It was said to be the longest night of a Jedi Master's life. The night before a Padawan was elevated to Knight. The night the rules did not apply, for in the morning all would be washed clean and new.
Not so much when Obi-Wan had his, of course. At that point, Qui-Gon's death had been recent enough that there were moments when Obi-Wan still refused to believe it had happened. Moments when he still looked up and expected to see his Master. He hadn't indulged in any of the usual antics (the sort that had Masters closing their eyes tight and muttering, "Tradition, it's tradition") on his own Eve. He had merely drunk, steadily and grimly, until memory went away completely.
He expected Anakin to be more conventional, if only ever in this one thing. Which was why he was staying at home. Even on a good day, Anakin made Obi-Wan nervous.
And besides, his presence would just inhibit the boy. Even if he didn't say a word. Even though Anakin had asked. ("You'll come? You'll meet us there?" he'd pestered, and "We'll see," Obi-Wan had responded, evasive and benign.) No, far better to let him have this one last chance. Tomorrow he'd be a knight. Not that this would stop him worrying Obi-Wan as much as ever. But still.
It was a fine night. Pleasant. Warm. Nights were always warm on Coruscant, of course. The vast urban mass of the planet exuded heat like an exhaled breath (and it wasn't really pleasant at all, when considered like that: a planet's halitosis). Obi-Wan was out in it, on his small terrace. Just him, a glass of celebratory alcohol, the hazy night sky.
Oh, and the single plant in its gravel-filled pot. Given to him once by Anakin, as a sort of apology. "Something to look after that won't answer back," he'd said, grinning. A bit of a joke; the plant was a Tatooine desert violet. It didn't need looking after at all. Just as well, really. Obi-Wan wasn't so good with plants. He wasn't confident about his ability with Padawans, either. But he'd been out of his depth since Qui-Gon died. He'd become accustomed to the feeling.
Obi-Wan leaned against the railing of his terrace, looking out over the city. A nice night, and the liquor really was quite pleasant, something he'd picked up in some terribly apologetic republican backwater. And as of tonight, his duty as Anakin's Master, his last duty to Qui-Gon, was as good as fulfilled. Anakin was on his last pre-knighthood binge out there somewhere. (Not "somewhere"; Obi-Wan knew where, Anakin had told him, precisely, and then said, "You'll come?") How late was it? What riotous stage of the proceedings would he be at? Obi-Wan himself had probably been slurringly drunk at this stage. Too drunk to articulate it, but still sober enough to feel how acutely he wanted Qui-Gon there.
How acutely he'd wanted his Master there...
Obi-Wan drained the glass. Maybe he'd been a little rash. Maybe he could just pop his head in, say hello. He didn't have to stay, after all. What time was it?
Even as he turned to step back inside, a chime shimmered through his apartment. He blinked, eyes adjusting to the gloom as he came inside. A visitor? At this hour?
He came into the main room, and shadows shifted in the far doorway, bumping against the frame. "'s dark," a voice said.
"Anakin." Obi-Wan couldn't keep the surprise from his voice. "What are you doing here?"
The shadow took a heavy step into the room, light chasing a wince across Anakin's face. "What are you doing here?" he demanded.
"I live here."
"No," he said, a touch too loud. When he paused, in a slant of light, his brow was slightly furrowed. As if he'd forgotten what he was frowning about. "No," he repeated. "You said you'd be there, but you weren't."
"I was coming, just now," Obi-Wan said, finding a table, a lamp to bring a little light. Anakin twitched his face away, blinking, wavering on his feet. It must be later than Obi-Wan thought; the boy was already quite drunk.
"Were you?" And belligerent. He started pacing, prowling, circling the room.
Obi-Wan sighed, and turned his back on Anakin's stalking to take his empty glass back to the counter. He was off-balance - again, always, it felt natural. There was an edge in the room, though. Something electric. The possibility of the unpredictable. "Do you want a drink?" he asked, depositing his glass. At this point, he imagined, one more would make very little difference.
"No." And Obi-Wan almost jumped, because Anakin was behind him. Right behind him, when he turned around to face him. He was glaring. Always so fierce, from the first moment they'd picked him up. Everything Anakin was, he was ferociously.
There was a stool at the counter; Obi-Wan leant against it more than he sat on it. "I thought you'd want to have some fun," he admitted. "Without me looking over your shoulder."
"I wanted you there," Anakin said, and Obi-Wan thought he should say something like I know, but Anakin stepped in, too close, swaying, their thighs brushing. "Obi-Wan," he said. The voice was a strange shimmer over his name. Even with his eyes on the floor, Obi-Wan could feel Anakin, looming above him, a figure he knew so well. Standing there edged with expectation and something else. Something verging on uncertain. It was unexpectedly hard for Obi-Wan to take a breath.
He thought Anakin would have gone to Padme. Why hadn't he gone to Padme?
"Master," Anakin said, and when Obi-Wan looked up, there was nothing at all supplicatory in Anakin's eyes.
A heavy, hot twist in his stomach, Obi-Wan stood up. Anakin did not step back. Brought his hand up, his real hand, placed it low on Obi-Wan's neck, as their mouths met.
Anakin's lips were parted - Obi-Wan's too, maybe he was trying to say something. The boy's breath was hot, like his fingers, curling into the muscles at the back of Obi-Wan's neck. Obi-Wan resisted the pressure, something hammering in his chest, something wild. His hand had drifted, of its own accord, to Anakin's waist, twisting in the gathered fabric just above his belt.
He gave in. Tilted his head. Kissed him back.
There was just a moment before the kiss was ending, ebbing, edging them apart just enough for Obi-Wan to say, "Anakin?"
