Worth It

by Kat (padawan_kat@yahoo.com)

Feedback: Is welcomed at padawan_kat@yahoo.com
Archive: M_A if you want it. Others yes, just let me know where.
Category: First time, Romance
Pairing: Obi-Wan/Quinlan Vos
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Yes, for the JA books and the Dark Horse comic series "The Stark Hyperspace War".
Summary: Obi-Wan's longstanding crush on fellow Padawan Quinlan Vos finally comes to fruition when the two are in Temple together.
Timeline: Obi-Wan is 19
Disclaimer: They all belong to George. I make no money, it's done solely out of love.
Warnings: Reference to underage sex. Also shameless use of a well-known Latin phrase.
Series: Not yet, although the bunnies are biting.

Note: This story pairs Obi-Wan up with Quinlan Vos (aka he-from-the-comics, or alternatively he-of-the-dreadlocks-and-sexy-tattoos). For those unfamiliar with him, Quinlan is a near-human from Kiffu, a member of Clan Vos. Each Clan has a guardian, who can read psychic images by handling objects. Quinlan was very talented in this area, and after his parents were murdered, Master Tholme sent him to Coruscant to be trained, eventually taking him as a Padawan. If you want more info on Quin, try here: http://www.starwars.com/databank/character/quinlanvos/
Note 2: Trying to work out how old Quinlan is compared to Obi-Wan involved a lot of guesswork on my part. For the sake of this fic, I'm assuming he's around 25 to Obi's 19.
Note 3: All the dialogue in the flashback scene set during the Stark Hyperspace War is taken from the comic, part 3 of 4 if anyone's interested. If you like the comics at all, I recommend this one, it's got lots of great Jedi interaction.

And lastly, a huge thank you to Tem-ve and Jedi Rita for the wonderful betas, and to Hadra for all the encouragement! Any remaining mistakes are mine alone. :)

Obi-Wan was not in a good mood.

They had only been back on Coruscant for three days, and already he was rather wishing they could just get sent out again. Admittedly, it was wonderful to see his friends again, but after the first day - which Obi-Wan had actually spent most of sleeping - his Master had uttered those dreadful words:

"Obi-Wan, since we have some downtime for the moment, I think it's about time we had another proper performance review, don't you?"

Obi-Wan hadn't, but he had also known full well that the question was strictly rhetorical, and that there was no escape. And now, having just faced the infamous performance review, he was currently wearing a face that could turn milk sour and striding through the corridors towards the training rooms with quite a bit more energy than was really necessary.

/Performance reviews are just a carefully calculated form of Padawan torture,/ he thought grimly as he walked, trying to release some of his frustration into the Force. /Either that or they're some kind of test, to see how well we resist the dark side. After all, if anything could make someone turn to the dark, it would be one of those blasted reviews!/

His scowl deepened as he thought back on the two and half hours he had just spent listening to Qui-Gon's "constructive criticism" - which basically meant describing all of Obi-Wan's current and potential shortcomings, in quite excruciating detail. Qui-Gon had not been cruel - he was never cruel - but he was exacting, and since the whole point of a formal performance review was to identify those areas that needed improvement, it was rare to find a Padawan who did not emerge from one with their tail quite thoroughly between their legs. Obi-Wan was no exception - and Qui-Gon had been especially exacting on this occasion, leaving his Padawan wondering if he would ever manage anything that would net him higher praise than "passable".

/Constructive criticism my ass,/ Obi-Wan thought uncharitably, still scowling. /He's never satisfied. I could become the greatest knight that ever was and save the entire Jedi order from destruction, and he would probably say my performance "could have been better"./

All right, so that was probably a bit of an exaggeration. But such internal grumbling was rather to be expected after a formal performance review, even from the most dutiful of Padawans. Obi-Wan was dutiful, but he was also very sensitive to his Master's criticism - too sensitive at times, he knew - and it always stung to have his shortcomings laid out so bluntly. He kept imagining that he saw disappointment in Qui-Gon's eyes, and even though he knew that wasn't the case, it still tended to put him in a very unpleasant mood.

Of course, he was by no means the only one. Most of his peers tended to react to formal reviews with the same resounding lack of enthusiasm, even if they didn't usually take the criticism quite as hard as he did. Even Qui-Gon, in his day, had not enjoyed them - he had once told Obi-Wan some of the things that he could be heard saying after such occasions, and Obi-Wan recalled being amazed that his dignified Master had even known such phrases, let alone used them to describe his Master.

He turned the last corner and strode down the corridor leading to the training rooms, intending to indulge himself in a thorough workout and a long hot shower, knowing that it would help him to release his frustration. Despite those good intentions, however, he was still scowling rather more ferociously than was acceptable as he entered one of the bigger communal rooms, found a convenient corner to drop his gear in, and began to strip off his outer tunic. In fact, he might well have gone out onto the floor to practice still sporting an expression that could frighten small children, if he hadn't suddenly been distracted from his discontentment by a voice behind him.

"Hello, Obi-Wan."

Startled out of his thoughts, Obi-Wan turned to view the owner of the voice, and the frown on his face gave way to a delighted smile as he saw who it was. "Quinlan!"

"In the flesh," Quinlan Vos said cheerfully, clapping Obi-Wan on the shoulder. "How are you, kid? You look like you've had a hard day."

Obi-Wan made a face, although the sting of Qui-Gon's criticism was fading fast in the face of running into Quinlan. "Performance review," he said, grimacing comically, and Quinlan gave him a sympathetic grin.

"Oh, I remember those," he said. "Horrible things. And I'd bet that my Master didn't have nearly the - ahem - attention to detail that Master Qui-Gon does."

"Attention to detail is right," Obi-Wan grumbled, but it was a far more good-natured grumble than it might have been five minutes ago. He paused. "Wait a minute - what do you mean you remember those? You're still subject to the wretched things...aren't you?"

"Nope." Quinlan shook his dark head, grinning even more widely. "I was knighted. Three weeks ago."

Obi-Wan's jaw dropped. "You - knighted? Really? That's great!"

"It's a living," Quinlan said, feigning unconcern. Then he laughed. "Truth be told, I was quite surprised when Master Tholme recommended me for the Trials so early. But he seemed to think I was ready, and apparently the Council agreed."

"Quite right too," Obi-Wan said warmly. "Congratulations, Quin. I'm so pleased for you."

"Thanks, Obi-Wan." Quinlan was still smiling broadly, and it was only now that Obi-Wan noticed that he did indeed have the look that most very new Knights wore - that I'm-so-pleased-with-myself-I-could-burst-but-it's-not-very-Jedi-to-show-it look. On the other new Knights he had seen sporting it, he'd thought, in a longing sort of way, that it was kind of cute. On Quinlan, he thought it was nothing short of adorable.

Obi-Wan had had - well, he hesitated to call it a crush, but really that was what it was - on Quinlan Vos ever since the first mission they had been on together, during the Stark Hyperspace War, when Obi-Wan was thirteen. Not that he had acknowledged it as a crush at the time, of course. He had been somewhat in awe of the older Padawan, who had seemed so strong, so knowledgeable, so confident - but on that same mission, he had also seen Quinlan's vulnerable side, and it was then that their friendship had really begun...

The five Jedi were sitting together in the cave that they had taken shelter in, watching the surviving Republic troops bustle about in the main cavern below them. Obi-Wan was listening quietly while the three Masters discussed what to do next - as was Quinlan, who had not spoken a word since he had found out about Master Tyvokka's death.

"It is good to have you with us, Tholme," Plo Koon was saying quietly, "although I wish the circumstances were better." He sighed, his tone softening even more. "Especially since we do not enjoy the benefit of either Adi Gallia or Tyvokka."

"He's dead," Quinlan interjected bitterly, much to Obi-Wan's surprise. "Why can't we simply say that Tyvokka is dead?"

Master Tholme directed a pointed look at his Padawan, the tacit reprimand obvious. "There is no death, young Padawan, only the Force. We've discussed this..."

He did not get the chance to finish. Quinlan had got to his feet and was storming off into the nearest tunnel, ignoring his Master when Tholme called after him. Obi-Wan could only watch, wide-eyed. He had been defiant with Qui-Gon a number of times - too many times, his Master would no doubt have said - but he had never dared be so blatantly rude. He shot a quick glance at Qui-Gon, but his Master's expression was neutral rather than disapproving. But then, Quinlan wasn't his Padawan, after all.

Qui-Gon met his gaze then, and Obi-Wan could suddenly see the concern in his eyes. "Obi-Wan," he said quietly, "follow Quinlan and make sure he doesn't get lost in the tunnels."

Obi-Wan nodded, not questioning, and got hurriedly to his feet, heading for the tunnel that Quinlan had vanished into. Behind him, he could hear Tholme apologising to Master Koon for Quinlan's behaviour, then the other Master's soft voice as he said something reassuring in reply. A moment later he was out of earshot, hurrying on, gratefully catching sight of Quinlan ahead of him in the rocky tunnel. He trotted after the retreating form, worried for his new friend, but also wondering about the older Padawan's reaction. He, too, was upset about Master Tyvokka, but Quinlan seemed to be taking it much harder that he was - harder than any of them in fact, even Plo Koon, and he had been Master Tyvokka's Padawan.

He continued to follow, having to work to keep up with Quinlan, who was moving fast, determinedly and in total silence. Even with the Force for guidance the tunnels all looked very much the same to him, and he almost lost Quinlan several times among the maze of twists and turns. The final time it happened, it took Obi-Wan several rather stressful minutes to find the other Padawan again, and he was not looking forward to the lecture he would get from Qui-Gon when his Master heard about his difficulties. Not to mention the fact that he was not at all sure he would be able to find his way back, and getting lost - especially when one has been sent specifically to stop someone else from getting lost - is always a little embarrassing.

He finally caught up with Quinlan again, much to his relief, in a vast open area at the end of a particularly confusing section of tunnels. The last passageway opened out onto a small, flat platform of ground on the very edge of an enormous cave. The rock ceiling soared above them, and the small stretch of rocky floor he was standing on ended abruptly in a deep, craggy gorge. Quinlan, Obi-Wan saw, was sitting on the very edge of the ravine, dangling his legs over the side and looking desperately unhappy.

He approached quietly, feeling a surge of compassion for the older Padawan. Qui-Gon may have sent him to make sure that Quinlan did not get lost in the caves, but Obi-Wan had the distinct feeling that Quinlan was lost in more ways than just the physical right now.

"Quinlan?" he ventured haltingly, feeling the need to explain his presence. "Um...my Master asked me to make sure you didn't get lost in these tunnels, but I don't know them very well, and...well, I think we may have gotten lost."

Quinlan did not respond at first, instead continuing to stare moodily out over the dizzying drop, not looking at Obi-Wan. The silence stretched out for so long that Obi-Wan was beginning to think Quinlan was going to ignore him completely, when the older Padawan finally spoke.

"They tell us there is no death, Obi-Wan," he said, very softly. "Only the Force. But I've felt death."

He sounded so utterly miserable, so very lost, that Obi-Wan felt suddenly frightened for him. Biting his lip, he sat down on the edge of the cliff beside Quinlan, hoping to provide some comfort - or at least some company. He didn't think that Quinlan needed to be alone right now.

"I read things off objects," Quinlan continued, still in that same soft, anguished tone. "Images. I can - sense memories. When I was young, my parents were killed, and I read an object, trying to find out how they died. I - I experienced their deaths with them."

He turned to look at Obi-Wan, and his expression was so open, so vulnerable, that it made Obi-Wan's breath catch. He suddenly wished desperately that he could do something to help Quinlan, something that would take away the terrible sadness he could sense in the other Padawan. But he didn't know what, and so he just listened, trying to offer support with his presence as Quinlan continued to talk.

"My Master says that's why I have trouble with the fourth precept," the older Padawan said now, by way of an explanation. "I got too close to physical death. And now - it's hard for me to see past it."

Obi-Wan could readily understand why, after something like that. His own first experiences with death - Cerasi, and then Bruck - had been hard enough, and were still deeply painful. What must it have been like for Quinlan, to have experienced death - real, physical death - at such a young age? And the death of his parents, no less? He could not even comprehend how devastating it must have been. Small wonder Quinlan found death distressing.

Quinlan seemed to come back to himself a little then, his expression easing into wariness as he looked over at Obi-Wan. "Maybe I shouldn't tell you all this," he said, suddenly appearing uncertain. "I don't think Tholme has told everyone. Qui-Gon knows..."

Obi-Wan immediately shook his head, wanting only to reassure Quinlan, to let him know that he would not betray the other Padawan's trust. He reached out and put one hand over Quinlan's, squeezing gently, and simply responded from the heart, with all the compassion he was feeling at that moment. "You can trust me, Quin."

