Obi-Wan tugged on the hood of Anakin’s coat and pulled it higher over his head. ‘You should conserve your energy, Anakin. It’ll get very, very, very cold soon and I reckon we’ll need every bit of strength we have to survive the night.’
The communicator gave one last, sad burst of static and then died in Obi-Wan’s hands in literal sparks of flame. He dropped it on the ground and it broke open into dozens of tiny parts.
‘Please tell me that thing has a tracker,’ said Obi-Wan calmly. He was stood near the mouth of the cave, and the fading light limned his form in the colours of the sunset, which, in this planet, were shades of silver. It actually hurt the eyes.
Anakin would scratch the side of his head but his arms were useless at the moment, even his cybernetic one. ‘Funny story, that – ’
Obi-Wan’s frown became even more severe, and another wrinkle appeared between his eyebrows. 'Anakin,’ he said, a warning note creeping into his voice, 'you did replace the cheap communicator you picked up off that smuggler during our last mission like I asked you to, yes?’
'I don’t think I can answer that without making you angrier, Master.’ Anakin tried to shrug as much as the dead weights calling themselves his arms let him. Damn that paralytic he’d been hit with!
Obi-Wan let out a long breath and rubbed his brow, lips twisting. Through their bond, Anakin felt the puffs of genuine fury coming from Obi-Wan and he savagely bit the inside of his cheek, knowing this was his fault. Again. He never listened, always acted before thinking things through, and kept landing them in already complicated situations which soon turned deadly. Anakin hated that he kept disappointing Obi-Wan, falling short of being the perfect Jedi he desperately strove to be. Anakin closed the bond on his end, wanting to distance himself from Obi-Wan’s anger.
Swallowing, Anakin attempted a teasing smile. 'But you can’t be too mad at me, Master.’
'And why is that, Anakin?’ asked Obi-Wan, unimpressed.
'Um, because I can’t move my limbs?’
Obi-Wan ran his hand down his face. 'Through your own recklessness.’
'If you want to see it that way. Or we could also look at it like this: the pirate got lucky with that dart.’
Obi-Wan actually groaned out loud. 'You’re incorrigible.’
'I don’t have to agree with words I don’t understand, right?’
Obi-Wan stepped up to where Anakin was leant against a jutting rock formation and frowned at him up close, which was even more devastating. Anakin’s own stubborn smile faltered. 'Meditation for a whole month after this,’ said Obi-Wan with relish. He clasped Anakin’s shoulder and squeezed; not that Anakin felt it, thankfully, since it looked like it had a lot of strength behind it. 'And I’ll have you reciting the extended Jedi code for the Council when we get back.’
Anakin gaped at him. 'That’s a cruel and unusual punishment, Master! But I think you’re forgetting something: I’m no longer your Padawan. I don’t have to do what you say.’
Obi-Wan quirked a humourless smile. 'Oh, I’ll make you do it gladly, my dear.’
The suggestion, or Anakin’s own interpretation - because surely not, his Master would never imply - made the blood rush to his cheeks. He forgot the deepening chill as the silver sun set completely behind the mountains, although the cave stones lit up with a natural luminescence that was beautiful and fascinating, an observation that only took up a small corner of Anakin’s mind since the rest of it was occupied by Obi-Wan. Anakin blinked up at him, mouth parting, and Obi-Wan’s other hand hovered on the side of Anakin’s face.
'Master – ’ he said breathily, every part of him wanting: please, please, please, please.
Obi-Wan reached up and sharply yanked on the longer parts of Anakin’s fringe, shocking a gasp out of him. Obi-Wan’s face split into a wide grin, and his teeth looked strangely blue in the light of the cave.
'There, I feel so much better,’ sighed Obi-Wan as he fell back on his heels, hands dropping away.
Anakin picked up his tattered dignity (metaphorically, of course, since his arms were still fucking immobilised; legs too, and, oh, what he would give to have function back and be able to kick at his infuriating Master) and scowled. 'You’re such an ass.’
'One should never stoop to name-calling, my dear, it’s terribly uncreative,’ said Obi-Wan.
Anakin bared his teeth at him and started calling him rude names in every language he knew, and Obi-Wan listened to him with growing amusement knocking on the closed door of their bond. Grudgingly, Anakin let him in again, and felt immediately comforted by Obi-Wan’s presence.
