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Title: Understood
Author: pari106
E-Mail: pari106@hotmail.com
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Obi/Ani (Mentioned) Ani/Other
URL: http://www.geocities.com/pari106/index.html
Feedback: (see disclaimer :P
Archive: the ObiAni list: of course. Anyone else: ask.
Disclaimer: Nothing marketable belongs to me (Star Wars, etc. etc.) Sentimental value. That's what my stuff's worth (and maybe not even that. Depending upon your sentiment). I claim only my own, warped imagination and insatiable lust for feedback. Consider everything else officially disclaimed.
Summary: Short. Angsty. Downright ugly, really.
Author's note: What do you think of this?

^*^*^*

Withered hands caress his skin. Bony fingers wrap round his wrist, guiding his own, inexperienced touch. And he is appalling, even to himself. But in Anakin's mind…

It is Obi-Wan's body lying next to his. Obi-Wan's embrace in which he seeks release. Those are Obi-Wan's hands, Obi-Wan's fingers, that is Obi-Wan's touch and taste and kiss…

It is not the Chancellor to which Anakin clings, it is his master, although it is the Chancellor's voice he hears, warm and reassuring, as Anakin cries afterwards.

And Palpatine knows it.

He knows, as he rubs the boy's back and whispers soft consolations, all such other nonsense, who it is that Anakin desires, even as they are together. He knows for whom Anakin cries, and would, even if the lad did not call out the man's name each time he climaxed.

"I-I am sorry," the child laments, voice broken and unsteady, when he is at last capable of any sort of speech at all.

"It is alright, Anakin."

"No. I…"

"Anakin." One word ceases the padawan's repeated apologies, and the Chancellor again strokes his young lover's back, his shoulders, to prove that the harshness of his tone is not borne of anger or reproach. "It is quite alright. A man's first love is not easily overcome."

Such quiet concern and understanding sends Anakin back into a fit of tears, just as Palpatine had intended it to, ending the boy's heart-sick babbling, and the last thing that Anakin says, before he leaves, is "I just don't understand."

"Neither do I," the Chancellor responds.

But he does.

He understands. He understands the Jedi. Kenobi. How the other man could end his affair with the beautiful, passionate, young Skywalker, breaking both their hearts, in order to protect him. And has.

He understands Anakin. The insecurity of youth. The arrogance. How blind Anakin, the young fool, could be to his own master's all-abiding love. And is.

Palpatine understands that there is opportunity here. An advantage to be had.

And he intends to take it.

[end]

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