Twilight Burning 3:
Policy of Truth

Rina and Destina Fortunato

October 1999

You have something to hide
Should have hidden it, shouldn't you
Now you're not satisfied
With what you've been put through

Hands on his body dragging him from the abyss of sleep. Touching, teasing, drawing a harsh gasp as they stroked and fondled him into complete wakefulness. Work-worn calluses, somehow feeling as soft as the finest Volarian silk, combining strength and grace in one all-encompassing touch.

A mouth; nova hot and far too knowledgeable for his peace of mind. Tasting, licking, drinking down his essence as if he were a sustenance vital to life itself. Lips still swollen from last night's kisses pressed against aching flesh, the soft glide replaced by pleasure/pain as white teeth closed, marking the skin, claiming, taking.

Eyes - blue-green and as changeable as the sea, currently storm dark with the raging tempest burning deep within them, hooded with the downsweep of heavy lids. Eyes that held no secrets, only promises of uncompromising desire and unrivaled pleasure, eyes that held his heart, his soul, his very life.

The soft brush of hair. The long, thin braid sliding along the bare skin of his thigh, the close-cropped velvet denying him a hand-hold except for the short tail in the back.

The touch of the mind; the incandescent burning of a bond deeper than any he had known or had dreamed of knowing. The all-encompassing need to be one, to devour and be consumed at the same time, to find the perfection of complete understanding that had been reached the night before and to never lose it again.

My Obi-Wan. The thought was growled out possessively as Qui-Gon's hands tightened in his Padawan's hair, tugging enough to get the younger man to look up at him.

Seeing the same unbridled need he felt reflected in the Jedi Master's cerulean eyes, Obi-Wan smiled, a feral expression of his desire. The truth before him was so much more astounding than any dream he had conjured up as to be laughable. Seeing his Master was nothing compared to touching him and less than nothing compared to the raw emotion that still arced between them. Flesh was seared to the bone by a touch, permanently branding the others' imprint on the consciousness, fusing two parts into a singular, unique whole.

My Qui-Gon. The answering thought was laced with the knowledge that things would never again be the same between them. A subtle shift in their relationship had occurred, twining their consciousness together, forging new, unbreakable bonds between them.

Keeping his eyes fixed on Qui-Gon's, Obi-Wan dipped his head, running his tongue along the older man's erection before licking his lips like a child who has tasted an especially sweet treat and is determined to savor it to the fullest. The desire-filled groan he was rewarded with called for a repeat performance and the apprentice's head descended again, moving slower this time, eyes locked on his Master's expression.

Silver-tinged hair splayed out around the head thrown back against the mattress, powerful hands clenched in the sheets, back bowed upwards in a silent plea - this was the vision that greeted Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon's eyes may have been closed, but the sheen of sweat that coated his skin and the tension vibrating through the larger man's body were close enough to Obi-Wan's fevered imaginings as to bring a secretive smile to his lips.

"You find this amusing?" Qui-Gon's voice was dark and tight with the need that spiraled through him, centering on the trails of humid warmth being tracked over his cock.

Most assuredly not, Master. I am merely enjoying the sight before me. At Qui-Gon's wordless growl, Obi-Wan took pity on the other man, granting him the temporary relief of lips closing around him and sliding downward.

In an attempt to regain some kind of control, Qui-Gon reached for the Force only to find it slipping through his fingers like so many glittering beads. Concentration was impossible, his whole world had narrowed down to the aggressive motion of his apprentice's head over his groin, the harsh suction that demanded nothing less than total surrender from him and the incessant probing of Obi-Wan's fingers as they searched out, then sparked the gland within him. The massive overload of his senses triggered a convulsive wave that swept through the older Jedi like a tidal storm, leaving him panting and shaken with the force of his climax.

Taking advantage of Qui-Gon's stated lethargy, Obi-Wan worked his way back up the larger man's body, pausing in his mission only to renew the slowly fading bite marks that dappled Qui-Gon's skin. When his goal was within reach, Obi-Wan caught his Master's lower lip between his teeth, tugging enough so that Qui-Gon opened his eyes, then pressed his tongue inside that inviting cavern, letting the older Jedi taste himself.