Their eyes met, and Obi-Wan felt a spark of sudden connection between them, faint but true. He smiled tentatively, hopefully, and a moment later Quinlan smiled back.

They had not actually had the chance to talk any further, Obi-Wan remembered, because at that point they had been attacked by a swarm of flesh-eating insects, and thus had had little time for conversation. However, it was Quinlan who had kept Obi-Wan from panicking when the carnivorous creatures began to converge on them, and Quinlan who showed him the best way to defend himself until their Masters could help them - and it was there that their friendship had started.

That friendship had continued to grow, and they had been on several more missions together after that. However, it was the Rhinus IV mission, which had taken place when Obi-Wan was sixteen, which had really brought home to him just how he felt about Quinlan - and that those feelings had become somewhat more complex than he might have liked.

He had not seen Quinlan in over a year at that point, although they had kept in touch quite regularly. Obi-Wan had been very pleased to hear that he and Qui-Gon had been teamed with Master Tholme and Quinlan on their latest mission, and was looking forward to seeing his friend again. However, his rather more active hormones had put a slightly different spin on things that time.

At sixteen, Obi-Wan had been old enough to recognise attraction when he felt it - and when it came to Quinlan, he felt it. Despite being Jedi to the core, Quinlan had a streak of danger and mischief about him that Obi-Wan could not help but find appealing, especially in comparison to his own play-by-the-rules persona. Not that he hadn't broken rules in the past - but whenever he did it, it always seemed to end in disaster, the worst of which had of course been the Melida/Daan fiasco. Quinlan, by contrast, somehow managed to pull off being slightly roguish without causing mayhem - a bit like Qui-Gon, really, and it was a trait that Obi-Wan couldn't help but envy. However, despite that roguish streak Quinlan was also the consummate Jedi-in-training; he was brave and clever and quick, what was more he was gorgeous, and Obi-Wan had wanted desperately to impress him.

Unfortunately, that time at least, his desire to impress had gone unfulfilled. Obi-Wan recalled that he had not impressed anyone very much on that particular mission, least of all his own Master. They had been sent to Rhinus IV to investigate terrorist attacks on the government, and during the course of their mission Obi-Wan had managed to get himself captured by those same terrorists. This in itself was not cause for censure, but since he had only been in the position to be captured because he had disobeyed an instruction from his Master - well, Qui-Gon had not been impressed in the slightest. Obi-Wan still recalled the sick feeling he had felt, on waking from the stun blast that had knocked him out and realising he was in the terrorists' custody - not from fear of what they would do to him, but from the thought of what Qui-Gon would say when he found out what had happened.

He had found himself forced in front of a holo transmission, so that the terrorists could prove that they had him - realising that there were Jedi around, they had begun to panic, and had hoped to use him as a bargaining chip. They had not known what to do with him at first - some wanted to kill him outright, but others protested that killing a Jedi Padawan would only incite the other Jedi to take revenge. Obi-Wan, for his part, had wisely refrained from mentioning that revenge was not in a Jedi's nature.

Eventually, they had decided to use him as a hostage, and had sent a holo of him to Qui-Gon with a list of demands. Unfortunately, in their desperation they had not been watching Obi-Wan nearly closely enough when they sent the transmission, and none of them even noticed his use of Chevlan hand signals, which he and Qui-Gon had become familiar with on another mission only two months prior.

He had been rescued by his three fellow Jedi barely a day later - and from a certain point of view, his being captured had actually aided in their mission, since it had enabled Qui-Gon and the others to find the terrorists' hidden base of operations. However, that fact had not abated Qui-Gon's displeasure at his Padawan's disobedience, and Obi-Wan had known simply from the look on his Master's face that he was in deep, deep trouble.

Sure enough, as soon as everything had been resolved and they were safely back on board their ship, his Master had taken the opportunity to deliver a scorching reprimand - in front of Master Tholme, and Quinlan. What was more, he had not pulled his punches one bit to allow for there being an audience. By the time Qui-Gon had finished dressing him down, Obi-Wan had been fairly shaking with humiliation. He could still recall vividly the shame and embarrassment he had felt, and when Qui-Gon had finally dismissed him, he had been very grateful to flee the room. Oh, he had known that he deserved it, had known that he had done wrong - but still, to be scolded so shamefully in front of fellow Jedi had been a very unhappy experience.

And to be scolded in front of Quinlan, whom he was trying so very hard to impress, had just added insult to injury.

He had been sure that Quinlan would have nothing but contempt for him after what he had witnessed, but much to his surprise, that had not been the case. Obi-Wan had been holed up in his small cabin, trying to regain his composure, when Quinlan had caught up with him. But rather than the contempt, or worse, the pity that Obi-Wan was expecting, the older Padawan had been quietly but genuinely sympathetic...

"Hi," Quinlan said gently, easing himself down to the deck beside Obi-Wan, who was sitting on the floor with his back against his bunk, his knees drawn up to his chest in an unconsciously childlike posture.

"Hi," Obi-Wan replied quietly, not looking up. He hoped that Quinlan would take the hint and go away. Normally he would have jumped at the chance to spend time with the older Padawan, but he just did not feel up to facing anyone right now - not after having been scolded like a child right in front of him.

But Quinlan didn't move. "He was really worried about you," the older Padawan said after a moment, and Obi-Wan did not need to ask who 'he' was.

"I know," he replied softly, and he did. He knew how much Qui-Gon cared for him, even though they still had their fair share of awkward moments - and even while Qui-Gon was dressing him down, he had known that part of the reason why his Master was being so harsh was because he had been frightened for him. He had been foolish, and as a consequence had put himself into unnecessary danger - and although a Jedi's life was dangerous, that did not mean one needed to invite it. The reprimand Qui-Gon had handed out had been well-deserved, but knowing that still didn't make Obi-Wan feel any better about having received it.

"I know it must have been hard - having other Jedi there when you were getting reamed like that," Quinlan said, and Obi-Wan grimaced at the reminder. No doubt the humiliation had been intended to be part of the punishment, but that hadn't made it any easier to bear, especially when Quinlan had been one of the witnesses.

"Master Tholme has done the same to me on occasion," Quinlan continued. "I know it teaches a good lesson, but it was always hard for me to accept. The first time he did it, I was furious with him. I didn't understand why he needed to humiliate me to make a point. I think I sulked for three days," he added with a wink, and after a moment Obi-Wan gave him a reluctant smile in return.

"He let me be for a while," Quinlan went on, "but finally he asked me just what exactly it was I was sulking about. After a few more monosyllables, I told him, and he gave me the standard lecture about how humility was not necessarily a bad thing, humiliation can be a teacher, and all that. I listened and made the right noises - and I did understand what he was saying, although it didn't really help my wounded pride any." He gave Obi-Wan a wry smile. "But then he said something else, and I've never forgotten it - partly because it was damn good advice, and partly because it made me laugh so much that I forgot about my hurt feelings."

Obi-Wan had been listening intently, grateful for something to take his mind off his own hurt feelings, and now he looked up at Quinlan curiously. "What did he say?"

Quinlan grinned. "He quoted me, actually - he said he read it once in a verse of mock-poetry, out on some tiny rim-world planet that he hadn't even expected to have poetry. 'Naulita ti bastarde carbarandori', he told me."

Obi-Wan looked at him blankly. "I don't even recognise that language. What does it mean?"

"Don't let the bastards get you down," Quinlan translated, deadpan, and Obi-Wan could only stare at him for a moment before suddenly breaking into laughter, almost against his will.

"Your Master said that to you?" he asked, between snickers, and Quinlan nodded, now grinning broadly at him.

"He did indeed. And me being me, I said to him, 'Master, you do realise that right now you're the bastard, don't you?' I'd never seen him laugh so hard."

Obi-Wan could understand Master Tholme's reaction, seeing as how the very thought made him laugh just as hard. Logically, he knew that the story wasn't really as hilarious as it seemed to him right now - but Quinlan had given him a trigger, something to release some of his unhappy emotions onto, and his mind was taking full advantage of it. It took a while - longer than he had expected - but when he finally managed to stop giggling, he looked up at the older Padawan, smiling gratefully. "Thanks, Quin," he said quietly.

"You're welcome," Quinlan replied, his dark eyes meeting Obi-Wan's squarely. "As I said, I remember how it felt."

With that, he put a companionable arm around Obi-Wan's shoulders, and just sat with him, quietly, letting Obi-Wan release the last of his hurt into the Force.

Remembering that mission now, Obi-Wan still doubted that he had managed to impress Quinlan on that particular occasion, given what a disaster it had been for him. However, their friendship had certainly deepened even more, and Obi-Wan's crush on Quinlan had become very well established. Not that he had told anyone about said crush, of course. He had been (and still was) rather shy about that sort of thing, and he had not relished giving his friends something else to tease him about, no matter how good-natured such teasing might be.

He had not even told Bant about his feelings for Quinlan - although he knew that she had suspected, and probably still did. She had asked him once, some time after the Rhinus IV mission, if he didn't think that Quinlan was terribly sexy. Caught off guard, Obi-Wan had flushed darkly and stammered out something about having not really noticed, and Bant had cackled hysterically for several minutes before thankfully dropping the subject, although ever since then she would always give him knowing glances whenever Quinlan's name came up in conversation.

However, he also knew that if he told her how he really felt, she would badger him relentlessly to do something about his feelings, and it would drive him to distraction. She was like a dog with a bone about some things, and this would be one of them, he just knew it. With that in mind, he had decided to spare himself the aggravation and simply practiced his sabacc face whenever Quinlan was mentioned. Besides, he and Qui-Gon had been so busy in the two and a half years since that mission that he had barely seen Quinlan - or any of his other friends for that matter - although they had continued to keep in touch.

Rousing himself from his momentary trip down memory lane, Obi-Wan suddenly realised that he was still staring at Quinlan and promptly blushed, hating the fact that it was so obvious on him. To cover his embarrassment, he turned his attention to eyeing Quinlan up and down with comically exaggerated care, even circling him once to get the full view. A moment later the thought came to him that such careful scrutiny could quite easily be taken as being flirtatious, and felt his blush crank up even further - but just as suddenly he decided that he didn't care. They were old friends - Bant was not here - he was not sixteen any longer - and if he wanted to flirt with Quinlan, then he bloody well would, he thought determinedly.

To his secret delight, Quinlan actually looked like he was blushing a little himself under Obi-Wan's intense gaze. "What are you doing?" he asked in bemusement.

"Taking in your new knightly demeanour," Obi-Wan replied with a grin. "Very knightly indeed. It looks good."

And it did. Very good, as far as Obi-Wan was concerned. Quinlan was wearing his hair loose, rather than tied back in the raggedy ponytail he had favoured as a Padawan, and his dark, dreadlocked hair framed his tattooed face in a manner that Obi-Wan readily acknowledged was very becoming.

"You ditched the ponytail."

"I did," Quinlan agreed. "It was just a Padawan thing anyway. My Master's equivalent of the braid and the buzz cut."

"Hmm. It looks good. I confess I rather wish my Master didn't insist on the braid and the buzz cut."

"It suits you," Quinlan said, smiling at him. "It would have looked ghastly on me. Besides, Master Tholme was never one for sticking to tradition."

"So I've noticed!" Obi-Wan retorted, laughing. People often called Qui-Gon a maverick, but in some ways he could be very traditional, especially when it came to the care and feeding of a Padawan. By contrast, Master Tholme was less outwardly rebellious, but he appeared to have little patience with tradition. His relationship with Quinlan had seemed to Obi-Wan to be terribly informal at times compared to his and Qui-Gon's interactions, and he had experienced a fair few twinges of envy on that first shared mission seeing Quinlan and his Master together. Not that they were overly demonstrative, but the affection between them was obvious. When Obi-Wan first met Quinlan, he and Qui-Gon had still been rather edgy with each other after the rocky start they had had, and Obi-Wan had been quite unable to imagine Qui-Gon ever treating him with the casual warmth that Master Tholme did his Padawan.

His relationship with Qui-Gon had got easier with time, and Obi-Wan was now much more secure about his Master's affection for him - which he knew was there, for all that Qui-Gon didn't show it often. Still, that did not stop him from occasionally feeling like some sort of Padawan automaton that said "Yes, Master" and "No, Master" in turns (but was sometimes tempted to throw in a wild card with "Bite me, Master" when Qui-Gon was particularly obstinate).

He grinned at the thought and turned his full attention back to Quinlan, who was now making a face at him. "Stop staring at me, you little toe-rag of a Padawan," he said, starting to laugh, although he still looked like he was blushing. Obi-Wan rather hoped he was.

"I suppose I have to say "Yes, Master" now, don't I?" he teased, still grinning.