Obi-Wan tugged on the hood of Anakin’s coat and pulled it higher over his head. 'You should conserve your energy, Anakin. It’ll get very, very, very cold soon and I reckon we’ll need every bit of strength we have to survive the night.’
The reminder of their current predicament popped Anakin’s mood and he blew at the fringe falling over his face. He wanted his hands back. He wouldn’t be able to help Obi-Wan if an attack happened. Or if they had to escape because fate wanted to throw an earthquake at them for laughs. Or he’d really just settle for getting his hair away from his face, which Obi-Wan took care of with gentle fingers.
'Still just your arms and legs?’ asked Obi-Wan. ‘Breathing alright?’
Anakin nodded. 'Yeah, everything else’s working fine.’ He wriggled his hips and cringed at the cold.
'You’ll be in more danger of freezing since you won’t be able to move about,’ said Obi-Wan, frowning. He rubbed his gloved hands together and examined the cave they were in. 'Although if there’s ever a place to freeze to death, then this is a particularly lovely one.’
'I’d make a joke about warming you up but,’ Anakin glanced meaningfully at his arms, 'you’d have to do all the work.’
It was gratifying to see a flush working up Obi-Wan’s neck even with the thick fur coat blocking most of his view; perks of their close bond. 'Quiet, you,’ said Obi-Wan and cleared his throat. 'You’ll have to move a bit so I can stay on this side.’
The side of the cave’s mouth, where he’d feel the brunt of the winter night.
Anakin shook his head. 'No, Master, you should find somewhere else here that’s warmer.’
'This is the warmest spot,’ pointed out Obi-Wan, 'right next to you. It’ll be easier to move quickly if I don’t have to keep tripping over you.’
'If you want me to move, you’ll have to do it yourself.’
Obi-Wan rubbed his chin and then set his hands on Anakin once more, gently manoeuvring him to his pleasure. Anakin grunted when his hip caught on the side of a stalagmite and Obi-Wan quickly ran a hand over it in apology. Anakin’s heart pitter-pattered; Obi-Wan had not touched him this much or for this long in recent memory. Obi-Wan had to lean in close, wrapping one arm around Anakin’s upper back and the other on his waist. Pressing their chests flush together, Obi-Wan carefully hauled Anakin a few inches to the side, propped against a small, flat rock, then pushed Anakin’s legs along the floor to align with his torso. He caught a whiff of Obi-Wan, something musky and clean despite the late hour and earlier exertion. To Anakin’s horror, he felt his groin stirring. Legs and arms paralysed but apparently his dick was just working perfectly. He willed his arousal away, focussing on the coldness of the cave slowly soaking into his bones. Obi-Wan tugged Anakin’s coat to rights and sat beside him, and Anakin sighed for more than the additional warmth that the closeness brought.
'Is this alright?’ asked Obi-Wan, and Anakin felt Obi-Wan’s arm wind back around his waist, curling around the thick bunch of fabric where his hipbone was.
'It’s getting colder,’ said Anakin, shivering in his layers of clothing. 'I’m sorry, Master. Really, I am. I don’t really mean for these things to happen.’ His head dropped back against the wall, hard enough to hurt even with the fur and hood.
'None of that, Anakin,’ chided Obi-Wan, his other hand pulling Anakin’s head down to his shoulder. 'This is a great learning opportunity for both of us.’
'Do you think Ahsoka will be able to find us?’
'She’ll be on the lookout, and with Cody and Rex helping her, I’m certain they’ll locate us soon.’ The arm around his waist tightened and Obi-Wan moved in closer until Anakin was nearly on Obi-Wan’s lap. Anakin tried to keep his glee from showing on his face. He was worried, but it was hard to stay that way for long with his favourite person in the world nestled beside him.
Amusement laced through Obi-Wan’s words when he said, 'I can feel you, Anakin.’
'Oh, um.’ Anakin coughed and held back his feelings through their bond, only letting the concern through. 'Sorry,’ he said sheepishly.
They fell silent, listening to the howl of the wind outside. Fortunately, the cave, although facing outward, was not in the direction of the wind, but it was still bitterly cold. Their breaths came out in mists in front of them, and Anakin licked his dry lips. Obi-Wan had been forced to drag Anakin in here when he’d been hit and actually affected by the paralysis dart, using the aid of the Force to lever him on the upward slope towards the entrance of the cave. The planet was all rocks and ice, no flora, and the only thing that would burn were their clothes. Outside, there were no stars and moon, a pitch blackness that would have terrified Anakin if not for the glow of the cave stones.