It's just time to pay the price
For not listening to advice
And deciding in your youth
On the policy of truth

There was a moment of total surrender before Qui-Gon snapped his arms tight around Obi-Wan's waist, rolling them over in the same motion so that his Padawan was trapped beneath him. "My turn," he whispered, the tightly leashed frenzy in his tone reflected in the harsh light of his eyes.

Leaving one hand in the center of Obi-Wan's chest to hold him in place, Qui-Gon pushed himself backward until he was resting on his knees alongside his apprentice. "Do not move, Padawan." The command was voiced quietly as the older Jedi sat back, his eyes roving over the other man's body with the same abandon his had been touched with earlier.

"Mast-" Obi-Wan began, starting to sit up before the pressure of the Force on his chest pushed him back against the mattress. He could fight it, could easily break free of the hold the invisible hand had on him but chose not to - it was Qui-Gon's turn, after all.

Once Obi-Wan had relaxed again, Qui-Gon settled into a meditative pose, his hands resting loosely on his thighs, his eyes narrowed to thin slits, all traces of the man who had bucked under the pressure of Obi-Wan's mouth gone.

Curiosity and desire burning through him like twin pyres, Obi-Wan fought his own impatience as the moment dragged out with his Master doing nothing more than look at him. Patience strained to the breaking point, he was just about to fling himself at the older man when he felt it, a light ghosting against the skin of his chest drawing his nipples to firm peaks before moving lower.

Firmer now, moving across his ribs and down to the tight planes of his stomach, concentrating around the hollow of his navel, filling and surrounding the depression at the same time. Unable to stay silent, Obi-Wan gasped, squirming and trying to bring more of his body into contact with that elusive touch.

It failed miserably, each twist and turn simply caused the fleeting caress to vanish, only to reappear when he was once again still, worn near to exhaustion by the combination of his raging desire and near frantic movements. "You're enjoying this, I think." The words were gasped out in between deep, heaving breaths that strained the younger Jedi's sweat-soaked chest.

One corner of the Jedi Master's mouth quirked up in a smile that was anything but comforting. "Shall I stop?" he asked, letting the contact grow even fainter. "Or shall I continue?" Now the pressure moved downward and split, sliding along Obi-Wan's thighs, easing them open with practiced skill.

"Don't stop." The drawn out groan accompanied a violent shudder and the spastic clenching of Obi-Wan's hands over empty air.

"As you wish, Padawan."

The warm touch was moving back upwards now, skimming over already tormented flesh, rolling the heavy testicles until they drew up tightly in their sac, spreading the first drops of leakage around the head of the straining flesh until it glistened with moisture.

It was too much, it wasn't enough, it was going to kill him and he would die willingly. Arching up against the unseen hands that worked him mercilessly, Obi-Wan moaned, lost in the rapturous yet somehow unfulfilling sensations. He was on the razor-edge of completion yet it eluded him, the need for physical contact outweighing the skillful manipulation he was being subjected too.

Qui-Gon watched his apprentice's inner conflict for a long moment, feeling the mounting pressure building in his own mind in reaction to Obi-Wan's growing frustration and need. Torture had never been his goal in this exercise and to keep the younger man from his climax any longer would be just that.

Obi-Wan cried out in despair as the phantom hands left his body then gave voice to a throaty shout as Qui-Gon moved swiftly to swallow him. The dark heat proved more welcome than any other he had ever felt and it was only a matter of seconds before the apprentice was came with a force that drew another passionate vocalization from him before hurling him toward the oblivion of ecstasy pulling Qui-Gon along with him through their shared consciousness.

A soft beeping gradually increased in volume, impinging on the Jedis' hazy minds and drawing them back to the reality of the moment.

"Comlink," Qui-Gon muttered, slowly pushing himself off of Obi-Wan's prone body. Shaking his loose hair out of his face, the Jedi Master glanced around the room, searching for the communicator.

A spike of fear that they had been discovered shot through Obi-Wan and he struggled to sit up, his expression wary. "I think we left them in the other room." Many details about the previous evening were unclear, lost in the overwhelming physical memory of the moment.

"Mmm." A look of distraction settling over his features, Qui-Gon rose from the bed and walked into the other room, his strides as fluid and unhurried as always. A short, quiet conversation ensued and the Jedi Master returned, his expression unreadable.