Quinlan seized the opportunity at once. "Yes you do, now on your knees, Padawan, or - or - "

"Or?" Obi-Wan was giggling now.

"Or - I haven't decided yet. But it will be terrible!" Quinlan threatened. Unfortunately, he was laughing just as much as Obi-Wan, which rather prevented him from looking the part.

"Oh, yes, Master, I'm very sorry, Master," Obi-Wan managed to get out between snickers.

"So you should be!" Quinlan thundered, having pulled himself together enough to try for a better performance. "Insolent Padawan! I ought to take you over my knee!"

That was too much for Obi-Wan, and apparently for Quinlan as well, because they both dissolved into helpless laughter. Thankfully, the Jedi closest to them on the floor were too involved with their own practice to pay any attention to them.

Obi-Wan finally managed to get control of himself, and grinned at Quinlan, who was wiping his eyes. "Thanks," he said, his voice still holding traces of mirth. "I really needed that after the day I've had."

"Performance review days. Always bad," Quinlan agreed sagely. "Is that why you were coming to work out? Get rid of some frustration?"

"Yes," Obi-Wan admitted.

"I used to favour locking myself in my room and sulking, personally," Quinlan said cheerfully. "Your way is much more constructive, though. And speaking of constructive - do you still want to be? A bit of sparring maybe?"

"Sure," Obi-Wan replied. "I still need to work out some of the kinks - I was stuck sitting and listening to Qui-Gon talk about my shortcomings for nearly three hours this afternoon."

"Ugh." Quinlan grimaced in sympathy. "Right, you're definitely in need of a good workout then. Some katas, then sparring? And afterwards - perhaps we could go and get a drink if you're not busy? Call it a knighthood celebration?"

Obi-Wan could hardly believe what he was hearing. Had Quinlan actually just asked him out? Even if he didn't mean anything by it other than a friendly drink, it would still be worth it!

"That would be great," he finally managed to say, from between lips that felt almost numb with delight.

"I won't be dragging you away from anything?"

There'd be no dragging involved, Obi-Wan thought wryly. He'd go willingly. "No, I'm free tonight. Master Qui-Gon usually lets me have some time to lick my wounds after one of those torture sessions."

"So did my Master," Quinlan said. "Which was good, as it meant I got to lock myself in my room and sulk quite legitimately." He grinned at Obi-Wan. "However, I'll try to make tonight a lot more fun than that for you."

Obi-Wan did not allow himself to ponder the possible implications of that statement. If he had, he doubted that he would have been able to focus on sparring. Instead, he just smiled back at Quinlan, pulled off another layer of tunics and moved out onto a vacant section of the floor to warm up.

Quinlan joined him moments later, having shed his own outer layers of tunic, and joined him in the standard set of warm up exercises. Obi-Wan didn't pause in his own warm up, but he could not help shooting surreptitious glances at Quinlan, admiring his sleek, graceful form. The muscles in the older Jedi's arms rippled smoothly as he moved through the exercises, and Obi-Wan swallowed hard at the sight, his eyes lingering on the tattoo that curved across Quinlan's left bicep. He forcibly pushed his attention back onto what he was doing, knowing that if he continued along that line of thought much further, he was only going to be good for one thing - and it would not be sparring.

Warm up over, they turned to face each other, and Obi-Wan lifted his lightsaber in a brief salute which Quinlan echoed. They circled each other for a moment or two, then Quinlan began the duel with a quick lunge to Obi-Wan's left. Obi-Wan parried, and their 'sabers sparked and hissed in a brief clash before they both pulled back to circle once more. Another strike and another block, and then another, and soon they had both fallen easily into the familiar rhythm of sparring - lunge and parry, attack and defend, broken only by quick bouts of wary circling before the next clash. Really it was more like a dance than a battle, albeit a vigorous one. Strength and speed and grace all combined together into a frenetic and yet rhythmic exchange, always unique and yet somehow always the same. Obi-Wan loved it - he had always loved it - and he could feel himself smiling as he fought.

He cast a brief glance at Quinlan's face and saw that he was also grinning, although the expression seemed rather fierce - it often did on Quinlan, especially when he was excited. It was also devastatingly attractive, and the sight of it sent a sensation that felt like a shaft of heat straight to Obi-Wan's groin. It surprised him, his steps faltered just a little, and before he could regain control of himself Quinlan had spun sideways and tagged him lightly on the shoulder, leaving a faint scorch mark on his tunic.

"Point," Quinlan said, still grinning. "Keep your focus on the here and now, young Padawan."

"Fuck you," Obi-Wan retorted good-naturedly, rolling his eyes at Quinlan's 'Master' voice, and Quinlan laughed delightedly.

"I want to hear you say that to Master Qui-Gon when he tells you that."

Obi-Wan winced at the mere thought. "I don't have a death wish, thank you very much!"

"No? Get your guard up, then!"

With that, Quinlan lunged at him again, and Obi-Wan parried, and they went back to the dance.

They fought long and hard, and Obi-Wan delighted in pushing himself to the limit, losing himself and the frustrations of the day in sheer physical exertion. Quinlan put in as much effort as he did, and by the time they were finished they were both exhausted, dripping with sweat and breathing hard. Quinlan had managed to tag Obi-Wan several more times during the course of the exercise, but Obi-Wan had also scored a few points of his own, and he was quite pleased with his performance. They had both worn themselves out, though, and Quinlan finally called a halt, saying that he thought it had to be a draw.

"Thank the Force," Obi-Wan panted, extinguishing his lightsaber and flopping into an undignified heap on the floor. "You'll have to carry me to the showers. I'm too tired to move."

"Fuck that," Quinlan said, collapsing beside him. "I'm not moving; you can carry me."

"Maybe whoever wants this spot next will move us."


"They'll have to shift us when they want to clean the floor, at least."


"We'd probably only be lying here for another four hours or so."

"Sounds good to me."

"Or we could drag ourselves to the shower now, and go get something to eat."


There was a pause, and then both of them levered themselves to their feet, groaning. Obi-Wan didn't think he had ever wanted a shower so badly in his life.

He went to pick up his gear and passed Quinlan his, then followed the young Knight into the changing rooms. There were only a handful of other Jedi in there, and Quinlan picked a spot in the very end corner of the long room, effectively removing them from view. With a sigh, Obi-Wan dumped his gear on a bench and sat down to pull off his boots, wincing at the movement. "Force, I hurt."

Quinlan's only answer was a comical grimace as he sat down beside Obi-Wan to tug off his own boots. Tossing them carelessly aside, he stood up again and quickly stripped out of his clothes, dumping tunic, pants and underclothes in an untidy heap on the floor. Naked, he strode across to the nearest shower head and turned the water on hard, groaning loudly in relief as it cascaded over him. "Oh damn, that's good."

Obi-Wan swallowed hard, feeling another flicker of heat in his lower regions, and cast a nervous glance down at himself as he stripped out of his own leggings. Hearing Quinlan groan like that was - well, interesting - and rather sexy - actually very sexy - and if he embarrassed himself by getting an erection just from watching Quinlan take a shower, he was never going to forgive himself.

/Control,/ he reminded himself firmly, wondering just what it was about Quinlan Vos that seemed to be reducing him to a helpless pile of hormones. /Think about other things. Tired. Sore. Want shower./

Thankfully, his body seemed to agree with that, and the faint stirrings in his groin subsided a little when he told them to. Relieved, he pulled off his shorts and stepped under the shower next to Quinlan, turning the water on hot and hard. He couldn't suppress a groan of his own as it began to flow, and lowered his head in ecstasy, bracing his arms on the wall in front and letting the water beat down hard on his back and shoulders. Oh yes, that was definitely what he needed!

After revelling in the sensation for a few blissful minutes, he turned his attention to actually washing off the sweat, lathering up his hair and scrubbing himself vigorously with soap. However, while this activity kept his hands busy, it did not keep him from being very conscious of Quinlan's presence right beside him.

Quinlan's naked presence right beside him, his mind elaborated, and quite without his consent his gaze slid sideways, taking in the young Knight's lean, naked form.

/Force, but he's gorgeous!/

Quinlan was currently occupied with rinsing his hair, and those thick, black dreadlocks were snaking over his shoulders and down his back, water and bubbles of cleanser streaming from the ends. Quinlan's broad, capable hands combed through the dark locks, then moved lower, sluicing bubbles off his muscled chest. Obi-Wan swallowed hard, feeling that stirring in his groin begin again with a vengeance.

As if of their own volition, his eyes travelled still lower on Quinlan's body. The older Jedi had turned slightly and Obi-Wan's gaze was now drawn down over his shoulders, then down further to take in the tattoo that ran across the small of his back, one side of it extending down onto Quinlan's right buttock. Swallowing hard, Obi-Wan let his gaze linger briefly on the firm buttocks themselves before looking lower to the lean, powerful thighs...and now Quinlan had turned back again, and Obi-Wan found himself staring straight at...

He wrenched his gaze away, his heart pounding. /Control, Sith damn it!/ he told himself desperately. Force, what was going on here? He had been attracted to Quinlan for a long time, but he had never reacted this strongly to him before!

/But then, you've never openly ogled him in the shower before, either,/ a little voice in his head said sarcastically. /That could have something to do with it./

All right, that was enough. No more ogling. /Concentrate. Don't look at Quinlan. Wash hair. Wash self. Don't look at Quinlan. Get dressed. Don't look at Quinlan./

Chanting that litany in his head, Obi-Wan turned his attention to washing his hair again, making sure to use plenty of cleanser so that he would be unable to open his eyes. That worked, briefly - but once he had rinsed the cleanser out and opened his eyes again, he found them automatically sliding sideways in Quinlan's direction.

/No! No more ogling...wait a second. Was he just looking at me?/

As his gaze had moved back to Quinlan, he was sure he had seen the older Jedi hurriedly look away. Force, did that mean...could it possibly mean...was Quinlan ogling him, too?

The thought was unnervingly erotic, and to his consternation he felt an answering tingle in his groin as his cock took an even greater interest in the proceedings.

Horrified that he might in fact be about to do what he had so not wanted to do, and embarrass himself totally by getting hard just from watching Quinlan shower, he quickly pulled his gaze away and tried to focus on getting his arousal to subside. /No more looking. No more looking. No more looking!/

Mere moments later, his gaze had crept sideways again, drawn inexorably back towards Quinlan's wet, naked form...and then up to his face.

Quinlan was looking straight back at him.

Obi-Wan's eyes widened, and he felt his cheeks flush scarlet in mortification as their gazes locked. But Quinlan's expression was not irritated or embarrassed, instead it was - well, interested was the first word that sprang to mind, Obi-Wan thought in amazement. Interested and - quite heated. Not heated in an angry sort of way, but heated in a sexy sort of way, which was quite different...and oh, no, now his cock was really starting to take an interest...

/So is his./


But indeed his perception was correct - it seemed that he was not the only one who was reacting to this situation in a very physical way. His gaze slid down Quinlan's body to the area in question, and he felt himself blush even more. With agonising slowness, he forced himself to look back up, meeting Quinlan's eyes again.

Quinlan was grinning. Wickedly.

Obi-Wan swallowed hard.

He wasn't sure who actually moved first, but suddenly they were touching; more than touching, they were clinching, their lips locked hungrily together, Obi-Wan's hands clasping Quinlan's shoulders. He lifted them even higher, twining them into the thick, wet tails of hair, and felt Quinlan's own hands sliding lower to grip his buttocks. A beat, and then the older Jedi pulled him closer still, their bodies pressed together, chest to chest...and groin to groin.

Obi-Wan felt his erection grind against Quinlan's and gasped into the kiss, his hips jerking spasmodically once, then again. Force, this was incredible, this was wonderful, terrible, he had never once imagined that he could be so undone from just a kiss, if they went on like this he was going to end up coming right here in the shower room and...


They both froze where they were, a momentary paralysis that might have been quite pleasant if not for the excruciating embarrassment of being caught in such a compromising position. Obi-Wan's hormones abruptly subsided enough to let him remember exactly where they were - the training room showers, of all places - and he felt himself cringe at the realisation.

After another moment they broke apart, although very slowly and reluctantly, and it was with even more reluctance that Obi-Wan turned around to face their observer. In his distraction, he had not even registered the other presence, and as he turned he had a nerve-racking moment to imagine just who it might be (and who he would least want it to be) before he saw who it actually was. He was unutterably relieved to see that the being standing there was in fact not any of the Jedi he had been so dreading, but despite his relief he could still feel himself blushing furiously. He probably looked, he imagined wryly, like a very young initiate caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Throwing a sideways glance at Quinlan, he saw much the same expression on the young Knight's face - although as Obi-Wan watched, that guilty look was slowly replaced by a sheepish grin.

