the approach of a shattering climax. Qui-Gon felt his apprentice's sensations swamping over into his own mind, and the addition to his nearly-overwhelmed senses sent him pumping his own release deep into the boy's body, before collapsing onto his stunned apprentice.

For long moments, neither spoke or moved; Obi-Wan wasn't completely sure he remained conscious throughout. Finally, he felt his master raise his head from its resting place on his chest, and whisper "Wow."

He felt like he ought to add something to the conversation, but all he could do was lift one feeble hand to stroke his master's hair and murmur "Mmmm."


Once again, the silence in the watchers' room was broken by the door behind them, and Mace heard his former apprentice Depa Billaba whisper "Master?"

He tore his attention away from the monitors and went to meet her at the doorway, whispering as well, "Yes, what is it?"

"There is some concern in the Council Chambers - so many of the Council members being so long away from their duties... is everything - alright?" Her voice, one of her most beautiful features, Mace thought, was touched with gentle concern - Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were particular favorites of hers.

"Just an ... unusual trial, Depa," Mace told her. She looked beyond him to the monitors, which showed a naked Qui-Gon lying between his equally naked padawan's legs, and inhaled abruptly.

She watched as the image of the Jedi master raised his head and captured his padawan's mouth in a soul-searing kiss, and then went to the corner and pulled out another chair, and sat down beside Adi.

Mace stood behind her, his hand on her shoulder, and she looked briefly up at him and said, "Why didn't we think of this, during our own test, Master?" It was too dimly lit in the room to be able to tell if she had made her former master blush or not.


The pair in the cell slept for a while, arms tightly wrapped around each other, Qui-Gon covering his apprentice with his body, his penis still lodged within its now-slippery sheath. Soon though, they woke to resume the almost nonstop kissing and cuddling that had occupied them for some hours.

They took a brief break to quickly down the dried food and water that their fictitious captors had left in the cell, for they weren't barbarians, after all and would never starve their prisoners.

Then it was back to the exploration of sexual possibilities. Oral gratification was given and received, and Obi-Wan spent a considerable period of time giving his master a leisurely bath with his tongue, to Qui-Gon's intense pleasure.

Most of their conversation was carried out with their thoughts now, which flowed more fluidly between them than they had ever experienced. But conversation was minimal.

Master, Obi-Wan mused. Why is this between master and apprentice considered so bad? It seems so right.

Here and now, it is, my Obi-Wan, his master told him. And between you and I, who feel such love. But it would be easy to abuse the power a master has over his apprentice. It's been known to happen.

Abuse me, Obi-Wan directed, and the conversation abruptly ceased as Qui-Gon hastened to comply.


The watchers in the observation room came and went, the curious wanting to know the outcome of the trial of the pair, the prurient returning out of sheer awe. Yoda had retired grumbling several hours ago, yet Mace and Adi remained... Mace out of concern for his old friend and his apprentice, Adi out of frank disbelief at the stamina being displayed.

"Will they have to be separated, as Master Yoda insists?" she finally asked Mace. "It seems like such a shame."

"I wouldn't say it was a foregone conclusion," Mace told her judiciously. "There's clearly no crime here - what one does in the test has to be considered in light of the beliefs one is operating under."

"How do you mean?" Adi asked.

"You remember poor Kalitak, don't you? Poor man's apprentice was in such mortal terror that he gentled him into the sleep-of-death?"

"Oh, that was so sad," Adi mourned. "We should have seen the young man's fears and never had allowed them to take the trial; we were very much to blame there."

"Yes, we all were," Mace acknowledged. "And of course no blame could be attached to Kalitak; given the circumstances he thought he was operating under, he did the right thing. If the test had been real, he would have gone to his death a kind, considerate master. As it was..."

They both thought regretfully of the grief-shocked shell of a formerly great Jedi master.

"Now given Qui-Gon's belief in their impending deaths, and his apprentice's quite understandably irresistable request, you can hardly say that Qui-Gon violated his apprentice's trust in him, can you?" Mace went on.

"No, I see that... his actions are completely justifiable given the situation we placed them in. But after the trial..." Adi looked worried.

"Yes, that's the issue, isn't it? Because we really have to deal with what comes after, don't we?" Mace grew very thoughtful.


The test was now in its twenty-nineth hour, and the watchers were down to the original two. The other Council Members were already assembling in the Chamber to rule on the outcome of the trial, and Mace and Yoda were silent as they watched the pair on the screen.

Qui-Gon lay on his back with his apprentice lying in his arms, idly running his hands over the young man's back and shoulders. Obi-Wan lay inert on his master's chest, his lips aimlessly pressing little kisses into the soft skin within his reach.

