rhoddlet: (sw - your dreams are dust)
[personal profile] rhoddlet




If you had asked Obi-Wan to list the disappointments of his life and if you actually managed to get him to give you straight answers, his failure to give Anakin the training he needed would certainly have been the first thing out of his mouth.

The next one would most likely be that Qui-Gon never became tangible: he had become a Force ghost, not a poltergeist or some sort of mystical demon. He existed as a bend in the Force, a prickle on the back of Obi-Wan's neck, and the occaisional murmured phrase. Even that taxed him since, as he explained it, the Force called living beings back into it, and if he did manifest visually, he did it as no more than a thickening of the air. Maybe the shape of his face. A bit of shoulder. Sometimes, if Obi-Wan wasn't careful, if he called on the Force in the wrong way while Qui-Gon was manifesting, Qui-Gon's face would jump, warp, and distort as though he were composed out of iron filings and someone had just taken a magnet out of a bag.

Thus, Qui-Gon tended to manifest on a smaller scale.

***

The first time that Obi-Wan saw Qui-Gon's face, he felt as though he had the wind knocked out of him. They had been working on ways for Obi-Wan to become more attuned to the Force because Obi-Wan always had difficulty picking Qui-Gon's words to him out of the static. It was at the point where communication was almost impossible, and where Obi-Wan could feel Qui-Gon's frustration as little prickles of anxiety on the back of his own neck.

It was late in the evening, and after the initial surge of energy after the breathlessness was over, Obi-Wan found himself exhausted. He could catch glimpses of Qui-Gon's face now, but the static was still there. He stlil had inordinate difficulty picking out actual words, but buoyed by the success of it all, Obi-Wan suggested that maybe they stop for the night. He said something to the effect that if this really was one of the difficulties of communication between the living and those who had gone to the Force, then Yoda would surely figure out the solution, and he would fix the problem.

The moment that the words were out of his mouth, Obi-Wan felt this flicker of guilt from Qui-Gon, just a tiny pulse of emotion and so quickly hidden that Obi-Wan thought that it had been his own discomfort that he was sensing until he realized what Qui-Gon had felt over it: he didn't have these difficulties communicating with Yoda. These difficulties were something specific to his efforts to communicate with Obi-Wan.

***

"In your solitude on Tatooine, training I have for you. An old friend has learned the path to immortality."

***

It took three months for Qui-Gon to talk to him for the first time. By then, Obi-Wan was beginning to think that he'd hallucinated that entire scene with Yoda on the ship after Padme's death. Perhaps Yoda had meant something else. Perhaps Qui-Gon was not supposed to be appearing to him at all; perhaps Obi-Wan was doing the communing thing entirely wrong.

When Qui-Gon finally manifested, finally spoke, Obi-Wan initially thought it was a burst of static. Similarly, the first time that he sensed Qui-Gon's presence in the Force nearby, he had thought that he was having a headache.

***

Obi-Wan had been meditating on the source of his difficulties with communicating to Qui-Gon, and now, he was talking aloud to the room because while he might have problems understanding what Qui-Gon was telling him, Qui-Gon seemed to be able to understand him perfectly. Hee was telling the empty room at large and the small prickle on the back of his neck in particular that perhaps his difficulty was that he had never been strong with the Living Force.

Perhaps it was something else, too, he suggested, after a halting, stumbling moment. Would it have had anything to do with the fact that he had been in love with Qui-Gon before his death?

The prickle seemed skeptical.

"Not as a Padawan for his master," Obi-Wan managed. He had to fight the tightness in his throat and a sudden dizziness in his head. "As one man for another."

The prickle on the back of his neck hesitated a moment. Obi-Wan thought that there was then a flash of something like regret -- sadness, even -- and the notion made him dizzy all over again. There were a few seconds when his heart was thumping so hard that it hurt, but before Obi-Wan could open his mouth to say something, anything, the prickle was gone. Qui-Gon had fled.