"We have a mission."

Things could be so different now It used to be so civilized You will always wonder how It could have been if you'd only lied

Obi-Wan dug his hands into the folds of his robe and kept pace with his master as they strode through the Temple. He felt scorched, branded with Qui-Gon's scent, the taste of him. He could still feel his master's touch, and he dragged his mind away from the memory with great effort, wondering if the previous night's carnal feast had changed the way he appeared to others.

Qui-Gon turned his head and fixed Obi-Wan with a look of pure possession as they waited on the lowest level for the lift. Obi-Wan caught his breath, meeting that burning gaze steadily, feeling lost in the sensation, unprepared for the sensory assault. Other Jedi milled about behind them, but it was as if they were completely alone. And then the lift arrived, and the moment was broken. Qui-Gon stepped in, and Obi-Wan followed.

As the doors slid closed, the Jedi Master regarded his Padawan. "Do I need to remind you how important it is that you remain focused?" he asked, trying and failing to sound stern. "The Council has undoubtedly heard rumors already, thanks to our behavior yesterday. They'll be looking for confirmation. If they find it-"

"I know," Obi-Wan said sharply. "Point taken." He was already hyper-aware of his own failings where this new dimension of their relationship was concerned. Still, the lust within him was like a drug, subverting his best intentions, making him crave more of the thing he was forbidden. He felt connected to Qui-Gon, tethered by a filament of desire so strong and pure he was unable to pull away. "I'll be the perfect padawan."

Amusement flashed across Qui-Gon's face. "Just be yourself," he advised. "If you suddenly become obedient and docile, they'll know for certain."

Obi-Wan grinned, but smothered the reaction quickly as the doors slid open, admitting them to the outer area of the Council Chamber. A young Jedi bowed to Qui-Gon and opened the doors, revealing the Council in the midst of some sort of heated debate. As the two Jedi entered the room, all conversation ceased.

Obi-Wan felt much like a zoo creature on display, as twelve pairs of eyes scrutinized him. He bowed to Yoda and Mace Windu. His Master mirrored his movements and the two Jedi stood waiting.

Mace Windu's eyes narrowed as he studied Obi-Wan. The young Jedi kept his features impassive, but his emotions bounced about his heart, and it was all he could do not to shift his weight from one foot to the other.

"You seem distracted, Padawan. Is all well with you and your master?" Windu asked, and there was more than a hint of disapproval in his tone.

"All is well, Master Windu. I am merely curious as to the nature of our mission," Obi-Wan answered mildly.

"Curious, you are. And more," Yoda said sharply. His knowing gaze landed squarely on Qui-Gon. "Much more. Have time to address this, we do not. Sending you to the Sh'saa system in two days, we are."

"The Sh'saa are in the midst of negotiating with the Senate for membership in the Republic," Mace Windu elaborated. "However, their motives are in question. We suspect they are primarily interested in protection from those in neighboring systems covetous of their abundant natural resources. "

"What is their stated objective?" Obi-Wan asked.

"Successful trade relations, and the sharing of technology. However, they have been reluctant to meet in person, and mistrustful of our Supreme Chancellor's assurances during holo-conferences. They grudgingly agreed to receive a representative of the Republic. That will be you, Master Jinn," Ki-Adi-Mundi said. "Your Padawan is scheduled for testing and this mission may prove to be a lengthy one. He will remain here for the duration of the mission."

Qui-Gon felt the pulse of Obi-Wan's shock and indignation flare against his shields, but kept his face carefully neutral. "I would believe that the mission would prove to be more educational then lessons here."

"Stay he will. Approved one representative the Sh'saa government has."

Mace nodded, his dark gaze never wavering as he studied the two men. "They will not accept any deviation from their mandates. The Republic is allowed to send one ambassador and the Council has recommended you, Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan will remain here."

"This is a delicate situation, we cannot allow any action or inaction to disrupt the negotiations," Opo Rancisis added.

"I shall be most cautious," Qui-Gon reassured the assembled Council members, swallowing any further objections he might have had. There was no point in arguing, because he could not be sure of his own motivations. He was not certain if wanted Obi-Wan at his side for purely personal reasons, or because he felt that the journey would be beneficial in his apprentice's training. Any argument would therefore lack conviction.

