title: Living Blood
fandom: Star Wars
characters/pairings: Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan, Mace Windu
rating: Teen
warnings: vampirism/bloodplay
summary: A mission changes everything for Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.
notes: this is for the most talented and wondrous Alex, her Bloody Kisses Ficlet, and may i say, an excellent choice. ^_~
i think i should win some kind of award for universe's worst title/summary combination... le sigh. at least it's kinda long...

Obi-Wan paced outside the grand entryway to the heretical temple. The stiff robes of the ruling faction chaffed; the high collars were particularly annoying. His master had entered the temple nearly a full fortnight ago, and no one could tell him anything.

It was crucial to uniting this world that the heretical faction and the ruling faction could work out an agreement. It was crucial to that negotiation that his master make an effort to reach out to the heretical faction and prove that there were common bonds. It was crucial that this took place before the Count's men gained a foothold here.

But it had been nearly a fortnight, and no one had told him anything.

He tried to center himself in the force, and feel his master through the power that bound all things into one, but his master's signature in the living force had gone missing now for nearly six days. Obi-Wan tried not to panic, tried to remember that the living force was his weakest area, and that it didn't necessarily mean anything, but he was beginning to succumb to his baser feelings. Perhaps if he had been allowed to contact Coruscant as he had requested, the counsel of a wise master might have proved balm to his worried soul, but as it was, he was trapped, cut off, and dressed up in ridiculously stuffy clothing.

Who lined their collars with metal? It was absurd!

Obi-Wan kneeled down on the steps in front of the entryway, determined to be right there when his master emerged, if he could do nothing else, and he sank into fitful meditation.

The force was active here, but there were dark elements that disturbed Obi-Wan. His master had claimed that he was sheltered, and that he simply needed more experience with the manifestations of the force in everyday life, but Obi-Wan was certain that there was something quite off about this place.

His meditations were disturbed by two hands coming around his throat.

He tried to leap up, calling his light saber to his hand to strike out against his attacker, but he was slammed down to the ground by a powerful swell of force, leaving him breathless, spread eagle on the ground.

Qui-Gon shook his head, a bemused smirk toying with his lips, as he looked down upon his pupil. "Padawan, I'm shamed. How careless of you! You were so deep in mediation, you did not even feel my approach!"

Seven million shades of shame colored Obi-Wan's face, and one apology tumbled over the next in his throat, leaving him speechless.

Qui-Gon lifted him up with determined ease, grinning the whole time. "Have you missed me, Padawan?"

Obi-Wan was certain he was imagining the depth of his master's voice. He had to be delusional if he thought he heard that tone coming from his austere master... He cleared his throat, and brushed invisible dust off of his cloak. "Master, you've been gone so long! What happened?"

"What happened?" Qui-Gon laughed. "We have completed our mission! The heretical faction has agreed to comply with the demands of the ruling faction, thus validating the agreement between the Federation and the people of Tr'ylvia. We are a success."

Obi-Wan blinked. "We are?"

Qui-Gon reached out, putting his arm around his Padawan's waist. His eyes roamed up and down his student's form, flicking with annoyance on the high collar. "Yes! Now let's get you out of this ridiculous garb and get on our way."

Obi-Wan flushed, less certain of the line between his imagination and the truth. Still, it was perfectly appropriate for a student to walk under the arm of his master... more appropriate, perhaps, for a younger student, but it was still acceptable, and highly enjoyable.

As they left, Obi-Wan caught sight of the priestess of the heretical faction, her flashing red eyes focused on him in a most disconcerting manner. Obi-Wan drew closer to his master. The... priestess may have stolen him away for a spell, but Qui-Gon had returned to him, as promised.

His fingers flew over the controls of the small vessel with practiced pleasure. He did so love to pilot. They had put Tr'ylvia behind them, thankfully, and were ready to accept their next mission, negotiations with the Trade Union over a planet called Naboo. Obi-Wan had a good feeling about this mission. It had the feeling of importance to it.

"Ah, have you set course already?" Qui-Gon ambled up to the main deck, wearing his sleeping robes, only loosely bound.

Obi-Wan kept his focus on the navigational controls. Jedi were not distracted by trivialities. "A message came in from Master Windu while you were on sleep cycle." A rather long sleep cycle, Obi-Wan had noted, but did not make mention of. "We are to go to Naboo, where we will nego..."

"Belay that order, Padawan." Qui-Gon sat down, opening up the communications panel. "Set course for Dagobah." He opened up the message from Windu in a text panel, and wrote in a quick response, begging off the mission.