***

Obi-Wan was fairly sure that Qui-Gon was still watching. There were little dots of moisture on the table from where drops of Obi-Wan's sweat had fallen on the wood; they had been working all afternoon, through the sunset, and into the early night.

"Watch me," he said, keeping one hand flat on the table while the other slowly undid the sash that he was using as a belt these days.

The prickle hesitated. Seemed to move just a little to one side.

"Stay," he said, again out loud, though he wasn't even sure if Qui-Gon could hear things that existed on the physical level, and Obi-Wan was moving slowly, working only through touch. He still kept one hand on the table; his chair was still pulled up so close that he couldn't see what he was doing, and that was what gave Obi-Wan the courage to do it.

He worked his pants down to mid-thigh, wrapped his fingers around his cock and began to move his hand, up and down. The prickle on the back of his neck was still there; if prickles could have moods, it seemed to be hesitating, and Obi-Wan moved his hand a little faster. The underside of the table bumped against his nuckles, so Obi-Wan leaned his weight forward so that he was the balls of his feet with his knees bent and his hips braced edge of the table. The chair was kicked back a little, but he still couldn't see his hands, what they were doing, and that was the key thing.

Obi-wan concentrated on the prickle. His hand sped up, then paused so that he could brush his fingers over his balls. It was a little change in sensation that made him arch on the table, and he willed the prickle on his neck to spread. He wanted to feel it on his back, across his shoulders and down his arms. He wanted it to press him down on the table, and if the intensity of it was going to hurt -- the hurt would feel good. Obi-Wan would make it feel good. He would will himself into making it feel good.

The prickle stayed on his back. It had stopped wavering or hesitating or trembling: it was just there now, and Obi-Wan knew it was Qui-Gon. In the beginning, when he had been half-convinced that he was hallucinating in his loneliness, he had made ruthless fun of himself for thinking that his master would manifest as a pain in the neck and only a marginally annoying one at that, but the prickle didn't move.

No desire. No lust. The prickle stayed on the back of his neck, midway between the head and the shoulders. Maybe there was a feeling of grief. A little more pity. More grief at seeing his Padawan come to this, and if Obi-Wan stopped moving his hand now, he'd come anyway. He'd had gone too far now to go back or stop, though. He could feel Qui-Gon's sadness as an ache across his shoulders and maybe that was something, but Obi-Wan bit his lip and forced his hand to hand to keep moving, and after a while, when he couldn't hold it back any longer, his hips moved against the table, and he spurted onto the floor.

Obi-Wan leaned his face against the table, took a long shaky breath and closed his eyes.

The sobbing lasted much longer than the orgasm.

***

When Obi-Wan woke, he felt oddly flat. He felt around the edges of his emotional state and found that he wasn't particularly upset -- tired, yes. He had a crick in his neck from falling asleep on the floor, an ache in one shoulder, and his cheeks were coated in the fine sand that drifted in under the door with the morning winds. The cheek that he'd slept on had a few grains pressed into the flesh, and when he sat up to brush them out, his head swam.

He brushed them out, and his cheek stung. When he looked down, there was blood smeared on his hand, and as he looked at it, the panic started to rise inside his chest. He remembered what had happened last night, after all. He remembered the humiliation and the desperation in what he had tried to do, but Obi-Wan forced it down. He tucked his feet underneath him, steadied his breathing, forced himself to concentrate on the task at hand, and after a while, Qui-Gon came.

Together, they worked for the remainder of the day. By sundown, they had figured out how Qui-Gon might make one word out of every three intelligible to Obi-Wan. In a year, they found a way for him to understand one out of every two, and after three, they had found a way for Qui-Gon to stay with him all day, as a constant low-grade Force presence that translated into an ache on the back of Obi-Wan's neck or a low hum that hovered on the threshold of Obi-Wan's hearing.

A faint noise. Some degree of pain. A whisper of what had been. It was, Obi-Wan knew, all that he would be allowed to have, and by the end, he had learned to be grateful for it.

After all, it was the path to immortality.
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rhoddlet

December 2010

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