Author: Elektra Pendragon
Author's Website: http://elektra.wrongness.net
Rating: PG-13, voluntary confinement, meditation, Master/padawan relationship.
Archive: Please ask first so I know where it's going.
Summary: Obi-Wan teaches Anakin a new way to meditate.
Notes: I think I might have posted this once in my original blog years ago, with the intention of doing some similar stories. But I never did, and after reading it over recently, I decided to change it a little bit to give it a tinge of master/submissive. Because Jedi Masters? Are kinky. *nod nod*
The lock snicks shut with a solid clatter against metal bars. It vibrates through my body with a kind of finality. I am inside, now, trapped, unable to escape until my Master releases me.
I lift my head as much as I can in the tight space, turning my face until I can see him. His eyes are unreadable, his face stern.
"Just feel, Padawan." His hand passes over the top of the cage, rustling against my short hair. I can feel the touch down to my toes, an all-over tingle. "All I ask is that you feel."
I don't want to fail my Master. I know I have disappointed him in the past. Even as I want to ask him to let me out, I nod and rest my head on my knees. His fingers just barely brush the skin of my back, and then the room goes dark, quiet, and I know I'm alone.
I am too large for this small space. Back against metal grate, pressing enough to feel the skin-warm bars nibble my flesh, but not enough to bruise or mark. I could make them bruise. I could throw my weight against the bars, force the cage off balance, slam into the floor. Perhaps it would jar loose the lock. If that didn't work, I could break open the lock panel and twist my arm enough to pick it. If that didn't work, I could...
stop thinking about escaping. Just feel.
And then I feel it, the crampness, the tight space. The way that I can't get enough air, even though the holes are large enough for three of my fingers to slip through. Surely more than large enough for air, but still too hard to breathe. I try to open my lungs, to welcome the air inside as Obi-Wan has told me to do, but they are constricted by the bars, by the scrunched up, balled up, rigid position of my body. The more I fight it, the harder the cage presses against me. Force/counter-force. The only way to escape--/Escape!/--is to relax. Just relax, let go, don't push.
Just breathe. Shuddering in and out of my lungs, the movement teasing the smooth, round bars against my back, my legs. They rub, like a massage, until my muscles relax and I feel the air enter my lungs a little easier. My panic slips away from me before I can truly feel it, experience it. I am tempted to call it back again if only to savor it, commit it to my memory so I will always remember what it felt like, but I'm not ready for that yet.
...the way my body seems to mold into the corners of the cage, until it coats my skin like a wire-mesh net. Only there is no give in this mesh. I push against it, and it pushes back, embracing me, holding me close. Like arms. Like an all-over hug. Like comfort I can't escape from, can only sit here and feel. Just feel.
The way my skin bruises against itself, held so tight together. Skin touching skin, brushing skin, rubbing skin. My own skin, so alien. How long since I touched myself in a way other than to clean or to practice or to punish? How long since my Master allowed it? The contrast between the metal cage and the fragile skin; my knees to my chest until it hurts, my arms wrapped around them so hard I bruise, clutching, grasping to hold myself together otherwise I rest against the bars, and they push against me. The unyielding of metal. The utter numbness of the metal. The lack of feeling, of pain, of need. The devotion to duty of the metal.
To be like that, oh, to be like the metal. Shaped into useful things, feeling nothing, just being, just doing without question or worry. Serving, like the Jedi are supposed to WANT to serve. The patience of the metal, as it waits for you to lose your strength, to let go holding yourself together until you fall apart, resting against it as it begins its slow pressure against your body, imprinting itself upon your skin. Doing what it is meant to do, fulfilling its destiny no matter who gets hurt.
I think I understand now.
I give myself over to the cage, waiting until my Master decides it is time to be released. I think he will be pleased. My mind wanders dreamily, and I slip into a meditation more deep than I have reached before, relaxed and held steady by the bars of my cage. Oddly comforted by my boundaries.
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