Obi-Wan stared down at his controls, his flight path nearly set. "Da-Dagobah? Master? But... why? Our mission..."

"Our mission can wait, Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon explained patiently. "Your control of the living force - or should I say lack of control of the living force - disturbs me. It is not your fault; I have been remiss. We will go to a planet my master took me to train, and you will find it... uniquely suited to a study of the living force."

"But Master!" Obi-Wan hated that there was no way to say that without sounding petulant. "I am past the point of such forms of training! Surely I can hone my skills in the field?"

Qui-Gon sent his message, and leaned forward, putting his hand on Obi-Wan's thigh. His robe bowed open, baring his chest. "My Obi-Wan, this is not the set-back you think it is. It will be a good thing, for both of us. Can you honestly say that you would trust yourself in a delicate situation? Can you even feel me, now, sitting so close to you, through the living force?"

Obi-Wan was unable to answer his master.

Qui-Gon smiled. "You see?" He squeezed Obi-Wan's thigh, rubbing gently, inching up gently. "Some one-on-one time, just you and me and the living force, that's what we need, not another mission. It will be to our mutual benefit to take this time to work on this, and each other."

There was no air left in the cabin, and the environmental controls had been shifted so the internal temperature was that of a small sun. Obi-Wan was sure of it. He swallowed hard, and turned to the controls again, needing to check the nav computer six times to confirm the location of Dagobah.

His master still had his hand on him.

Mace Windu contemplated the astrological data on the viewfinder carefully. He enjoyed reviewing astrological data when he was concerned. It was soothing.

Master Jinn had been out of contact for nearly a stellar month now. The situation on Naboo had exploded in their faces, and they had lost two knights and a system to the Trade Union, and potentially to the Dark Side. There had been a convergence event on Tatooine that was most disturbing.

None of this boded well.

Yoda was shuffling around outside, the steady rhythm of clop-slide-slide-clop-slide-slide bordering on the distracting. Yoda had informed the council that he could not sense his former Padawan's presence in the force. This was most disturbing.

But most puzzling of all was the way that Master Jinn had worded his refusal to accept the Naboo mission. The words had clung to Mace at every breath since he had first read the message.

"I am taking Obi-Wan to Dagobah to further his training. You need not concern yourselves with us."

Succinct, as was Master Jinn's style, to be sure, but there was something about the wording...

Was it possible that Master Jinn was turning to the Dark Side? Mace had his doubts. Jinn had confided feeling... at a loss as to how to deal with his Padawan on many, many occasions. Obi-Wan was very... polished, suave, and a touch rambunctious. He was also very, very attractive, but they were Jedi.

Weren't they?

Mace himself had had an opportunity to train the boy, but had passed. He could not say what his reasons had been. He remembered discussing Obi-Wan's potential with Jinn at the time. Jinn saw a bright shining star in the force, but Mace had seen something else. Was it because of temptation that Mace had passed? He had never regretted his vows to the order before, nor felt any great urge to break those vows, but then, it would be different working in close quarters with someone, wouldn't it? Not so much when the boy was young, and the role of the master was like that of a parent, but as the student came close to the time of knighthood, and began to take on the role of partner, rather than subordinate...

Temptation was possible.

Anger leads to hatred and so forth, that was true, but resentment, bitter and fermented at the bottom of a man's heart, such as resentment toward an institution that represented a pledge, that could also lead to hate, and if Jinn and Kenobi changed the nature of their relationship, might they not resent the Order that would cast them out, despite their talents?

Even still, the reason that he did not request that Master Yoda join him in his contemplation was not his concern over the souls of his friends, but rather the nagging sense of jealousy at the thought of Jinn and Kenobi, living together outside the Order on Dagobah.

Obi-Wan was not doing well. No matter how hard he struggled, he seemed to only get further and further from his goals. His master vacillated between being nearly cruel in the dispensement of his teachings, to being rather overly solicitous in his concern for Obi-Wan. His signals were mixed.

At night, Obi-Wan would toss and turn with fevered dreams, dreams that frightened him more than anything else he could think of, dreams of his master pushing him down onto the bed, holding him still with the force, stripping him bare and ravishing him with teeth like razors. He felt weak every morning when he woke, but he had no wounds, and besides, Qui-Gon's eyes were not bright red, nor did he drink blood.

But there was the troubling scent of Bacta in the air.

The living force slipped further and further from him, until he felt as if there was no living force at all, and it was all a trick.

They gave up formal attire. They nearly gave up attire. Qui-Gon invented tortures for Obi-Wan, and Obi-Wan would struggle through them, wading through his master's jeers and taunts, only to fall into his master's waiting arms, to be pulled against his master's willing chest.