"It's very strange, Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon spoke aloud for the first time in hours. "My life ends in less than an hour, and I cannot recall ever being happier than I am right now."

"Me either," Obi-Wan murmured.

"So many wounds healed; so many scars erased - your love astounds and humbles me. You really are a wonderful young man, you know." Qui-Gon kissed his padawan's brow.

"I've had a whole life's worth of love in the past day," Obi-Wan sighed, smiling wistfully. "I always thought the phrase 'now I can die happy' was hyperbole, but I see it's not. Not that I would object if offered a few hundred years of your love, Master."

"Dearest. If time were mine to give, it would be yours." The two kissed at length, and then Qui-Gon extracted himself and sat up. "We probably should not go naked to our execution," he suggested.

"I don't know; it might make for an interesting legend," Obi-Wan laughed, but followed his master's lead and began to resume the clothing that had been scattered about the cell so many hours ago.

Soon the pair once again resembled the reserved and monklike Jedi that they had been when they arrived, sitting across from one another on the two bunks, with only their entwined hands presenting any difference from their aspects at the trial's beginning.

A gong sounded out in the hallway, and the two arose and walked to the door which was slowly sliding open, Obi-Wan the respectful half-step behind his master, until Qui-Gon drew him forward to stand beside himself. "Together, in all things, my padawan."

"Yes, Master," Obi-Wan said dutifully, and the pair walked side by side through the opening doorway.


And from the space of the cell to the hallway beyond...


Memory rushed back into their minds; the test and its purpose and the entire events of the past day re-sorted themselves in context.

First relief. There were no executioners waiting for them at the end of the long hallway.

Then shock... and then fear. Simultaneously, they turned toward one another, their arms automatically closing about the other.

"Master!" Obi-Wan whispered. "Don't let them separate us! Please don't let them..." He felt tears threaten in the back of his eyes.

"Never!" his master assured him. "Yours till death, Obi-Wan - I promise you." He drew back and looked down into Obi-Wan's frightened eyes. "I'd leave the Order if I must to stay with you, Padawan. If that's what you want."

"Anything! I can't bear it if they try to separate us," Obi-Wan agreed. "I thought being a knight was the most important thing in my life, but I was wrong. It's you - it was always you."

Qui-Gon's mouth closed over Obi-Wan's in a promise-affirming kiss, which went on for some time. They neither saw nor felt the presence of the knight who had come looking for them, until the embarrassed young man theatrically cleared his throat.

Reluctantly parting, they turned, and the young knight, blushing crimson, said "The Council awaits the results of your test, Master Jinn, Padawan Kenobi. Please attend them."

And Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan followed him hand-in-hand, as if they were indeed going to their execution at last.


The Council was kind, the Council was understanding, and they were even prepared to allow Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to remain paired as master and apprentice. But the stipulation they were insisting upon... Obi-Wan wasn't sure he could stand it.

"Memory adjustment?" he asked. "You mean...?"

"We can arrange for your memories of the past day to be replaced with a more... conventional trial. Shared stories and jokes, some tears and mourning friends you'll never see again," Mace offered. "If you can't accept this, then the only other alternative is to assign Obi-Wan to another master..."

"No," Qui-Gon interrupted.

"You know we do not judge you, Master Qui-Gon," Adi Gallia said. "There was no fault in your behavior; you have nothing to be sanctioned for. But you cannot retain the memories of your recent activities with your padawan and continue to train him - you must see that."

"Master, Please!" Obi-Wan begged. "Don't let them take our memories from us."

Qui-Gon was torn. "It would mean we could stay together, love," he offered. "And that's what we wanted, wasn't it? I'd still love you, you know."

"But I wouldn't know," Obi-Wan said, his voice cracking as tears threatened. "Not like I know now."

"You always knew I loved you," Qui-Gon said, "you just didn't know how much. We'd still have each other..."

"You said you'd leave the order if you had to, to stay with me," Obi-Wan said.

"And so I would, but we don't have to. And you'll be a knight soon, and then I will be able to tell you, show you..." Qui-Gon took both Obi-Wan's hands in his. "We'll have plenty of time to find our love again, Obi-Wan."

Obi-Wan looked at the floor, thinking hard. He wouldn't know what he'd lost once he lost it; would it really matter? Somehow he felt that it did, yet his master and the Council were right as well. And he would hate to be the cause of his master's exile, forcing the two of them out of the only life they had ever known into who-knows-what future.

Finally he looked up, and turned to face the council members. "Alright," he said. "You may ... steal my memories." Now tears were close to the surface, and he burrowed his arms into the sleeves of his robe to keep from shaking.