Master Kit Fisto, by contrast, was wearing an extremely amused expression as he regarded them, and although Obi-Wan's blush cranked up even further on seeing the look on his face, he thought it a small price to pay when he imagined the possible expressions on other faces - Master Windu's, perhaps, or Master Koth's, or even - Force forbid - his own Master's. He shuddered at the thought.

"I hate to intrude on a private moment," the Nautiloid Master said now, his black eyes twinkling, "but I'd advise you move it somewhere a little more - well, private. There are going to be several people in here shortly who I very much doubt you'd want seeing you like this, and the way you're broadcasting in the Force, you're already getting some attention."

Obi-Wan felt himself pale and hurriedly reached to turn off his shower, not even wanting to know just who it was that Master Kit was talking about. He hurried over to the bench where he had left his gear, dried himself off quickly and began to scramble into his clothes, aware of Quinlan doing the same beside him - and doing it with almost as much haste as he was.

Once he was dressed, he snatched up his gym bag and waited impatiently for Quinlan to yank on his boots. Kit, who had taken Obi-Wan's spot under the shower, turned his tentacled head to grin at them and gestured in the direction of the smaller, less used exit. "I'd advise you make your escape that way," he said cheerfully, and Obi-Wan managed to smile back at him this time, although he was sure his face was still flaming. The smile faded, however, when he suddenly sensed a very familiar presence - and very close by. Bracing himself in preparation, he cautiously leaned out around the divider, his eyes widening in dismay.

Master Windu. Master Koon. And that oh-so-familiar presence - his own Master.

"That's hardly fair," Quinlan muttered, joining Obi-Wan in poking his own head around the corner.

"It's not fair at all," Obi-Wan agreed quietly, and quickly ducked back round the corner as Qui-Gon's head suddenly turned in his direction.

"I'd run for it if I were you," Kit advised mildly, now carefully running soapy hands over each tentacle, and Quinlan grinned at him before turning back to Obi-Wan.

"He's right. Let's just go for it. Anyway, will he really care?"

/That I was practically having sex with you in the public showers? Oh, he'll care all right,/ Obi-Wan thought with a grimace, but he didn't say it, nor did he allow himself to dwell on the thought - either of what Qui-Gon would say to him, or of what he and Quinlan had been doing. "All right. On three, we run for it. Ready?"

Quinlan grinned, shooting him a look of pure mischief. "One-two-three-go," he said, then promptly dashed out of their corner and across to the secondary door, leaving Obi-Wan to scramble after him. He caught up to Quinlan at the door, not daring to even glance in the direction his Master had been approaching from, and they both darted through it and into the corridor outside.

"This way!" Quinlan said - and he sounded like he was trying not to laugh, but Obi-Wan noted wryly that he didn't waste any time in making his escape, either. The young Knight hurried off down the corridor with Obi-Wan in tow, and they carried on like that for several twists and turns before Quinlan finally stopped and leaned against the wall, laughing heartily. "Oh, Force," he managed finally, between snickers. "I haven't had that much fun in a long time."

Quinlan's laughter was infectious, but Obi-Wan still managed to summon up a half-hearted glare as he leaned against the wall beside him. "Do you know how much trouble I'm going to be in if he finds out what we were doing in there?" he asked indignantly, and Quinlan gave him an apologetic grin.

"Sorry. But you have to admit, it was funny."

That grin was just too attractive, and Obi-Wan finally couldn't help but smile back, despite his lingering apprehension about his Master's reaction. "All right, it was funny," he said. "He's still going to kill me, though."

"He won't kill you," Quinlan said. "Although I know the feeling; when Master Kit caught us my first thought was 'Oh Force, what's my Master going to say!' Completely forgot for a moment that I'm no longer a Padawan."

"Yes, now you're a Knight who leads innocent Padawans astray," Obi-Wan quipped. "That's a good line, actually; I'll blame the whole thing on you when Master Qui-Gon asks me."

"Won't work," Quinlan observed mildly. "He knows you too well." His expression suddenly softened as he took in Obi-Wan's expression, and he stepped closer, reaching out to put a hand behind the younger man's neck. "You took me by surprise in there, you know," he said, his lips quirking into a smile.

"Really?" Obi-Wan blurted, his thoughts momentarily reduced to mush by Quinlan's nearness, and the sudden memory of what they had shared in the showers. "But I've had a crush on you for years."

He realised what he had just said when he saw Quinlan's eyes widen, and felt his face heat up yet again. "Force, this is the most embarrassing day ever," he groaned, although he couldn't help laughing a little.

"Don't be embarrassed," Quinlan said, appearing to recover from his surprise with an ease that Obi-Wan envied. "I don't mind. I just didn't know." His smile widened. "I'm glad I do now, though. It makes me feel much better about the fact that I was ogling you in the shower."

Obi-Wan ducked his head, grinning. "I was doing my fair share of ogling myself," he admitted shyly.

"So I noticed...eventually," Quinlan said, easing himself a little closer. His hand was still on the back of Obi-Wan's neck, and he applied a little bit of pressure, making Obi-Wan lean forward slightly. "So...did you still want to go for that drink?" he asked teasingly. "I know some good places..."

"I'll just bet you do," Obi-Wan said a trifle breathlessly, as Quinlan edged even closer. Their faces were mere inches apart now, and he was feeling a definite resurgence of his earlier desire.

"Oh, I do," Quinlan affirmed, his voice becoming faintly husky. His expression was suddenly almost hungry, and Obi-Wan found himself totally unable to look away - not that he particularly wanted to.

"Good places," he echoed, inching forward ever so slightly. They were almost close enough to kiss, now, and in a moment they would, Obi-Wan just knew it.

"Very good places," Quinlan agreed, almost in a whisper. Their gazes were still locked, even though Obi-Wan couldn't focus at such a short distance, and he was fairly sure that Quinlan couldn't either. It didn't matter. If Quinlan's tattooed face was a blur, then what better remedy than to close his eyes - and really, one should close one's eyes when being kissed, he thought dreamily. He felt the faintest whisper of sensation against his mouth, warning him both of Quinlan's proximity and his intention, and he parted his lips ever so slightly. That teasing flame curled through his belly again, arrowing into his groin, and he drew in a shallow breath of anticipation...

"You know, you two could get a room."

Obi-Wan's eyes snapped open, just in time to catch the disgusted look being directed their way by a young Twi'lek Padawan. The boy did not break stride, just walked straight past them and continued around the corner, but his brief presence had been more than enough to snap them out of their spell. Laughing once more, Quinlan sagged back against the wall, shaking his head in amused disbelief.

"This is ridiculous," he said, still snickering. "To hell with the drink, and the public corridors. Do you want to come back to my room?"

Typical Quinlan. Straight to the point. Obi-Wan supposed he should count himself lucky that Quinlan hadn't added 'so that we can have sex in peace' onto the end of that.

Not that he was objecting, mind you. That brief interruption had not quelled his libido, and he would be quite happy to get himself and Quinlan out of the public view so that said libido could have free rein. In fact, given his current state, he doubted he'd have cared what Quinlan said so long as it meant they could have some privacy. All his usual shyness about this sort of thing seemed to have deserted him completely, at least for the moment.

He didn't quite trust himself to speak, though, so instead he just nodded, giving Quinlan a big smile and gesturing for him to lead the way. Quinlan cheerfully did, and in no time at all they were at his new quarters - a Knight's apartment now, in one of the lower housing sections. The door slid open at a touch from Quinlan, and he gestured Obi-Wan inside, giving him another one of those wicked grins as he did so.

The apartment was the usual small set of rooms - sitting room, kitchen, bedroom and 'fresher. No Jedi had much in the way of possessions, but most did instil some small personal touches into their quarters, and Quinlan was no exception. A brightly-coloured wall hanging sat on the far wall, directly opposite the door, and as well as the standard-issue couch there was a large green beanbag, which Obi-Wan remembered seeing in the quarters Quinlan had shared with Master Tholme. Looking around, he noticed a framed holo of Tholme himself with a very young-looking Padawan Quinlan, standing on a small table beside the bedroom door. After a moment, he went to examine it.

"Force, that's an awful picture," Quinlan said, coming over to stand beside him and grimacing at the holo. "It's the first one that got taken after Tholme took me as his Padawan, though, so he liked it - and I put up with it for so long that I got used to it."

"It's not that bad," Obi-Wan said, turning to smile at him. "Honestly, I thought you looked good with the ponytail."

"Well, I wasn't given much choice," Quinlan said, laughing. "I believe Master Tholme's exact words were, 'Quinlan, get that mop out of your face or I'll cut it off.' I decided discretion was the better part of valour."

"Good choice," Obi-Wan said with a grin. "It would have been a terrible shame if you'd been reduced to this." He ran a hand over his short hair.

"It doesn't reduce you in the slightest," Quinlan said, then leaned against the wall, eyeing the bedroom door meaningfully before giving Obi-Wan another wicked grin. "So, would you like to come in?"

"I thought I already was," Obi-Wan said teasingly.

"You're in my apartment, not my room. My room is right in here." He tapped the door. "And the really good thing about my room is that it has a bed, which right now puts it a step up from the rest of my apartment." Another tap, this time on the control panel, and the door slid open, revealing a small, relatively Spartan room with a neatly made-up bed. As Quinlan stepped inside, Obi-Wan found himself suddenly imagining what that bed might look like by the time he left, and swallowed hard. He had thought his libido had chased away his shyness, but now the implications of being here were suddenly catching up to him - the most important of those being, he was going to have sex with Quinlan.

He was going to have sex, with Quinlan.

He was not ignorant about sex, of course - no Jedi could afford to be in such a depraved galaxy - but neither was he overly experienced. In point of fact, he was not very experienced at all. He had done a little experimenting when he was younger, but it had been just that - experimenting. This was something entirely different, and as he stepped slowly through the door into Quinlan's room, he only seemed to become more aware of that. But different or not, he also wanted this, he knew he wanted it - so why the hell was he getting nervous now?

Quinlan, meanwhile, had gone to sit down on the bed, and was now gazing at Obi-Wan with an almost predatory expression. "Come here, you," he said darkly, patting the bed beside him, and Obi-Wan obeyed without even thinking, walking over and sitting down beside him. He could feel his breath quickening, but he wasn't sure if it was out of desire, nerves, or a combination of the two. Force, this was really going to happen. He was really going to have sex, with Quinlan.

He had no sooner sat down before Quinlan's dark eyes locked onto him, and before Obi-Wan had the chance to even take another breath he was being kissed again, harder this time, Quinlan's tongue pushing insistently at his lips. He parted them automatically, and found himself immediately caught up in a hard, passionate kiss, Quinlan's tongue thrusting deeply into his mouth as one hand came up to cup the back of his head, holding him in place. Obi-Wan's tentative attempts to return the kiss were simply swallowed by Quinlan's fervour; it felt almost as if he were being devoured.

It should not have been alarming. He knew Quinlan, he trusted him; they had been friends for years. Force, they had done this very thing not half an hour ago, in the training room showers! But somehow this was different, and it was alarming, and no matter how ridiculous it might be for him to be nervous, he just couldn't help it.

It wasn't even that he wasn't aroused - he was. The kiss was hard but not overly rough, and some part of him certainly seemed to revel in the intensity of it, because he could feel his cock hardening yet again. But even that arousal didn't help his sudden fright; if anything, it seemed to make it worse. He had not kissed anyone like this for - Force, four years now - and he had never in his life been kissed so roughly, so passionately. But he had wanted this, damn it all - he did want this; he wanted Quinlan, so badly he could almost taste it. And here he was getting what he wanted, Quinlan was kissing him with a passion he would never have dared even dream about, and it was bloody frightening him!

He tried to beat down his sudden fear, calling on all his training to push it away as Quinlan continued to kiss him. It was ridiculous, he knew it was ridiculous - by the Force, he was nineteen; he was a Jedi Padawan, a man in control of his emotions. A kiss, a kiss he had wanted, from someone he trusted no less, simply should not be this alarming - but somehow it was, it just was. And what was worse, he couldn't make it stop, couldn't shut off the rush of nervous emotions any more than he could prevent his body from automatically stiffening in Quinlan's arms.

Quinlan felt it, of course - and a moment later he broke off the kiss and drew back, his brow creased in concern, no doubt sensing Obi-Wan's turbulent emotions.

"Are you all right?" he asked, looking even more concerned as he took in Obi-Wan's expression. "What's wrong?"

His voice snapped Obi-Wan out of his panic, and he immediately felt like a prize idiot for letting himself get so nervous, cursing himself for a fool as he saw the worry on Quinlan's face. Force, what was wrong with him? This was Quinlan! Absolutely nothing was going to happen here that he didn't want to have happen, and he knew that - so there was no bloody need to act like some panicky adolescent. Where the hell was all his training? Force, if he had ruined this with his skittishness, he was never going to forgive himself.