Obi-Wan pressed hard on his feelings, squelching them as best he could, and felt some of the tension ease from his Master as a neutral aura settled over him.

"See that you are cautious," Windu said pointedly. "Take no action, and make no agreements, without our authorization."

"Understood," Qui-Gon said, beginning his bow.

"Dismissed are you, Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan will remain," Yoda said.

Qui-Gon froze momentarily, then rose from his bow and glanced at Obi-Wan, whose features were impassive. "I will await you in our quarters," he said softly, waiting for the short nod of agreement before leaving the room.

It's too late to change events
It's time to face the consequence
For delivering the proof
In the policy of truth

Obi-Wan stood still for a long moment, battling the tendrils of panic wrapping themselves around his heart. He reminded himself there was no cause for alarm, that they were waiting for him to reveal something. It was like wrestling a taun taun, a slippery, icy beast that refused to surrender.

Finally, Yoda spoke. "An training accident, was there, Obi-Wan? Hurt, were you?"

"Not seriously, Master Yoda. Just a small burn."

"Your carelessness has been the source of much speculation among other Masters," said Ki-Adi-Mundi in a patient, soothing tone. "If your Master has attended properly to your training, such lapses in concentration should not occur, not in such mundane circumstances. Are you well, Padawan?"

"I am well, Master. I simply had trouble sleeping, and was not myself." Obi-Wan nearly winced as soon as he said the words, and Yoda pounced immediately.

"Something troubles you, then? Keeps you from sleeping? Share this with us, you must."

"I am not troubled, Master Yoda. I meant only that I had been given a difficult exercise in control by my Master, and found my failings difficult to accept. I was restless, and tried to correct my mistakes, and I should have focused on my meditations first." That, at least, was the truth.

"Learned a valuable lesson, you did. Attention you must pay to your feelings, or overtake you they will." Obi-Wan realized with a jolt that Yoda already knew, and perhaps several others in the room did as well. He couldn't tell for certain about the others, but Yoda was giving him a message, and it was a clear warning.

"Yes, Master," Obi-Wan agreed fervently.

"Go and meet your Master," Windu said. "And take care not to disrupt his efforts while he prepares for this mission."

As the doors closed behind the Padawan, Windu turned on Yoda. "You should have confronted him, both of them. What purpose will it serve to wait?"

"Patience," Yoda said. "Certain, we are not. Much can be learned from this mission. Know you the boy's potential. No better Master could he find. Jeopardize his training on the strength of rumors, I will not."

"You felt-" Mace began.

"What felt you from Qui-Gon?" Yoda interrupted.

"Nothing," Windu said shortly.

"Wait, we must, and see if Obi-Wan's feelings can be controlled." Yoda said firmly, ending the argument.

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

The quiet whoosh of the opening door might have alerted Qui-Gon to his apprentice's entrance -- if the barely dampened turmoil of Obi-Wan's thoughts hadn't done so already. He set the datapad containing the information about his upcoming mission on the desk, then raised his eyes to meet his padawan's troubled gaze.

"They know, don't they?" Obi-Wan asked, fighting to keep his voice level. To have been granted his most cherished wish, only to have it ripped from him in the span of a day's time, was cruel at best. "That's why they're making me stay here."

Although he had entertained very similar thoughts, Qui-Gon shook his head. He rose and gathered the younger man into his arms. The simple contact threatened to cause the embers of desire within him to flare, and he ruthlessly squelched the emotion back to something manageable.

"They may suspect, but that is not the reason for this separation, Padawan. If it were possible, I would have you at my side, but you know as well as I do that your testing has long been scheduled." His hand brushed over Obi-Wan's tensely set shoulders, seeking to ease the other man's mutinous thoughts as he brought relaxation to his body. "The Sh'saa also have made their desire for only a single representative of the Republic very clear."

"But I could . . ." Obi-Wan's protest was effectively halted as Qui-Gon's lips closed over his.

"Tell me, if the Council truly had knowledge of what has transpired between us, would they have taken this course of action?"

