chelle

Phantom Menace

Disclaimer

No copyright infringement is intended or should be inferred. No money was made from the writing or posting of any content on this fan site.

From Bi The Way, at http://www.bitheway.org/

chelle's site is maintained by chelle.

Someplace Else

chelle

Title: Someplace Else

Fandom: Phantom Menace

Author's email: chelle@chelle.slashcity.org

Author's URL: http://chelle.slashcity.org/

Category: Slash

Pairing: Qui-Gon Jinn/Obi-Wan Kenobi

Archive: Ask first

Rating: R

Warnings: sexual violence

AN: As always I owe Maureen more chocolate covered Jedi than I can afford to ship. Her encouragement and criticism are both invaluable. Mistakes and errors in judgment are all mine. Title from George Harrison song. I originally planned a second part to this story but it still remains unwritten, just to let you know.

Obi-Wan entered the crowded dining hall, scowling slightly at the noise. He looked around, searching for his Padawan. He spotted Anakin among a group of nearby children. The boy spotted him at the same moment and immediately ran to him.

"Master, you're back," he proclaimed excitedly.

"Yes, Ani." Obi-Wan squatted down to hug the boy. "Did you enjoy yourself with Master Yoda while I was gone?"

Anakin looked at him, trying to decide on the best reply. It would not due to state the truth, that he hated being sent to Master Yoda. Then again, Obi-Wan would know if he lied. So he settled on diplomacy. "It was educational, Master. But I missed you."

Rising, Obi-Wan tousled his hair. "I missed you too, young one, but don't let me keep you from your friends. I will see you tomorrow at first light at the practice area."

Recognizing the dismissal, Anakin nodded his assent. "Yes, Master."

Then he grinned eagerly. "Lightsaber practice?" he asked hopefully.

Obi-Wan smiled, but not enough to erase the emptiness from his eyes. "Certainly, Anakin. I trust you did not get soft in my absence?"

"No, Master."

"Good. Tomorrow you will have an opportunity to prove it. Your friends are waiting." Anakin gave his master a measured look, wondering if his master would ever truly see him as more than a burden. Turning, he rejoined his companions.

Tre Linn watched the exchange, wondering yet again at the wisdom of leaving the boy with Obi-Wan. She doubted if her friend would ever be able to look at his apprentice without being reminded of what he had lost.

Smiling, she greeted Obi-Wan. "Back so soon?" She asked, hugging him briefly.

"The negotiations were short." Obi-Wan's face held a brief, haunted look. Tre Linn searched his face more closely but it was gone.

"Get some food, then join us." She gestured to her right, to a table occupied by young knights.

Nodding, he walked away.

He joined them a few minutes later. Obi-Wan acknowledged the others' greetings, then turned his attention to his food. His face an unreadable mask, he ate quickly, without tasting the food, seeming oblivious to the conversation around him.

Tre Linn realized her mistake. She should never have asked Obi-Wan to dine at this table. Inwardly scolding herself, she recalled the first time she had dined here with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. Her master had also been present and the four of them had had a pleasant enough time, bantering about their earlier battle in the practice field. Master Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had won, but not without a fight. The two of them had made a formidable team. They fought as one and she would aim a blow at one of the pair only to find the other parrying it, while her previous opponent had turned to face her master. It had been one heck of a battle, she smiled to herself. Obi-Wan was a couple of years her junior and previous to that morning she had only known of him as the apprentice of the great Qui-Gon Jinn. Impressed by Obi-Wan's skill she had invited him to join her and some friends at a demonstration of Okerean battle techniques that evening. He had hesitated a moment before agreeing. As he rose to return his empty dishes, Qui-Gon had reached over and touched his hand. "Leave it, Padawan. I'll take care of it." Obi-Wan had paused and rested a hand on his master's shoulder before leaving. "I won't be late, Master." Qui-Gon's response had shocked them all. "Go, love. Have fun. I shall still be here when you return." The look on Obi-Wan's face at the sound of the endearment had been priceless, amazement, joy, gratitude. He had responded by leaning over and brushing his master's lips with his. "Yes, Master."

The emotion in his voice had been unmistakable.

That night no one spoke of what had transpired in the dining hall. While not prohibited, romantic entanglements between master and Padawan were frowned upon. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had just, very publicly, challenged the Council. Tre Linn had never learned what, if anything, had occurred between the pair and the Council. All she knew was that the Council had chosen not to separate them. 'As if they could have,' she snorted to herself.

The sound of a question being directed at Obi-Wan pulled her out of her memories.

"So, Knight Kenobi, what is it like to teach the Chosen One?"

Tre Linn shot the speaker a deadly look. But Obi-Wan merely looked at him. "Challenging," he replied, his voice even.

"Do you really believe he is the Chosen One?" another asked. Tre Linn would gleefully have strangled the speaker.

Again, Obi-Wan kept his voice even, but the haunted look had returned. "Master Qui-Gon believed it so."

"And he was always right. At least in your eyes."

Tre Linn watched Obi-Wan carefully, expecting anger. He replied, his voice icy, "Actually we disagreed fairly often. Just never publicly."