"Nothing," he said, shaking his head in disgust at his own timorousness. "I'm sorry. I'm all right, I'm just - I just - I haven't done much of this before," he confessed sheepishly, feeling himself flush with embarrassment. He had not really wanted to start this off with a confession of his own lack of sexual experience. It wasn't that he was ashamed of it, but he wasn't very keen on the idea of coming off like a nervous virgin, either. Especially since he wasn't.

Quinlan's forehead smoothed out, a look of comprehension replacing the frown, and he gave Obi-Wan a warm look, full of understanding. "Have you ever?" he asked gently.

"Yes," Obi-Wan hastened to assure him. "I mean, I'm not exactly experienced, but I'm no virgin either."

It was true, even if it had only been the one time. When he was fifteen he and Garen had decided, after much discussion, to lose their virginity together. It had actually gone very well for a first time, although it had also had completely opposite effects on the two of them. Garen, for his part, had enjoyed it immensely and had been very keen to try it again, preferably as often as possible and with anyone who might say yes. He had calmed down a little after a year or two, much to his Master's relief - although when Bant and Reeft wanted to tease him they would still refer to him as the Temple Tart, just to get a rise out of him. Garen, who Obi-Wan knew looked back on his adolescent hormones with cheerful amusement, did not mind.

Obi-Wan, in contrast, had come out of the whole affair feeling distinctly uncomfortable - not about the act per se, but more about the feelings it had engendered in him. It had been...too intense, especially for a boy who was still struggling with controlling other strong emotions, namely anger and fear. He had done a great deal of meditation in the weeks afterwards, and had decided, finally, that he was just not ready for the whole sex thing yet. Indeed, at that point he had been almost thankful that his schedule was so frantic that he did not really have the chance to indulge himself, and had focused himself almost entirely on training instead. His crush on Quinlan, which had sparked into true life when he was sixteen, had complicated matters slightly - but only slightly. He had been quite desperate to impress Quinlan, and he probably would have been very happy if Quinlan had kissed him, but he could admit to himself now that he still might not have been ready for anything else at that point.

Now, however, it was a different story. He was ready, and he knew it, despite the nervousness that had gripped him just minutes ago. He was an adult, he knew what he wanted, and he was ready for this - he was just, it seemed, a little nervous about being ready.

"We don't have to," Quinlan was saying, still looking at him with faint concern, and Obi-Wan immediately shook his head.

"No, I want to," he said, giving Quinlan an embarrassed smile. "I really do. I'm just making myself nervous, I think. I don't know why I freaked out before - it wasn't anything you did, and I wanted it, I really did. I really do. It was just - fast, I suppose. I've - well, I've really only done this once, and it's been a while."

"How old were you?" Quinlan asked curiously.

"Fifteen," Obi-Wan admitted. "After that - I decided I wasn't really ready for it, not then anyway. I enjoyed it, but it was too much, then."

"It can be like that," Quinlan said simply. "You were smart to figure out that you needed to wait." He grinned suddenly, the serious demeanour vanishing. "So who was it? Can I ask?"

"Garen," Obi-Wan replied, grinning back at him and suddenly feeling much more relaxed. Quinlan's easy acceptance of his earlier fright, and the reason for it, had gone a long way towards helping his nerves. "And I feel no guilt in telling you, because he absolutely won't care. We didn't nickname him the Temple Tart for nothing."

Quinlan laughed delightedly. "Yes, I've heard a few things about young Garen. Something about how he always had more energy than was good for him...?"

"Garen, the sexual dynamo," Obi-Wan confirmed dryly. "Although he wasn't quite as bad when we did it. He came into his own after that."

"I'll bet," Quinlan said, now eyeing Obi-Wan with appreciation. "You were awfully cute at fifteen. I remember."

Obi-Wan gave a snort of laughter. "You were checking me out when I was fifteen? My Master would be scandalised."

"I wouldn't say I was checking you out...well, not exactly," Quinlan said, smiling. "But you were cute." His eyes locked onto Obi-Wan's, and he leaned closer, putting one hand on the younger Jedi's knee. "You're still cute."

"Have I told you how much I despise being called cute?" Obi-Wan said vaguely, feeling very aware of the warmth of Quinlan's hand on his knee.

"No, but I'll take it under advisement," Quinlan replied. Their gazes were still locked, and Obi-Wan felt his breath quicken as Quinlan inched even closer. He caught the slightly questioning look on the other man's face and nodded, closing his eyes and parting his lips slightly in invitation. Warm breath ghosted over his face, and a moment later Quinlan's mouth brushed gently over his, sending a tingling shiver down his spine. A beat, and then they were kissing again, gently at first, then more deeply. Obi-Wan's heart began to pound almost immediately under those increasingly hungry kisses - but this time there was no nervousness, only desire.

"Is this all right?" Quinlan murmured between kisses, and Obi-Wan nodded, reaching up with one hand to pull the other man closer. His earlier panic was gone. He was with Quinlan, a man he trusted, a dear friend. He wanted this; he was ready for it. And now that he was no longer nervous, kissing Quinlan felt very, very good indeed.

He reached up, twining a hand into Quinlan's hair again, dimly noting the difference in texture now that it was dry and smiling as Quinlan made a small sound of appreciation. In answer, the older Jedi's hand reached around to cup the back of his neck, encouraging the kiss deeper as he pulled Obi-Wan closer. Indeed, almost before Obi-Wan knew what was happening they were no longer sitting but lying sprawled across the bed, Quinlan's weight pressing gently down on him as he settled on top. Suddenly desperate for the sheer physical contact, Obi-Wan found himself pressing even closer to Quinlan, arching eagerly into the kiss. His body was fairly screaming at him for more - more touch, more sensation, just more.

It seemed that Quinlan's mind was working along similar paths, because suddenly he was fumbling with Obi-Wan's tunics, tugging them roughly aside to kiss his neck. At this new sensation of lips on skin, Obi-Wan abruptly realised just how much their clothes were impeding their access to each other. That would have to be remedied, and fast.

Managing to push Quinlan away for a moment, he struggled into a sitting position, yanking the multiple layers of tunics off over his head in one awkward tug and shoving them aside. Quinlan followed his lead, divesting himself of his own tunics, spitting out a distracted curse when they refused to come off easily. A moment later he had thrown them aside, and Obi-Wan fairly launched himself at the older Jedi, placing himself on top this time and pinning Quinlan to the bed. He decided at once that it had definitely been a good idea to get rid of the tunics - Quinlan's bare skin was warm, his muscled chest firm and smooth to the touch, and Obi-Wan breathed in deeply as the increase in sensation reached him. He found himself mindlessly caressing the tattoo on the older Jedi's arm, even as his lips found Quinlan's again. However, there was still more clothing left to get in the way, and Obi-Wan had the feeling that neither of them were going to be satisfied with that for long.

He was proved right mere moments later when Quinlan arched up underneath him, bucking him off sideways. The older Jedi was on him like a shot, one hand pinning Obi-Wan down, the other reaching for the drawstring of his pants. Obi-Wan obligingly lifted his hips to wriggle out of them, but it seemed that Quinlan had other ideas. Instead of tugging the pants off, his hand snaked down the front of them, and Obi-Wan couldn't hold back a gasp as that hand stroked firmly across his cock.

He dropped back to the bed in surprise, but mere moments later he was arching into Quinlan's touch, his hips leaving the surface of the bed again as his body sought to continue the sensation. He breathed in hard, making some small, inarticulate noise as the older Jedi's hand went lower, then came back up to encircle his cock, rubbing gently but firmly. Stifling a groan, he reached up, curling his own hand around the back of Quinlan's head and pulling him down for another kiss. Quinlan came willingly, but the hand that was down Obi-Wan's trousers continued its work, and Obi-Wan was quite unable to keep from squirming in the wake of the sensations. He would have liked to reciprocate, and his other hand went seemingly of its own accord to the waistband of Quinlan's pants, but in his current state he couldn't manage to do much more than fumble with the drawstring. Force, they needed to get the rest of these Sith-cursed clothes off!

Once again it seemed that Quinlan had the same idea, because he suddenly broke off the kiss, letting go of Obi-Wan's cock and nimbly pulling his hand back out. The other hand joined the first at the waistband of Obi-Wan's pants, and Quinlan yanked downwards hard, succeeding in tugging the pants over Obi-Wan's hips and halfway down his thighs. Obi-Wan obligingly tried to shove them down further, but then noticed that his underwear had somehow got tangled up around his hips - and there was also the problem of his boots, which Quinlan seemed to be ignoring. Quinlan was also, he noticed, breathing rather heavily, and he was gratified to see that he wasn't the only one.

"They're not going to go past my boots, you know," he managed to say breathlessly.

"I don't care - fuck, yes I do," Quinlan said, his expression suddenly fierce. "Get up, damn it. I want you naked. I want me naked."

Obi-Wan slid off the bed with alacrity, yanking at the buckles on his boots, having to fight briefly with his pants - now pooled around his knees - to gain access to them. Kicking the boots off, he let his pants fall to the floor as Quinlan watched from the bed, his dark eyes taking in every movement.

Now clad only in his underwear (which he had mercifully managed to untangle) Obi-Wan looked up at Quinlan and flushed under the steady regard, although he couldn't help smiling. "It must be your turn now," he said playfully.

"Not yet," Quinlan replied simply, still watching Obi-Wan with an unwavering gaze. "When you're naked, then it's my turn."

"I'm nearly naked," Obi-Wan said, drawing out the teasing a little more. Despite his eagerness to get on with things - an eagerness that his cock definitely seemed to share - he and Quinlan had a history of banter like this, and he had always enjoyed it. Besides, it was helping his nerves.

"Not nearly naked enough," Quinlan retorted. "Now do as you're told, Padawan." He shot Obi-Wan a challenging glance. "Remember that I outrank you."

"Oh, we're back to this, are we?" Obi-Wan said with a grin. "And just what will you do if I don't obey you, Master Quinlan?"

"I'm sure I can think up some suitable punishment."

"Oh, really?" Obi-Wan raised a deliberately sceptical eyebrow. "Do tell, Master Quin. Or better yet, show me - if you dare."

Quinlan bared his teeth in a sudden, fierce grin. "Obi-Wan Kenobi, are you trying to turn this into something kinky?"

Smiling, Obi-Wan ducked his head, feeling his cheeks heat up yet again. "Maybe. Although it depends how kinky you want to get." His brows suddenly drew together. "Do you know, I can't quite believe I just said that."

Quinlan laughed. "So much for you being nervous and inexperienced," he said lightly. "It certainly didn't last long!"

"I blame you," Obi-Wan responded smartly. "You're the Knight. You're responsible for corrupting me."

"Am not," Quinlan said with a grin, showing off his maturity. "Now get those Sith-cursed underwear off and get on this bed, damn it. I'm starting to think you're stalling."

"Am not," Obi-Wan said, mimicking Quinlan, then laughed as the young Knight made as if to get off the bed.

"Any more of that, and we will be doing something kinky - I'll be tanning your ass for you," Quinlan threatened, although he was also laughing. "Lose the shorts, boy. Unless you want me to tear them off with my teeth, in which case, get your ass over here."

"Tempting, but I like this pair," Obi-Wan said. Reaching into the waistband of his underwear, he tugged downwards, letting them slip off his hips and fall to the floor. "Satisfied?" he asked, blushing again as Quinlan's dark gaze locked onto his groin.

"Not yet, but I intend to be," Quinlan muttered. He patted the bed, giving Obi-Wan an impressive leer. "Come here, little Padawan."

"Little?" Obi-Wan gave him a look of mock outrage, glancing down at himself and then up at Quinlan again, who laughed.

"Sorry. I was casting no aspersions, I promise," he said with a grin, eyeing Obi-Wan's naked body appreciatively.

"I should think not," Obi-Wan said, mollified. He took a step towards the bed. "Honestly, you try having Master Qui-Gon as your Master - you'd be sensitive about it too."

"He is rather...tall," Quinlan agreed, patting the bed again and giving Obi-Wan a meaningful look.

"Am I to take it that you want me over there, then?" Obi-Wan asked innocently, raising an eyebrow as he took another step forward.

"Remember what I said about tanning your ass?" Quinlan asked, giving Obi-Wan another of those fierce grins. He held up one hand, his thumb and forefinger hovering millimetres apart. "You're about this close."

Obi-Wan grinned at that and finally made his approach, slipping onto the bed beside Quinlan, just in time for the young Knight to pin him to the bed once again. Quinlan's lips locked onto his, and it was several minutes before Obi-Wan could manage to tear himself away long enough to raise his one protest.