Obi-Wan considered the question, even as his thoughts were diverted by the feel of Qui-Gon's body against his. "No," he answered slowly. "They would have dealt with the situation openly, not through diversion."

"Correct. And I believe that as long as they remain satisfied with our behavior this will go unmentioned." I hope, he added silently.

Anger flared suddenly within Obi-Wan, catching him off guard. "You're going to go along with this," he said, torn between disappointment and resentment. "I'm nearly old enough to take the trials, and still I am kept in check by you, by the Council."

"You still have a great deal to learn, Padawan," Qui-Gon said, his tone growing cold as he released his lover abruptly.

Obi-Wan's eyes flashed fire as he said, "I agreed to do my best to keep my emotions under control, and I have succeeded admirably thus far today."

"Until now," Qui-Gon answered, grappling with his arousal as the spark of anger continued to grow between them. "Your lessons have priority."

Obi-Wan moved so quickly that any other man than his Master would have been unprepared. He shoved at Qui-Gon, knocking him back against the wall. "And what of the lessons you taught last night, my Master?" he asked in a silken tone, a tone as softly dangerous as anything Qui-Gon had ever heard.

The blue of Qui-Gon's eyes darkened a notch and his chest vibrated with a low growl. "You're out of control, Obi-Wan."

"And what if I am?" came the challenge.

Qui-Gon reached up, and Obi-Wan felt all breath leave his body as he was spun, slammed, pinned against the wall with punishing force. "Then I'll have to teach you something about conquering your temper," he warned, and his mouth descended to take a brutal kiss.

Obi-Wan opened his body instantly, completely, accepted the tongue seeking his, as Qui-Gon's erection pressed against him.

And suddenly found himself sagging against the wall, all restraints removed, as Qui-Gon stepped back, no longer touching him.

"Now take hold of yourself and behave as the Jedi you are," Qui-Gon commanded him, with unmistakable harshness in his tone. There was a visible relaxation of Qui-Gon's face and body as he reasserted dominance over his emotions.

Though the curl of heat still remained close to the surface, Obi-Wan drew himself up slowly, closing his eyes as he sought to push his lust deep into a place where it could no longer threaten. His face burned with the effort, until at last he stood quietly, almost serene, the proper Jedi in every respect.

"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan raised mild eyes to his Master, and Qui-Gon could clearly see the simmer there, a small reminder that this was not finished between them. The insolence of his tone was almost too much to bear.

Qui-Gon turned and picked up the datapad. "We will discuss this mission when I return, and in the meantime, you will learn as much as you can about the Sh'saa and their customs. Even though you are not accompanying me, this will be a good opportunity for you to explore their culture, and to occupy yourself with something to enhance your skills."

"Whatever you wish, Master." Obi-Wan brushed by Qui-Gon and settled into the chair opposite his Master's position, waiting expectantly. His docile posture was a mockery of Qui-Gon's authority.

Qui-Gon's irritation rose, despite his resolve, despite his intention to set an example for his apprentice. "Don't test me, Obi-Wan. We haven't time to hammer out the changes in our relationship. Not now."

"You weren't this concerned about the implications for your role as my Master when you were fucking me senseless this morning," Obi-Wan reminded him, but the words carried no venom.

The sting of truth was harsh, and Qui-Gon sighed. "Much depends on your ability to be correct, to be proper, while I'm away. You must be what I've grown to expect from you - a Padawan who can serve as a role model for the others, who is deserving of the respect of others. I sensed much...curiosity...from the Council."

"They do know!" Obi-Wan pounced. "I could feel it when they questioned me. What are they waiting for, then?"

"They have no proof. And we've done nothing to give them reason to separate us. At least, nothing that would be enough justification," Qui-Gon amended, thinking of the faces of the other Masters who chided him for Obi-Wan's display the previous day. "You're too close to your trials for them to risk reassigning you to another Master." A pause. "And even if they suspect, they must know I would never permit anything to interfere with your training."

Qui-Gon's possessive tone caused a shiver in Obi-Wan, and he smiled slightly. He watched as Qui-Gon began to pack, sorting through a variety of similar tunics and trousers and taking the most comfortable of the lot. "How long will it take?" he asked, calculating the travel time to and from the planet.