And Anakin to say, "Mmm," with his eyes still closed, and then to sweep back in.
Obi-Wan caught him, brought his hand up to the back of Anakin's neck, holding him steady as they kissed. Anakin made a sound, barely a half-vocalised twitch somewhere in his throat. Impulse control had always been a weakness; alcohol never helped. Anakin had had quite a bit, so many different flavours swirled against his teeth that to Obi-Wan they all just blurred into "liquor". But he thought he detected the aftertaste of t'ssolok, sharp and vengeful, smearing across his tongue, and he wasn't really surprised. It was a reckless drink. This was Anakin.
Anakin, in his arms, up against him, breath on his cheek and fingers tangled in his robe. Kissing him with all of it, with his ferocity, his vibrancy, what he was. What had driven Obi-Wan mad, made him ache and hope and despair. What he wanted to wrap up, hold, treasure, enjoy, and he gripped Anakin harder, pulled him closer. Took the wild energy of Anakin's mouth and tempered it, smoothed and deepened and encouraged him.
It had always been unthinkable to curb him. This was unthinkable, the hot, sudden surge of this, the want; unthinkable, stupid, insane. Anakin was the one allowed to break rules tonight, to discard them as inapplicable, not Obi-Wan. He could not possibly do this.
He knew he was going to, regardless.
Obi-Wan moved, his hand curled around the small of Anakin's back and their thighs shifted together now; there was a harsher breath from Anakin, the cousin of a gasp. Anakin's mouth came back to his, teeth, tongue. Intent, and proof of that intent growing harder still, pressed against Obi-Wan in the hollow of his hip.
His hands fluttered against Obi-Wan, fingers of one hand pressing at his back, digging in below the blade of his shoulder, even as those of the other hand tugged at the edge of his robe, where it draped down over his clavicle. Trailing, Anakin found the fastenings of the robe, and distraction broke the kiss, all his attention now on the drunken fumbling of his fingers.
Obi-Wan leaned in, nuzzled under the chin that Anakin lifted with an irritated and well-known little twitch of his head. Pressed his tongue against the pulse that beat, strong and fast, at the side of Anakin's neck, and felt the jerk against him, Anakin's hips twitching under his palm. There was satisfaction here; the familiar warmth of still holding his own, of still having his Padawan's measure.
Could he ignore how wildly inappropriate that thought was, here with Anakin shoving the robe off his shoulders? (And he was only wearing loose pants beneath it. Had not been intending to go anywhere tonight.) Could he ignore it all?
Live in the moment. He didn't think this was what Qui-Gon had had in mind.
Ignore it all. Obi-Wan pushed Anakin backwards, using the distraction, letting his robe slip and fall, leaving it behind. Anakin's hands were on his shoulders, and they were kissing again, and Obi-Wan was getting a crick in his neck, damn Anakin's height. Solved that easily enough when they reached the couch, and he urged, pressed, persuaded Anakin down onto it. Anakin wasn't so steady on his feet, for all his hands were sure, confident, pulling Obi-Wan down with him.
Resisting those hands only a little, kneeling above Anakin (shoving a cushion out of the way), Obi-Wan gasped - couldn't help it - at Anakin's teeth on him, just above his collarbone. He could feel the curve of Anakin's grin against his skin. Knew that expression without seeing it, the way it slanted towards smug, somehow too impulsively delighted to really cause offense.
Obi-Wan shifted his hand, sliding off Anakin's hip, and pressed, curved his palm to Anakin's hardness. He felt the grin turn to a gasp, Anakin's head falling back, his fingers digging in at the back of Obi-Wan's neck.
He cradled Anakin one-armed, while the other hand made short work of the fastenings of Anakin's trousers. Kneeling over him, straddling him, Obi-Wan licked his palm, curled his fingers around Anakin. Felt the body beneath him twitch, and Anakin pulled him down, hard, into a kiss that careened wildly as Obi-Wan found his grip, found a rhythm.
The boy had always been immediate, always the quick flash of response. And now, every last inhibition seemed stripped back by the liquor in his system. He was malleable beneath Obi-Wan. Moving with him, for him. Gasping then, as he slipped back on the couch, breaking the kiss, breathing hard. His arm lay along Obi-Wan's, the metal hand cool. His other hand was on Obi-Wan's shoulder, gripping as Obi-Wan's hand moved, working him, implacable, smooth, steady.
Anakin was not the only one who could do things with everything he had, with all the things that defined him. But when it came down to it, now, in the moment, Obi-Wan couldn't ignore it all. Not all. Just enough for this. Just enough to give this to Anakin. To mean it, with all the sincerity he had.
"Master," Anakin said, and then in the next breath, "Obi-Wan."
Obi-Wan closed his eyes against it, Anakin's voice like that, wrapped around his name, like his hand was wrapped around Anakin. And when he came, hot and rhythmic over Obi-Wan's fist, he didn't say a thing, just inhaled, long and hitching, his mouth open, his eyes open, his face lit with a ferocious joy.
Obi-Wan couldn't look away.
He washed his hands in the bathroom, later, with Anakin asleep on the couch - though 'passed out' might be a more accurate description.
He washed them steadily, thoroughly, methodically. Ignored the faint tremble in the tips of his fingers, just as he was ignoring the fact that he was still teeth-grittingly hard, inside the pants that were still all he was wearing.
Shutting off the water, he leaned dripping fists against the sides of the basin, tilted forward to carefully press his forehead against the mirror. This close, he couldn't make out any details of his own reflection.
"Have some damned control, Kenobi," he said, words echoing in the room. Too late. Far too late, for him.
Not for Anakin. Tomorrow, for Anakin, this will never have been.
On the Eve of Tomorrow by dee