"You're still not naked," he complained breathlessly, trying to sit up. "It's unequal nudity. Quite unfair."

"I outrank you," Quinlan said, trying to kiss him again, but Obi-Wan remained firm.

"You've still got your boots on. I'm not having sex with you while you're wearing boots."

"Why the hell not?"

"You might kick me in the throes of passion and it would hurt," Obi-Wan quipped. He shoved upwards, trying to get Quinlan off him. "Get up, Master Quin. Get those blasted clothes off."

"All right, all right." Quinlan kissed him again, hard, then reluctantly detached himself and slid off the bed. He got his boots off with two quick yanks (no easy thing to do with knee-high boots) and threw both of them across the room just for good measure.

Obi-Wan winced at the noise. "Suddenly I'm very glad that you're no longer a Padawan - we'd have Master Tholme in here asking what the hell was going on."

"And wouldn't that be embarrassing?" Quinlan said with a wink. He had untied the drawstring of his pants now, and was pulling them slowly over his hips. "Is this all right?" he asked Obi-Wan teasingly. "Or would you like me to do it slower? I could throw in a lap dance too if you wanted."

Obi-Wan sat up and glared at him. "I was not nearly this difficult when it was my turn," he said, ignoring the fact that that was totally untrue. "Stop stalling, or - I'll be forced to take action," he finished, trying for an authoritative tone.

Quinlan blinked, then a wicked grin spread across his face. "Go on, then," he said, leering at Obi-Wan again. "Take action. I'll even call you Master Obi."

Unable to refuse the challenging tone, Obi-Wan was off the bed in moments, quite forgetting the fact that he was naked as he stalked over to Quinlan. For his part, Quinlan let his pants fall to his ankles as Obi-Wan approached, and as soon as the younger man was within reach he pulled him into another hard kiss. It was several more minutes before they surfaced again, and by this time they were both breathing hard.

"Bed. Now," Quinlan managed to say, not taking his eyes from Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan could only nod. Their teasing banter had been a wonderful way of dissipating any lingering anxiety he might have felt, but it was also delaying the main event - and at this point Obi-Wan wasn't sure whether his libido could stand any more delays. They both dove for the bed, Quinlan somehow managing to divest himself of his underwear on the way. Obi-Wan was not entirely sure how he'd managed that, but so long as Quinlan was naked, he found that he didn't much care.

He took the upper hand this time, making sure he was on top when they hit the bed - but rather than kissing Quinlan again right away, he sat up, straddling Quinlan's legs, letting his eyes roam over the young Knight's naked body. Not that he hadn't seen Quinlan naked before - that was, after all, how this whole thing had started - but he had never allowed himself to really look. And it was definitely a sight worth looking at.

He slowly took in the muscled chest, the flat stomach, his eyes travelling down and then back up again. Quinlan lay back quietly, letting him look, a slight smile on his face which grew when Obi-Wan reached out to stroke the tattoo on his upper arm, standing out yellow-white against Quinlan's olive skin. And there were more - as well as the ones on Quinlan's arm and face, there was another tattoo on his right thigh - and on his right shin, too, Obi-Wan recalled as he glanced over his shoulder. Five in total, then, adding in the one on the small of his back. And Force, were they ever attractive.

They were clan tattoos, he knew, encompassing various tribal markings of the Vos clan, links to the home and kin that Quinlan was still so close to. The one across his face was the simplest - two thick lines; one crossing his cheeks and the bridge of his nose, just below his eyes; the other offset from it, winding around from the side of his head to end in a point halfway across his forehead. Utterly simple, and yet they added something exotic, almost primal, to Quinlan's handsome face. Obi-Wan had been fascinated by them ever since their first meeting, and he still thought they were beautiful. The other tattoos were all more complex - varying patterns of flowing, almost geometric shapes, all in that same yellow-white that contrasted so attractively with Quinlan's dark complexion - but that one was his favourite.

"You're fucking gorgeous," he told Quinlan frankly, looking the older man straight in the eyes, and to his delight Quinlan actually blushed a little.

"You're pretty damn cute yourself," he said, grinning at Obi-Wan, who laughed. After a moment, Quinlan reached up, putting both hands on his shoulders and pulling Obi-Wan down into his arms and another kiss. This time it was longer, deeper, and Obi-Wan knew with certainty that it was merely a prelude to much more. By the time they finally drew back for a breath, he had pressed himself so close to Quinlan that they seemed almost melded together. One arm was twined around Quinlan's neck, the other gripping his bicep, again stroking the tattoo that so fascinated him. Their bodies were pressed together, chest to groin; their legs closely entwined. Obi-Wan had never in his life been so intimately close to another being, and the sensation of it was almost overwhelming.

Quinlan pulled back just a little, not taking his eyes from Obi-Wan's. "In the top drawer," he said, very softly. "There's some lube...if you're ready?"

Obi-Wan just nodded. He was ready. He wanted this, wanted it badly; he had wanted this for years. He was no longer nervous at all. Somehow he knew that there was just no reason to be.

Reaching out, he pulled open the top drawer of the little bedside cabinet, his fingers fumbling around inside until he found a small bottle. Pulling it out, he held it up inquiringly, and Quinlan nodded.

"That's the stuff." As Obi-Wan watched, he hesitated for a moment, his brow furrowing slightly. "Um - which way do you want to do this?" he asked gently.

Obi-Wan just grinned, leaning forward to kiss Quinlan again. "Both," he said in a low voice, then added, "But you can go on top first."

Quinlan's breath huffed out in a surprised chuckle. "And I say again: so much for you being nervous and inexperienced."

"I don't need to be nervous," Obi-Wan said quietly, smiling into Quinlan's eyes. "I trust you, Quin."

"And I trust you." Quinlan leaned forward, capturing Obi-Wan's lips in another kiss, then pushed at his shoulders. "Lie down on your back," he said, giving the younger man a warm smile. "I'm going to need both hands for this."

Obi-Wan obligingly rolled off Quinlan, lying back on the bed as the young Knight sat up. Quinlan rose gracefully to his knees, then moved further down the bed and positioned himself between Obi-Wan's legs, nudging them further apart as he did so. A moment later his hands were stroking gently on either side of Obi-Wan's groin, just brushing his cock before coming down to caress the insides of his thighs, and Obi-Wan sucked in his breath at the sensation. He was already achingly hard, but those gentle touches had made his cock twitch in fresh anticipation.

Quinlan's hands left him, and Obi-Wan watched as he removed the cap on the bottle and squeezed some of the lubricant into his hand. Rubbing his hands together for a moment, he gave Obi-Wan another of those wicked smiles and reached down to firmly grasp the younger man's cock. Obi-Wan was unable to prevent his hips from jerking in response, and he let his head fall back, his eyes closing as the sensations washed over him. A moment later Quinlan began to stroke leisurely up and down the length of his cock, and Obi-Wan couldn't help squirming, his hips leaving the bed as he tried to press himself into Quinlan's hand.

Quinlan's other hand - rather slippery now - settled itself on his hip for a moment, patting gently. Both hands lifted, he heard the soft squirting sound of more lubricant being obtained, then the first hand went back to his cock, sliding up and down the length of it again in smooth, firm strokes. A moment later, the other hand moved down between his buttocks, gently spreading lubricant around the entrance to his body.

Obi-Wan obligingly moved his legs further apart to give Quinlan better access, although most of his focus was currently taken up by the sensations coming from his cock - which was probably exactly what Quinlan had intended. The hand moved deftly between his cheeks, spreading a generous amount of lubricant around the entire area before coming back to press gently at his anus, warning him of what was about to happen. Concentrating, he tried to relax the appropriate muscles, pulling his focus away from the sweet burning coming from his groin in order to make the invasion easier.

Another moment of pressure, then one slippery finger pushed firmly past the tight ring of muscle, slipping in up to the first, then the second knuckle and gently rotating. Obi-Wan concentrated on keeping himself relaxed and found that he felt no pain, just a faint stretching which grew more pronounced when Quinlan added a second finger. "Is that all right?" Quinlan asked gently, and Obi-Wan nodded in response.

"Keep going," he requested softly, not opening his eyes.

Quinlan obliged, although he took longer this time, flexing and rotating his fingers and gently pumping in and out, stimulating the nerve endings and giving Obi-Wan time to get used to the sensation. Obi-Wan let himself relax into it, arching his hips off the bed slightly to give Quinlan better access, unconsciously pushing down onto the older man's hand as fresh arousal curled through his belly. Quinlan's other hand was still on his cock, stroking up and down, and Obi-Wan's breath was beginning to catch in his throat from the twin sensations. There was still no pain, even though Quinlan's fingers were quite deeply inside him now, moving in careful circles.

The fingers gently withdrew, and Quinlan nudged the inside of his leg. "Turn over," he said, and Obi-Wan could hear a definite note of strain in his voice now. "It'll be easier on you."

Obi-Wan obeyed blindly, rolling over and raising himself to his knees on the bed. Quinlan settled behind him, his hand immediately going back to its position on Obi-Wan's cock, and this time Obi-Wan couldn't hold back a gasp. His hips canted forward as he tried to press himself into the sensation, and Quinlan's other hand moved to his waist, steadying him.

"I'm going to try three fingers," Quinlan said, and Obi-Wan was gratified to hear that he sounded quite breathless himself. "Are you ready?"

"Do I sound ready?" Obi-Wan said, snickering a little despite the heady sensations, and he could almost hear Quinlan's answering grin.

"Fuck, yes. And I bloody know I am. I just don't want to hurt you."

"You won't hurt me," Obi-Wan assured him. He was still keeping his muscles relaxed as best he could, and he knew Quinlan would be gentle, which admittedly was all to the good. It had been a long time since he had done this, after all - and at fifteen, Garen just had not been that big. For that matter, neither had he.

"All right. Stay relaxed," Quinlan said, and Obi-Wan felt fingers pushing gently at his anus again. Three, this time - much more of a stretch, even with what must have been half the bottle of lubricant smeared over them. He breathed deeply, closing his eyes, accepting the faint burn as Quinlan gently worked his fingers in. He went slowly, first rotating his fingers, then flexing them, working the nerve endings around the entrance. His other hand slid down to the very base of Obi-Wan's cock, massaging the sensitive perineum, and Obi-Wan let out a low groan.

"Like that, huh?" Quinlan asked, the teasing note back in his voice, although he still sounded a little breathless.

"No," Obi-Wan gasped in answer, fumbling to find words through the arousal fogging his brain. "Fucking hate it. Can't you tell?" He pushed backwards, trying to get Quinlan's fingers in deeper.

"Cheeky little bastard," Quinlan replied with a chuckle. "Try this, then." And his fingers suddenly moved deeper, brushing lightly over Obi-Wan's prostate, sending a distinctly pleasurable jolt through his body. He sucked in his breath in surprise - he knew what it was that Quinlan had done, of course, but he hadn't been expecting it to feel quite like that!

Quinlan's hand tightened around his cock, and he flicked the sensitive spot again, this time causing Obi-Wan to gasp and wriggle his hips in reaction. The hand on his cock lifted and moved to his back, steadying him, and Quinlan's fingers resumed their teasing, moving in and out in a progressively faster rhythm. Obi-Wan was no longer in any pain - quite the contrary; he could not remember ever feeling this good in his life. He was almost light-headed with arousal, and right now all he knew was that he wanted more.

"More!" he finally managed to gasp out in response to that thought, pressing mindlessly backwards onto Quinlan's teasing fingers. "Quin - please!"

"Hell, yes," Quinlan replied, his voice tense and strained with his own arousal. His fingers pulled gently out, and there was the soft sound of more lubricant being slicked on. Slippery hands settled on his hips, spreading his buttocks gently apart, and a moment later Obi-Wan felt the blunt head of Quinlan's cock press lightly against the entrance to his body.

Too lightly. Not enough.

"Please, Quin!" He was still trying to squirm backwards, despite Quinlan's restraining hands. "Do it!"

Quinlan didn't bother with a reply, but Obi-Wan felt the hands on his hips tighten in warning. A moment later he felt the other man's cock slowly press forward, breaching the tight ring of muscle and then carefully pushing deeper. Obi-Wan sucked in his breath, feeling the burn again as his body fought briefly against the invasion - but oh, the pleasure far outweighed the pain! He could feel slickness on his stomach, his cock leaking even more as his arousal soared, and pushed backwards again, trying to impale himself further.

He heard Quinlan give a low groan at the movement, and the older man's hands tightened on his hips again, gripping them convulsively. A moment later Quinlan spoke, his voice roughened with desire. "I'm not hurting you?"

"Force, no!" Obi-Wan said fervently, gasping a little from the sensation of heat that seemed to be encompassing his groin. "Don't stop!"