"Unlike some other things." Laughter greeted the remark, including Obi-Wan's. To Tre Linn's ears, it sounded hollow.

The reply which formed in his mind died on his lips. Amusing remarks from him had become a rarity. His master had appeared to most a somber man. Early in his apprenticeship Obi-Wan had vowed to make him laugh at least once a day. He had succeeded. Now, without Qui-Gon to hear them, humorous observations seemed pointless. Knowing the others were awaiting a reply, Obi-Wan simply said, "True enough." Sensing Tre Linn's eyes upon him, he met her gaze. Her concern for him was obvious. Inwardly, he sighed, and tiresome. But she was his friend, so he forced a smile, attempting to reassure her.

Tre Linn noted the smile. Perhaps he really was healing. The conversation around her moved on to other things and Obi-Wan came out of his shell enough to add the occasional comment. Tre Linn remained lost in thought.

"Tre." Startled from her reverie by Obi-Wan, she looked up. "If you're done perhaps you'd like to join me for a walk?"

Surprised but pleased she willingly joined him.

***

They walked through the temple gardens in silence for some minutes before she prompted him, "So the negotiations were short?"

Obi-Wan nodded. "Each side had something the other needed. If it were not for the centuries of animosity between them they would not have needed a Jedi." He paused for a moment before changing the subject. "How was Anakin while I was gone? Did you notice anything of which I should be aware?"

"I'm sorry, Obi, but I only returned yesterday. You're worried about him." another nod. "I can easily understand why. All of this chosen one business, combined with becoming an apprentice so early, and…" she stopped.

"To the Jedi who killed a Sith Lord, no less." Obi-Wan finished. "Stop treating me like I'll break if anyone mentions his name or what happened on Naboo." His voice was harsh. "Qui-Gon is dead. Not mentioning it won't make it less real."

"I'm sorry. I was just…" Stopping again, she looked directly at him. She couldn't read him, he was far too tightly shielded, just as he had been for the last six months. "I know you won't break. I'm just leery of causing further pain."

"I understand that, but dancing around me doesn't help. It makes it worse. Like somehow I am the only one who remembers."

She put a hand on his arm. "I am sorry, Obi. I know how much he meant to you."

"No. You don't." He jerked his arm away as he spoke. The harshness was back. Suddenly he turned and walked away.

***

Obi-Wan walked the gardens, alone. Qui-Gon had loved this place and sometimes being here made him feel close to his dead love. Not tonight. Tonight he just felt empty. His mind wandered back over the evening's events. He knew Tre Linn was concerned. Next to Bant she was his closest friend, his closest living friend, he amended. For some reason her concern infuriated him. He had controlled his anger during their conversation, but only with effort. He was tired of people dancing around him. Not that he wanted to talk about it. None of them understood, could understand. Qui-Gon had been more than a friend, more than a teacher, more than a lover. He had been everything.

He wrenched his mind away from that thought. Anakin. Whenever the grief threatened to overwhelm him, he forced himself to think of his apprentice. He had made Qui-Gon a promise and he would keep it, whatever the cost. The conversation at dinner had disturbed him. he did not like it that Anakin was being so casually referred to as "The Chosen One." He was different enough as it was. Gossip of this sort would not help.

Dinner. That table. The one where Qui-Gon had surprised him by very publicly calling him "love." He knew Tre Linn had remembered. She would. He had sensed her interest in him. An interest which Qui-Gon's endearment and his response had squelched. But it was not that memory which haunted him. It was the following morning, as they were preparing to face the council, to which his mind kept turning.

 

The shower was as hot as they could tolerate and steam filled the room. He was leaning against the wall, being thoroughly kissed.

"I love you like this." Qui-Gon said, moving his mouth to Obi-Wan's neck.

Obi-Wan knew his master was trying to distract him from the impending Council session. And he was almost tempted to let him. "Like what?"

"Up against a wall."

Laughing Obi-Wan placed a hand on his master's chest and pushed him away. He reached for the soap and handed it to Qui-Gon. "Wash."

Taking the soap, Qui-Gon said gently "You worry too much about the Council, Obi-Wan."

Obi-Wan looked thoughtfully at his master. Qui-Gon's headstrong defiance of the Council was practically legendary. That defiance might cost them. He wondered if the Council would choose now to hurt them, just because they could. "One of us has too."

Qui-Gon ran a finger along the side of Obi-Wan's face. "I will not allow them to take you from me, Obi-Wan. Not ever."

 

'But you allowed the Sith to take you from me. Why didn't you fight harder to live? You were a Master. You could have found a way. You should have found a way. If you had truly loved me you would be here.' His thoughts were irrational, unreasonable, and Obi-Wan knew it. He had no right to blame Qui-Gon for leaving him. But he did. Sometimes he hated his Master. At least when he hated he wasn't empty. This was wrong. Jedi did not indulge in such feelings. Reaching inside himself, he imagined grabbing hold of his anger and hate and wrenching them out, then releasing them into the evening air. He inhaled deeply. Exhaled slowly. Exiting the gardens he headed toward his quarters and sleep. A dreamless sleep, the one place the memories did not haunt him.