Yarael Poof had made some communication to his assistants, who entered the Council Chamber to escort the pair to the Healers for the memory-alterations.

Something was nagging at the back of Obi-Wan's mind - a similar situation he had been in back when he was a new padawan... A brand new padawan, in fact, and just past thirteen! He dug one hand unobtrusively into the tiny pocket built into his sleeve, where he kept the river stone that Qui-Gon had given him for his thirteenth birthday. He had to handle it carefully now, since a flaw had appeared that threatened to bisect the stone in two pieces - he took the rock firmly between his fingers and pressed with his thumb, feeling it crack. Not a flaw at all, he thought, but perhaps the design of the Force.

"Please," he waved off the two escorts, asking them to wait with a gesture. "Last kiss?" he looked at Qui-Gon, who held out his arms to him.

He walked into them, and lifted up his face for a kiss, his hands at Qui-Gon's chest, and he dropped half of the rock down the front of Qui-Gon's tunic. Please, Master he sent as he melded his body and lips to Qui-Gon's. Push your memories into the stone. Please. Keep them safe in the stone.

Memories into the stone, Qui-Gon repeated dutifully, if somewhat puzzled, as his lips caressed his padawan's. "I'll always love you, my Obi-Wan."

"And I'll always love you, my Qui-Gon," Obi-Wan smiled at him and kissed him again. Into the stone, my dearest love; remember me.

Then the two were gently parted, and led away to have their memories changed.


Only by the greatest effort of will did Obi-Wan manage to refrain from stealing glances at his Master as the two stood before the Council and accepted their congratulations on their successful completion of the Death Trap Test.

He risked a searching look as they walked down the hall toward their quarters, but Qui-Gon displayed nothing but his usual calm serenity. Obi-Wan's spirits were uneven; torn between elation that he had retained his memories of the incredible experience he had just lived through, and fear that his Master had not.

Were his instructions too vague? He really couldn't think of any better way to put it, though; maybe his master had just decided not to defy the Council in this way. If he had forgotten, how would Obi-Wan be able to stand remembering it all and knowing that it was a blank to the man he had shared it with?

Well, what if it was, Obi-Wan suddenly decided. Having shared his master's thoughts to some considerable depth during their experience, he now knew that his master had long been cherishing a very un-masterly desire for him. If Qui-Gon had really forgotten their trials, Obi-Wan just have to seduce him. Given the power of his master's feelings, Obi-Wan didn't think it would take very much to persuade him to defy the Council in this.

Still, he hoped he wouldn't have to - their time together these past two days was so very precious.

Now they had reached their own chambers, and Obi-Wan followed his master through the door. "Master?" he asked, the moment the door sealed behind them.

Qui-Gon had advanced into the center of their main living area, and now turned around to look at him. He held out his hand, palm up. And in the center of his palm, glowing faintly with the Force, was half of the stone that he had given Obi-Wan for his thirteenth birthday.

"What do you remember?" Obi-Wan asked him, nearly whispering, his hopes leaping up at the look in his master's eyes.

"Every word. Every touch. Every kiss..." now Obi-Wan was in Qui-Gon's arms, and their lips were beginning a new exploration. They found themselves some minutes later still in each others arms, still kissing and caressing, lying fully-clothed on the large bed in Qui-Gon's bedchamber.

Qui-Gon broke away from the kiss, and raised himself on an elbow to look down into the eyes of his padawan. "Obi-love," he whispered. "This is a very dangerous path we tread."

Obi-Wan nodded his understanding, yet added, "We can take no other path."

Qui-Gon leaned down to kiss him, then said, his lips brushing his padawan's with every word, "If we're discovered, it means disgrace; we won't have the excuse of the trial to explain our actions."

"If we're discovered, we find another line of work," Obi-Wan told him with the confidence of youth, pulling Qui-Gon down to lie covering his body. "They can't take the Force away from us, after all, and they can't take you away from me now, either. Surely there's a lot of people in need of our skills."

"If we're discovered," Qui-Gon agreed. "But let us not court discovery, my Padawan. I would still like to live to see you knighted."

"As long as I have you, I'm happy," Obi-Wan assured him, and Qui-Gon yielded again to a love he could no longer deny.


"Fooled us, they think they have," Yoda told Mace Windu at about that same time.

"I recommend we allow ourselves a generous measure of gullibility," Windu replied. "If we take notice, we will have to take action, and any action we take will lose them to us."

"Like it, I do not." Yoda paced back and forth leaning heavily on his stick, his heart at war with his head. "Accept it, I will. For now."

The End.