Apparently convinced, Quinlan began to push forward again. He was still moving slower than Obi-Wan would have liked, but the restraining hands on his hips prevented him from speeding things up. And really, he thought he understood why - going slowly may have been teasing, but oh, it was good. The slow, careful penetration, feeling Quinlan's cock ease in little by little, friction on the sensitive nerve endings around his anus - the sensations were almost startling in their intensity. Indeed, by the time Quinlan had worked his way in fully Obi-Wan was practically incoherent, panting hoarsely and letting out small whimpers of pleasure. Under any other circumstances, the very idea of whimpering would have been horribly embarrassing - but right now he couldn't care less.

Quinlan paused for a moment once he was all the way in, to give Obi-Wan a chance to adjust - or possibly just to catch his breath, Obi-Wan thought, hearing Quinlan's ragged breathing mingling with his own. His groin was flush against Obi-Wan's buttocks now, his hands still gripping Obi-Wan's hips, and they stayed like that for an agonising moment or two before Quinlan began to move. Slowly at first, gently pumping a little way out and then back in again, still holding Obi-Wan steady as he squirmed beneath him. For his part, Obi-Wan was really panting now, sweating profusely, his hands clenching reflexively in the bedcovers as Quinlan began to move faster. His whole body felt consumed with heat; he could almost feel it radiating off his skin, and he didn't think he was the only one - Quinlan's hands on his hips were burning hot, gripping his heated flesh with near-bruising force. Not that he cared - the pure sensation arcing up from his groin was simply too overwhelming to allow much else to penetrate.

Quinlan was moving faster now, pumping more deeply, and Obi-Wan could hear himself gasping with each thrust, his feet twitching seemingly of their own accord. A moment later he cried out as another jolt of startling heat went through his body - Quinlan had shifted slightly, changing his angle just a little, and his cock had nudged over Obi-Wan's prostate. The next thrust did the same thing again, and Obi-Wan groaned loudly. His buttocks clenched involuntarily, his muscles tightening around Quinlan's cock, and he heard the other man groan as well.

Breathing hard, Obi-Wan pulled one hand up from where it had fisted in the covers, supporting himself on the other as he began to stroke his own cock, just as Quinlan began to thrust deeper still. Force, he was getting close now, he could feel it - although he had never achieved quite this level of pleasure during masturbation, he knew that his body must be nearing climax. He pumped his cock hard, gritting his teeth at the double stimulation, his eyelids fluttering as the sensations grew even more intense. Quinlan was nudging that sensitive spot with every thrust now, and from the noises the other man was making, it was just about as good for him as it was for Obi-Wan. A groan reached his ears, followed by a gasp, and Quinlan spoke, his voice rough and choked with arousal.

"Can't hold off much longer," he panted, and Obi-Wan could feel him trembling, could feel the quivering in the hands that still gripped his hips.

"Don't bother," he managed to gasp out in reply. "Just go. I'm nearly there too."

That was all the encouragement Quinlan needed, and his pace picked up yet again, his movements becoming almost frenzied. Obi-Wan suddenly wished he could see Quinlan's expression, wished he could watch as that dark, handsome face contorted in the pleasure of orgasm. Well, he would just have to imagine it instead - and imagine it he did, pumping his cock faster and faster as Quinlan moved inside him. He was close now, oh so close, the pressure seeming to build and build, that peculiar internal heat of arousal cresting in a sudden wave...

...and then his head snapped back, his face twisting into a grimace as the wave swept over him, his body shuddering in tight, controlled spasms as sticky wetness spurted onto his hand. He didn't cry out - the sensation was just too intense for that - but small gasps escaped him with every pulse of orgasm, hissing out from between clenched teeth as he rode the wave down.

The spasming of his muscles apparently pushed Quinlan over the edge too - the other man let out a hoarse cry, and his hips jerked convulsively a few times before he abruptly collapsed on top of Obi-Wan, his upper body slumping heavily over the younger man's back. The sudden weight combined with the aftershocks of orgasm was more than Obi-Wan could take while supporting himself with one hand, and he in turn collapsed onto the bed, one hand trapped under his chest, the other still on his cock. Quinlan settled heavily on top of him, pushing the breath out of him with a whuff, and Obi-Wan heard a muffled snicker, followed by a strained, "Sorry."

"'s all right." Half-dazed from pleasure, and now quite well pinned, Obi-Wan just let himself flop, quite enjoying the sensation of Quinlan's solid, sweaty weight on top of him. All right, the position he was in was perhaps not so comfortable, but at this point he didn't think he had the energy to move himself, let alone both of them. Thankfully, after a couple of minutes Quinlan roused enough to roll off him, flopping gracelessly onto his back on the bed, drawing a grunt from Obi-Wan as his softening penis slipped free. A moment later he pulled Obi-Wan into his arms, and Obi-Wan happily snuggled into him, closing his eyes and resting his head on Quinlan's chest, hearing the other man's heartbeat - already slowed back down to its normal rate after their exertions - thumping gently in his ear.

He let himself drift for a time, lying languid and sated and utterly content, not really thinking about anything except how good he felt right at this moment. He thought he might have dozed a little; he came back to himself to find Quinlan gently shifting him over, carefully detaching himself from their embrace. Obi-Wan opened sleepy eyes to give him a questioning look, and Quinlan leaned down to kiss him, smiling.

"I'm just going to get us a drink," he said. "I don't know about you, but I'm parched."

Obi-Wan suddenly became aware of the dryness of his own throat, and sat up a little, nodding his agreement. "Me too. Do you want a hand?"

"No, you stay there. I'll be back in a minute." Another kiss, and Quinlan sauntered off towards the door, still naked and clearly quite unconcerned about it. Obi-Wan heard him banging around in the kitchen, and then he appeared again, carrying a tray with two big glasses of juice and a plate of cookies. "I always get hungry, after," he explained through a mouthful of cookie, and Obi-Wan grinned, taking one of the glasses and promptly downing half of its contents in a single gulp. Two more gulps and the glass was empty, and he lay back on the pillows with a sigh.

"Better. That was one hell of a workout."

"Wasn't it, though?" Quinlan had gone through half of his own glass and was now on his second cookie. He leaned down to press a crumby kiss on Obi-Wan, his dark eyes tender. "It was also bloody fantastic."

Obi-Wan grinned, flushing a little. "Wasn't it, though?"

"Worth waiting for, then?"

"Hell, yes."

"Good," Quinlan said with satisfaction, finishing his cookie and stretching out on the bed next to Obi-Wan. One arm slipped around the younger man's shoulders, and Obi-Wan relaxed against him, his eyes closing again.

"Master Qui-Gon's still going to kill me when he finds out about the shower thing," he said after a time, although somehow he just couldn't bring himself to be too concerned. That in itself was rather surprising, since usually even the thought of Qui-Gon's displeasure was enough to quite thoroughly cow him - but he couldn't honestly say he was all that unhappy about it. In truth, it actually felt rather liberating - and after all, it wasn't like he'd done anything really wrong. Silly, perhaps, and definitely not proper behaviour for a Jedi, but no one was going to die just because he and Quinlan had made out in the training room showers. Certainly Master Kit had seemed to find the whole thing highly amusing - and considering where that kiss had led him, Obi-Wan simply couldn't find it in himself to regret it.

"You think he'll find out?" Quinlan asked, and Obi-Wan opened his eyes, giving the older man a wry smile.

"He always finds out. Besides, Master Kit gossips. He'll tell Bant, at the very least." He grinned at the thought, shaking his head. "Force, I'll never hear the end of it."

Quinlan raised an eyebrow, smirking. "She won't approve?"

"Oh no, she'll approve," Obi-Wan said. "She'll love it. She's suspected I fancied you for years. I just never confirmed or denied, to keep her off my back."

"Ah, the joys of well-meaning friends," Quinlan said with a smile. "Although I must say I'm flattered to have been such a point of contention."

"Well, I do remember your Master once saying you could cause trouble in an empty room," Obi-Wan retorted, grinning.

"Yes, he would sometimes come out with gems like that," Quinlan agreed wryly. "Terrible, really. Didn't he know the damage he might have done to my fragile Padawan self-esteem?

"You seem to have pulled through."

"Barely." He leaned over for another kiss, tasting of mingled cookie and juice, and Obi-Wan obligingly wrapped an arm around his neck to pull him closer.

"You know," Quinlan said, when they finally surfaced for air again, "I seem to recall you saying something about how I could go on top first. Which rather implies that there was going to be a second."

Obi-Wan nodded thoughtfully, trying not to grin. "Yes, I did say that, didn't I?"

"You did indeed. And since I've already been on top...that must make it your turn. Master Obi." Quinlan wiggled a lascivious eyebrow at him, and Obi-Wan laughed.

"Well, in that case, how can I possibly say no?"

"You can't," Quinlan said smugly, and promptly pinned him to the bed again.

Later, lying for the second time that day in an exhausted, sweaty heap across Quinlan's bed, Obi-Wan reflected vaguely that there were definite differences - aside from the obvious, of course - between the two experiences, being penetrated and being the one doing the penetrating.

When his brain was functioning at a higher level again, he might even work out what they were...

The power thing, he thought, shaking himself awake with an effort. That was probably the biggest one. There was definitely a feeling of power that went along with being the one doing the penetrating, even if that power might only extend as far as the edge of the bed. Of course, Quinlan's insistence on calling him 'Master Obi' the whole time had not exactly helped that feeling along on this occasion - rather it had kept making him giggle. However, he had still felt hints of it, and it had been quite a heady sensation. He had very much enjoyed being able to give Quinlan that much pleasure, being the one who was ostensibly in control - although for all that Quinlan had been on the bottom, he had shown no signs whatsoever of being submissive. Indeed, Quinlan's idea of begging for more was to say things like, "Go faster, damn it!" in tones that smacked much more of commanding than of pleading.

/Fairly typical of Quinlan, really,/ Obi-Wan thought with a smile.

In contrast, being the one penetrated had rather made him feel as if Quinlan was the one holding the balance of power. Not that he had minded - that, too, had been a very pleasant sensation, coming as it did from someone he trusted so much. Being sexually stimulated to the point of gasping and pleading and even whimpering for more was, after all, pretty damn erotic in its own right.

All in all, though, he thought that despite the differences he had enjoyed both experiences pretty much equally - although in slightly different ways, of course. And Quinlan, for his part, had seemed just as enthusiastic about having Obi-Wan be on top as on the bottom, so it didn't seem that he really had a preference either.

He glanced over at the object of his thoughts, who was sprawled lazily across the other side of the bed, one foot lying across Obi-Wan's ankles. He was also eating cookies again, and completely ignoring the fact that he was dropping crumbs on his pillow.

"We should probably have some real food at some point," Quinlan said, meeting his gaze and giving him a warm smile. "Otherwise I'll just keep eating these. My Master would be horrified."

Obi-Wan nodded, trying to blink away the stubborn sleepiness that was threatening to overcome him. "What time is it?"

Quinlan flicked a glance down at the chrono beside the bed, then back up. "Nearly 2300. We were at that for quite a while," he added with a grin, wiggling an eyebrow at Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan laughed. "It feels like it, too. I'm exhausted."

"Food will wake you up," Quinlan reassured him, finishing his cookie and sliding off the bed. "You can take a nap if you want to, while I make us dinner. All you have to do is bring your naked self to the table when it's ready."

"You want to have dinner naked?" Obi-Wan asked dubiously.

"I want you to have dinner naked," Quinlan said with a grin, leaning down to kiss him. "Dinner for you, entertainment for me."

Obi-Wan snorted, aiming a half-hearted swat at him, which Quinlan easily ducked away from. "You're incorrigible."

"So I've been told," Quinlan agreed airily. "But I also make a mean Corellian stir-fry, which makes up for a lot." He leaned back down to kiss Obi-Wan again, cupping the younger man's face in his hand. "Sleep, if you're tired. I'll wake you for dinner."

Obi-Wan didn't need any more convincing than that.

As it turned out, Quinlan didn't need to wake him for dinner - after only a short nap, Obi-Wan's empty stomach began to protest vigorously enough that he woke himself up. He supposed it was hardly surprising, after all the exercise they had done - it had been one hell of a workout, and the rather appetising smells that were now drifting out from the direction of the kitchen were not helping the matter. Lunch, his stomach was telling him plaintively, had been a long time ago.

He stretched languidly on the bed, arching his back and extending his arms out to the sides, enjoying the pull on his muscles. He still felt wonderfully relaxed - all the tension seemed to have been wrung out of his body, and he wondered vaguely if it always felt like this after really good sex.

He grinned at the thought, still hardly able to believe what had happened. He had actually had sex with Quinlan. He, Obi-Wan Kenobi - the dutiful, serious, play-by-the-rules Padawan - had thrown caution to the winds and had sex with Quinlan Vos. And that after kissing him in the training room showers, and getting caught to boot.