"Perhaps a week, no more," Qui-Gon answered. "And when I return, there will be issues to iron out between us. Some things will, of necessity, have to change. We cannot be ruled by passion."

There was nothing more to be said. Obi-Wan read aloud to his master as Qui-Gon packed, both well aware that neither of them was concentrating on the tasks at hand.

Now you're standing there tongue tied
You'd better learn your lesson well
Hide what you have to hide
And tell what you have to tell
You'll see your problems multiplied
If you continually decide
To faithfully pursue
The policy of truth

"These negotiations will be complex." Obi-Wan stood by the cabin entrance, watching as Qui-Gon stowed away his belongings in the small room he would occupy on his journey.

There had been no time for discussions or even idle chat. The past few days had been full of briefings for Qui-Gon and training for Obi-Wan. What little time the two Jedi did have alone was spent in an edgy truce, one that allowed neither the freedom to speak their thoughts.

"That they will, Padawan," Qui-Gon answered calmly, "as will your tests. However, I have no fear as to the outcome of either."

"And when you return? What then?" The demand in Obi-Wan's words was blatant, a rebellion against the shackles placed on them by the Code and their belief in it. "Will I be expected to act as if nothing happened?"

Qui-Gon straightened and studied his apprentice, weighing the mistrust his words represented against the depth of Obi-Wan's unease. "Do you truly believe I would dismiss what has happened between us so easily?" There was a dangerous edge to the older Jedi's voice and he crossed the distance between them in the blink of an eye. "Do you?"

Obi-Wan glared up at his Master, anger and desire evident in his gaze. "How am I to know what will happen when you return? According to my Master I am supposed to concentrate on the moment, not the future."

Damning the brevity of time before the shuttle was scheduled to leave, Qui-Gon caught Obi-Wan by the shoulders, backing him into the wall alongside the door and lowering his head until their faces were mere inches apart. "Then listen well, Padawan. I did not take this step lightly or easily, but now that we have chosen this path I will not retreat. When I return, we will discuss this until we both are sick of it. For now, know that you are mine, and I do not relinquish that which belongs to me." His fingers tightened on Obi-Wan's shoulders, then Qui-Gon's mouth descended, taking, ravaging, claiming, forcing Obi-Wan to accept the truth of his words.

The response was electric. Obi-Wan's hands dragged at Qui-Gon's hips, a desperate bid for whatever contact was possible between given the layers of their clothing. The younger man snarled at the loss of the lips on his and sought to latch onto any bit of flesh available. A gasp was wrenched from his lips as his robe and tunics were pushed off his shoulder and Qui-Gon's mouth closed on the now bare flesh there, suckling and biting the flesh at the junction of neck and shoulder, raising a dark bruise; a mark of ownership.

Not to be outdone, Obi-Wan waited, writhing, until his Master was satisfied with his brand, then wrenched open Qui-Gon's tunic. He sought, then found, the hollow at the base of the larger man's throat and feasted there for long moments, feeling the heat of the blood racing beneath the skin under his lips.

A knock sounded at the door, and they broke apart reluctantly, damning the world for intruding once again. "Master Jinn? We are ready to take off."

"Thank you Captain." Qui-Gon's controlled voice was at odds with his flushed face and lust-dark eyes but slowly he recovered, settling his garments about himself, covering the incriminating mark of his apprentice's possession. "You need to go now, Obi-Wan." He trailed a finger along the younger man's braid, reluctant to lose contact.

"Yes, Master." For the first time since hearing of the mission, the hint of rebellion was gone from Obi-Wan's voice. He ran his fingers over Qui-Gon's lips, then straightened, bringing up physical and mental shields to prepare himself for what was to come. "I will make you proud."

Cerulean eyes closed for a moment, then opened again, drinking in the sight of the man before them. "You already have, Obi-Wan."

There was no more time for words. One last caress, both physical and mental, then Obi-Wan was gone, leaving Qui-Gon to the solitude of the stars and his duty.

The shuttle lifted off and angled upwards, leaving a shrouded figure on the landing platform. Obi-Wan's robe whipped around his body, but he did not move from where he stood until the ship had vanished into the teeming hordes of traffic, gone as if it had never existed at all.


  since 02-04-07


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