He was losing his mind, he was sure of it, and this place was not helping. The sun could not reach the forest floor on Dagobah. There was nearly constant rain. The foliage was thick, and there was always something crawling over everything.

Obi-Wan reached the point where he simply wanted his master to break him, to leave him utterly destroyed, so that he could either be done with it all, or he could rebuild.

Still he struggled. That morning, if it really was morning, Qui-Gon had bound Obi-Wan's hands to a long stick, the bark of which was biting into his back. He had used rough twine to hold his hands, and he had tied it tight enough to cut Obi-Wan's flesh. Obi-Wan was supposed to walk across the water of one of the many ponds, supporting himself on a thick branch that nearly reached all the way, but he kept losing his focus. He would slip and fall into the muddy water, and have to lift himself up again, without his hands, of course, and get back on the branch, while trying to shake off whatever had crawled onto him while he had been in the water. So far, he had not made much progress.

They stayed at it for hours, Qui-Gon calling out names and deriding Obi-Wan for his lack of faith in the force. He never offered a helping hand, never a kind word, never a soft gesture...

Obi-Wan could not take it anymore. He didn't care if he was an adult, and past the point of tears as a legitimate form of complaint. He didn't care if he was nearly a knight, and supposedly better than this. He doubted seriously if he would ever reach that lofty goal at this point.

He fell to his knees in waist-deep water, and bawled.

Warmth and goodness filled him, as strong, long arms surrounded him. A bearded chin rested on his head. It didn't matter that this was the same person who had been tormenting him a moment before. He needed this comfort.

"Oh, my Obi-Wan..." How he loved that moniker! "Why do you not just reach out to the living force?"

He snuffled down his tears, trying to clear his voice to speak. "Master... Master, show me... It hurts..."

"My Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon laughed with gently affection, lifting Obi-Wan's heart. "Sometimes, you have to let go of something to truly know it..."

The bonds on his wrists disappeared. His arms fell to his sides, defeated. Qui-Gon touched his face gently, and Obi-Wan felt swirls of energy and power surround him, all the colors of the force blinding him as they sparkled before him. He felt clean.

"Master..." Obi-Wan breathed, opening his eyes to see his master lift his hand, and lick the blood from his wrists.

"Do you trust me, my heart?"

It didn't occur to Obi-Wan that there was anything odd about what Qui-Gon had said. He smiled beatifically, and nodded. "With my life, my master."

"And what about your death? Do you trust me with that?"

Obi-Wan reached up with one weak hand, and brushed his fingers over Qui-Gon's face, the stubbles of beard tickling him. "With everything I am, and ever will be."

"You give me great joy, my heart."

The words resonated in Obi-Wan's belly as Qui-Gon tore open his throat, and drank the last of his blood. He vaguely felt the burning sensation of blood on his lips, but it was all blurred and hazy.

"You give me great joy, my heart."

Obi-Wan was very happy.

They were sailing between the stars. Obi-Wan felt so free... He wondered why he had always been so fond of the machines, the buttons, the tiny levers. It was so liberating to just push with your mind, and streak across the sky. Obi-Wan felt as if his mind might just expand to fill the empty void that consumed him.

All of his senses had been liberated. He had even forgiven his Qui for cheating on him with that harlot priestess; it was part of the change, after all. Insatiable sexual appetite was part of the deal. Of course, Qui had been most admirable in restraining himself with Obi-Wan while he had prepared him for the change, but with both of them feeling the burn of lust with each touch...

It occurred to Obi-Wan to be worried how the council would view their three month sojourn on Dagobah, but it wasn't something he could expend a great deal of energy on; he was still sailing through the stars. Besides, even if they wanted to, they could hardly be Jedi anymore. Hopefully, they could reach some accord with the council, so they could still serve the force, but if not, there were plenty of dark corners of Dagobah or Coruscant where they could be quite happy.

Qui's arms came to circle his waist, and Obi-Wan sighed, sitting back in Qui's embrace. "Can you feel the emptiness, Qui? Do you feel your mind stretching to fill it?"

His former master chuckled deeply, sending shivers down Obi-Wan's spine that made his thoughts constrict to a narrow tunnel of sensation. "I have received word from the council. They are willing to discuss terms. The Sith have returned."

"Ah," Obi-Wan commented indirectly, toying with Qui's fingers.

"We will have to decide what our role shall be. The Jedi are not our people any longer, I warn you. They will consider us to be... tainted."

Obi-Wan nodded, distracted. "Tell me, then...

"Do Sith bleed?"