For that matter, he was still wondering why he wasn't more worried about that. After all, he knew Qui-Gon was not going to be happy - such a public display was inappropriate, undisciplined, and definitely not suitable behaviour for a Jedi Padawan, or a Jedi Knight for that matter. Sure, Master Kit had been amused - but Qui-Gon most certainly would not be, not when it was his Padawan who had done the dreadful deed. He was going to be most displeased, and Obi-Wan was going to be in a fair amount of trouble - and yet, the thought of that was somehow just not as distressing as he had expected it to be.

He couldn't understand it. In the past, the mere hint of Qui-Gon's displeasure had been enough to put him in his place for weeks, and it had definitely been enough to make him regret whatever it was he had done to earn it, no matter what his motivations had been. This time, though - this was different. He was somehow different.

/What, because I had sex with Quin?/ he thought dubiously. /Like he's some kind of magic - confidence talisman, or something? All right, so it was great sex, but come on. Be sensible./

He tilted his head back, staring at the ceiling, ignoring the increasingly demanding complaints from his empty stomach. It was true, he did feel different, somehow - but he thought it might have less to do with actually having sex with Quinlan, and more to do with realising that having his Master be a little displeased with him might in fact not be the end of the world.

That in itself was something of a breakthrough for him, and he knew it. Previously, it hadn't mattered what he did, or why - if Qui-Gon didn't like it, he had regretted it as a matter of course, just because he hated it when his Master was disappointed in him. But this time, things just seemed different. All right, so he and Quinlan could have found a better place to make out than in the training room showers - but what did it matter, really? They hadn't hurt anyone. Nobody was going to throw them out of the Order for a bit of public kissing, even naked public kissing. Let Qui-Gon be displeased with him if he wanted to be; he still couldn't bring himself to really regret it.

Of course, that wasn't to say he was looking forward to the reprimand he was going to get, or to Qui-Gon being disappointed in him. He did want to please his Master; that was just part of who he was. But somehow he knew that this time, Qui-Gon's disapproval just wasn't going to distress him the way it usually did. Not over this. Not over something so very unimportant.

/And maybe that's the difference,/ he thought, with a hint of wonder. /Because I can see that this is unimportant, even if Qui-Gon is unhappy about it. Maybe that's why I'm just not so worried about his reaction this time, because I know in myself that this just isn't such a big deal./

So there he had it. He didn't want Qui-Gon to be displeased with him, and he certainly wasn't going to start doing things to invite it, but it just wasn't the end of the world, at least not when his transgression was something so small. The realisation was quite remarkably liberating - and really, what was there to be so worried about? Qui-Gon wasn't going to kill him. He wasn't going to banish him over one incident of inappropriate behaviour. Force, Qui-Gon himself had said more than once that Obi-Wan needed to concentrate less on pleasing him, and more on doing what felt right to himself. He might not even be that upset about it.

He thought about that for a moment, picturing Qui-Gon's reaction on being told what his Padawan had done, and grinned. All right, so that was just wishful thinking. Qui-Gon would be upset - and disappointed. But it would be short-lived, Obi-Wan was sure of it. As transgressions went, even public transgressions, surely even Qui-Gon would have to admit that this one was relatively minor.

His stomach growled insistently then, distracting him from his thoughts, and he noticed that the smell of food seemed to be getting stronger. Whatever Quinlan was making must be nearly done, and his empty stomach was strongly implying that he really ought to get out there and investigate.

He stretched again, long and luxuriously, then slid off the bed and headed for the kitchen - although he did make sure to put his underwear back on first. Having dinner naked was just a little too much for him - and besides, what if he dropped something hot in his lap? That would certainly make for an embarrassing trip to the healers, not to mention putting a damper on the evening.

He found Quinlan in the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on their meal, and the older man greeted him with a warm smile and a kiss. He had put pants on at some point, but was still barefoot and shirtless, his hair hanging loose down his back. Despite being exhausted and hungry, Obi-Wan found that just seeing Quinlan like that was enough to get him going again, and they spent several minutes kissing rather aggressively before their growling stomachs finally distracted them.

"Food," Quinlan said succinctly, tearing himself away from the kiss to rescue the pot that was on the stove. "Force, I'm hungry - and I've been eating while I cooked, too. You must be starving."

Obi-Wan nodded, eyeing the food - which really did smell very good. "Force, yes. My stomach was the only thing that woke me up."

"Mmm, I thought I heard some strange noises coming from my room," Quinlan said with a grin. "Come on, then - this is done. Grab some plates, and we'll eat."

Obi-Wan did, and they went through into the common room, using the table just long enough to dish up the food before sprawling themselves across the couch to eat it. Two helpings later, and Obi-Wan was feeling much better, although the whole thing also felt distinctly hedonistic to him - especially since they both still smelled strongly of sex. When he mentioned that observation to Quinlan, the other man laughed so hard that he nearly fell off the couch before pulling Obi-Wan into an affectionate hug. "You're priceless," he said, still laughing, and Obi-Wan swatted him just out of principle.

"Fuck you," he said good-naturedly, giving Quinlan a tired grin.

"You already did," Quinlan replied around a yawn. "And as I'm far too tired to give you the walloping you deserve for hitting me, I'll let you off. For now."

"How kind," Obi-Wan said wryly. "Good thing too, though, since I'm too tired to fight you off."

"Exactly, it would be no fun at all." Quinlan yawned again, rubbing a hand over his face. "Force, I'm exhausted. I need to get some sleep. So do you, for that matter."

Obi-Wan nodded. He was tired too, and he was definitely ready for bed - but that brought up the question of which bed, and he was suddenly uncertain. Should he stay, or should he go home? Did Quinlan want him to stay? Should he ask?

Quinlan solved that problem nicely, however. He pressed a gentle kiss to Obi-Wan's lips, then got gracefully to his feet, tugging Obi-Wan up with him and saying softly, "Come to bed."

His dilemma solved, Obi-Wan was more than happy to oblige.

He woke slowly the next morning, drifting gently into wakefulness from sleep, enjoying the unaccustomed lazy feeling. Opening his eyes, the first thing he became aware of was that he was not alone - there was a warm, muscled body wrapped tightly around him, and he smiled as memory came rushing back. Force, it had been an eventful day yesterday. No wonder he was feeling lazy this morning.

He shifted slightly and Quinlan stirred, nuzzling his face into Obi-Wan's shoulder for a moment before lifting his head. "G'morning," he said, summoning up a sleepy grin.

"Morning," Obi-Wan replied, echoing the grin and brushing a kiss over Quinlan's lips.

"What time is it?"

Obi-Wan craned his neck, trying to see the chrono on the bedside table. "It's...0600. Well, just after." He grimaced. "I should probably get up, as much as I don't want to. I'll have to go home and face Master Qui-Gon at some point, and I probably shouldn't put it off any longer."

"True enough," Quinlan agreed with a yawn. "I should get up too, I suppose. Come on, I'll make you breakfast. You'll need fortification for your imminent death by Master's Wrath."

"That's a comforting thought," Obi-Wan said wryly, dragging himself reluctantly out of the cocoon of blankets. He didn't say no to the breakfast Quinlan made, however - in fact, he was finding that sharing meals with Quinlan was something he'd like to do a lot more of.

/Well, provided Qui-Gon ever lets me leave our quarters again, that is,/ he thought with a wry grin.

He still wasn't overly worried about Qui-Gon's reaction, although now that it really was imminent he couldn't help but feel a small flicker of unease. Qui-Gon's reprimands were never enjoyable, and Obi-Wan was never happy about the idea of disappointing his Master, even though he knew in himself that his offence had been minor. He just hoped that Qui-Gon would not be even more displeased that he had absented himself for the night rather than going home to take his scolding. He doubted it somehow, though. Qui-Gon was patient - and after all, it wasn't like he wouldn't have been able to guess where Obi-Wan was.

Once he had eaten, he detoured into the 'fresher again to make sure he was presentable - well, as presentable as he could be while wearing yesterday's clothes, anyway. Although, he thought optimistically, he had spent a fair part of yesterday not wearing these clothes - indeed, not wearing any clothes - so they shouldn't be too bad. A shower before bed last night and another quick one this morning had ensured that he was clean, at least - and if he was very lucky, he might even be able to get changed before Qui-Gon reamed him.

Realising that he really shouldn't put said reaming off any longer, he reluctantly abandoned the safety of the 'fresher and went back out into the bedroom, where Quinlan was busying himself in making the bed. They shared a quick grin, as well as a not-so-quick kiss, before Obi-Wan finally surrendered to the inevitable and headed for the door. Quinlan walked with him, and Obi-Wan found himself drawn unresistingly into another lingering kiss before he was allowed to actually step outside.

"Come and see me later, if you can," Quinlan said through the open door, smiling. "Or com me. Just to let me know you're still alive."

Obi-Wan made a sour face at him, but there was no rancour in it. "I'll com, at least," he said. "And I'll come if I can, although I wouldn't count on it."

"You never know," Quinlan offered, without much conviction. "He might not have found out. And if he did, he might not be that upset."

Obi-Wan snorted. "False optimism, and you know it. I'm a dead Padawan." He smiled then, leaning forward for another kiss. "But I don't care. It was worth it."

He met Quinlan's eyes for a long moment, reaching up to brush his fingers over the other man's tattooed cheek. He suddenly wanted quite badly to tell Quinlan that he loved him, loved him as a dear and trusted friend and now as even more than that, but he just wasn't sure how to say it. He had never been very good at talking about his feelings, not even with those he was closest to. More than that, what if Quinlan didn't feel the same way? Obi-Wan certainly didn't want to say anything that might make him uncomfortable, or spoil what they had shared together.

As it turned out, however, he didn't have to say anything at all. Quinlan just smiled at his touch, then ran a hand over Obi-Wan's short hair, returning the affectionate gesture. "I love you too," he said very softly, then his smile widened. "Now go, get what's coming to you - and come and see me later! Climb out the window if you have to!"

Obi-Wan gave him a dubious look, although his heart was positively soaring. "You do realise, don't you, that my window is hundreds of stories above the ground?"

"You're a Jedi. Improvise." Quinlan took him by the shoulders, pressing another hard kiss to his lips before turning him around and giving him a gentle push. "Go, before I drag you back into bed," he said. "And good luck!"

"Thanks - I'm going to need it!" Obi-Wan said, turning back to grin at him. Quinlan winked, and then the door slid shut, leaving Obi-Wan standing alone in the corridor and feeling distinctly thankful that it was still early.

Taking a deep breath, he headed for his own quarters, walking briskly through the quiet corridors, passing other Jedi here and there. Finally reaching his destination, he opened the door and slipped inside, moving very quietly so as not to wake his Master if he had decided to sleep in. Although Qui-Gon was usually an early riser, he had been sleeping a bit later since they had got back three days ago, no doubt giving himself a much-needed break. If he was resting, Obi-Wan had no wish to disturb him.

And if he had found out about his Padawan's activities in the shower room yesterday - which was very likely - Obi-Wan definitely had no wish to disturb him. Qui-Gon, he knew, would not be the least bit impressed - and while Obi-Wan still might not be overly distressed about the idea of getting a reprimand, that didn't mean he was looking forward to it, or that he was in any hurry whatsoever to get it.

So it was that he was practically tiptoeing as he made his way across the common room, heading hopefully for his bedroom. Everything was quiet, no lights were on, and he was fairly sure now that his Master must still be asleep. From the perspective of a Padawan who would most likely be in a lot of trouble as soon as said Master woke up, this was of course a Good Thing, Obi-Wan thought wryly. Not that it would get him out of trouble, or indeed even put that trouble off for any longer than it took Qui-Gon to wake up by himself - but it would give him some more time to compose himself so that he could take his reprimand gracefully. It was looking good, too - he had almost made it to his room now, and he was becoming very hopeful that he would indeed reach that relative sanctuary...when a soft voice suddenly spoke from behind him.

"Good morning, Padawan."

Obi-Wan sighed, closing his eyes for a moment before turning to see Qui-Gon standing quietly in the doorway of his bedroom, fully dressed. One glance at his Master's stern expression, and he knew at once that Qui-Gon had indeed found out about what he and Quinlan had been doing in the training room showers. He also knew, without a doubt, that he was about to get a long lecture about controlling his emotional impulses and the inappropriateness of doing such things in public places. More than that, he knew he was also probably going to be given a hefty amount of meditation to do, and perhaps even further punishment as well. And yet even knowing all of that, even faced with the look of displeasure on Qui-Gon's face, even as he adopted his patented 'repentant Padawan' stance, he thought of Quinlan and found that he still could not feel any real remorse.

It had been worth it.