***

"No, Ani. You need to control the swing. Use your back. Here and here. These muscles." Obi-Wan stared at his hands on his apprentice, watched them morph into Qui-Gon's hands. Shaken, he stopped for a moment. Sensing Ani's confusion, he stepped back. "Try it again."

Obi-Wan fought to keep his mind on the practice. Images of Qui-Gon's hands flowed through his mind, unbidden and unwanted. Qui-Gon's hands grasping his lightsaber, wielding it with deadly accuracy. Qui-Gon's hands holding his lightsaber housing as he worked to construct it. Qui-Gon's hands rubbing a particularly sore muscle, binding a wound. Qui-Gon's hands on him, touching his face, stroking his chest, his cock…The images made him ache with longing and loneliness. "Keep your concentration on the here and now, Obi-Wan, where it belongs." Qui-Gon's voice echoed in his mind. "I am trying, Master. I am trying." he whispered, desolation assailing him.

"Master." Anakin was trying to get his attention. "Master."

"I'm sorry, Ani. What did you ask?"

"I asked if that was better." No mistaking the impatience in that voice.

"Yes. It was. Let's see if we can get it even better. Again. From the beginning."

Nodding, Anakin took up the first position and began to move through the exercise. This time Obi-Wan paid attention.

***

Tre Linn found Anakin in the dining hall for midday meal, inquired after Obi-Wan.

Anakin shrugged in response. "I do not know where he went. We practiced this morning. But he sent me onto the dining hall by myself. Said he'd find me later." The reply was casual, too casual. The response of someone trying to conceal something.

"What is wrong, Anakin?"

"Nothing, Knight Linn."

"I am your Master's friend, Padawan. You can trust me." She put all the reassurance she could muster into her voice. "Did something happen at practice?"

"No. Nothing." Tre Linn knew the boy was lying, but there was nothing she could do to compel him to answer her more truthfully.

"Very well. Run along, Padawan. Enjoy your lunch."

***

Obi-Wan was in the practice area, moving fiercely through the most difficult kata. Somersaulting with ease, lightsaber moving as though it were a part of him, rather than something he held in his hand. Panting, he finished the exercise. It wasn't enough. Reaching out with the force, he activated four of the practice remotes, took up his position as they sped toward him. He swung his saber in quick, graceful movements, deflecting bolt after bolt. The force flowed through him and he surrendered to the one thing which still brought him pleasure, battle. Qui-Gon would never have approved. Battle was something to be avoided, a necessary evil. One fought only when it was unavoidable. It should never be a source of pleasure. Obi-Wan shrugged off the thought. Qui-Gon was gone. He would take what pleasure he could, where he could. Qui-Gon had abandoned him, not fought hard enough, not loved him enough to live. Disregarding his Master's teaching was liberating. Defiance. Something to throw back at the man who had deserted him.

***

Tre Linn watched. He was incredible. Graceful, strong, possessing a fiery power. She thought of Qui-Gon, His had been a gracious sort of power, quiet. He had been able to both reassure and intimidate with his presence alone. Obi-Wan lacked the gravitas of his master. He was quicksilver and lightning, at least he appeared so. From long acquaintance she knew there was more, a depth not readily visible, but there nonetheless. She felt the familiar desire arising within her and contained it easily. She had had a lot of practice.

Obi-Wan paused the remotes. He had noticed her.

"Care for a live opponent Kenobi?" she called, before he could ask what she was doing there.

"Only if you think you're up to it."

Smiling, she entered the practice field, barely hearing the snap-hiss of her lightsaber.

He had been practicing for some time she knew. Yet, he fought as though he were completely fresh. He was untiring. Something about the way he was fighting bothered her. They had dueled many times. He always fought hard, never conceding an inch. But it was controlled ferocity. Today there was less control. He kept at her, attacking repeatedly, never allowing her to seize the offensive.

She erred. He knocked her lightsaber from her hand, sending it spinning to the ground. Before she registered what was happening he had pushed her against the wall. His lips were on hers in a bruising kiss. He didn't ask, he took. She pushed against him.

Come on Tre. We both you know you've always wanted this. What do you think made me aware of your presence? Breaking the kiss, he continued out loud. "I felt your desire. You want me."

"No. No." She started to shake her head, but he was kissing her again. She tried to keep her lips closed, but he forced them open, his tongue entering her mouth. His hands were squeezing her breasts. She tried to move. He was using the force to hold her firmly in place. She reached out for the force, found she couldn't reach it. He was blocking her somehow. "Obi-Wan," she pleaded silently, "Please, don't, Obi-Wan."

er tunic ripped and his hands grasped bare flesh. He tore at her bra. He started to release her mouth, apparently thought better of it. His fingers pinched her nipples painfully. She struggled, realized it was only exciting him. Stopped. Think Tre Linn. Think. What can you use against him?

His hand was inside her leggings. His fingers were moving in her. She felt a wave of nausea at the sensation. Fought it. Think.

He released her mouth. He still leaned against her, his mouth still barely above hers, his breath on her face. His fingers were still inside her. It hurt. Ignoring it, she raised a leg and brought her foot painfully down on his instep. The move surprised him and he released his force hold on her. She pushed past him and ran from the practice area.