'Alright, I’ll admit, this is a gorgeous place,’ said Anakin, watching the play of light on the floor when a gust of icy wind wafted across. 'A fitting graveyard, huh?’
'That’s a bit too morbid for me, dear one,’ said Obi-Wan.
'I guess – ’ Anakin yelped all of a sudden, right arm jerking upwards. ‘Kriffing ow! ’
'My arm – ’ Anakin twitched his right fingers, then his left. 'My hands are working again!’ He tried wriggling his toes and laughed when his foot overcompensated and kicked the air. 'Oh, thank Force!’ Then, the pins and needles started to intensify and he winced.
Obi-Wan let out a sigh and gingerly started massaging the nearest extremity, which happened to be Anakin’s left arm. For a moment, the ache was so immense that Anakin’s breath caught in his throat; then it passed and there was only the most wonderful relief.
'Breathe with me,’ Obi-Wan instructed, and Anakin felt him retreat into the bond, drawing in the Force, and Anakin followed after him. Together, they examined each finger, joint and reflex, making sure that Anakin’s limbs were returning to optimum capability. The cold retreated whilst they were immersed in their exploration, and it was profoundly intimate without the intensity; just their serene beings ebbing and flowing in sync. Anakin didn’t want to leave. He could immerse in this state forever where he was an essential part of a whole. Obi-Wan responded with a similar sentiment, and as he withdrew, Anakin caught a brief taste of desire from Obi-Wan that made him want to weep. It was longing and lust and the need for the same kind of connection that burned in Anakin’s soul. Anakin didn’t know if it would ever come true – if he’d get the chance to know what it would be like to be truly content – but the knowledge that Obi-Wan wanted the same was enough for now. Anakin knew that little glimpse wasn’t an accident. Obi-Wan was rigorous with his mastery over himself; a slip like that would be most uncharacteristic of him. Hope burned in Anakin’s heart, and he turned his face into Obi-Wan’s shoulder, nosing aside the fur to feel Obi-Wan’s cool cheek. He was able to move the way he wanted with full use of his arms and legs, and had the perfect excuse for nuzzling.
'I’m cold,’ he said, a hint of whine in his voice, tucking his smile away. It wasn’t a lie. 'I wish we could use our sabers for heat.’
Obi-Wan snorted. 'Then, you’d have to be using a faulty lightsaber, Anakin. Imagine if Ventress attacked you out of nowhere.’
'I’d still be dead meat even with a working one.’ Anakin kicked at a small bolt by his foot, grinning when it rolled away. 'I’d love to melt all of this rock but it’ll probably just be a slushy, cold mess from all of the ice gathering.’
'Then we have our solution if we’re ever thirsty,’ said Obi-Wan, wry.
Anakin huffed in amusement, but it was short-lived when he felt Obi-Wan shaking beside him. A childhood in the desert had accustomed Anakin to the type of cold that seeped relentlessly into the bones but even he was really feeling it now; Obi-Wan didn’t stand a chance despite his Jedi training. He inched closer, winding his own arms around Obi-Wan, their legs tangling. Anakin wondered if Obi-Wan would have protested if things were a bit less dire. It didn’t matter.
'A nice, long soak in one of the warm pools in the Temple sounds tempting right now,’ said Obi-Wan, his teeth chattering. Anakin peered up at him. Frost was starting to cling to his beard and eyelashes. Anakin ruffled through Obi-Wan’s scruff and made him shiver. 'Your gloves are freezing, Anakin.’
'Sorry, you were starting to look like a snow fairy,’ said Anakin.
'A snow what?’
'It was a story my mother used to make up about worlds with snow.’
'I suppose you were fascinated by planets with climates that were the exact opposite of your homeworld.’
Anakin shook his head. 'Not really. I wanted to go somewhere I could tinker with droids and starfighters all day. A mechanic’s dream.’
'Ah, I see. I should have known.’
'What did you dream about as a child, Master? And please don’t say you wanted to be the best Jedi that had ever existed. Something real. And stupid.’
There was a short pause, and Anakin thought maybe he’d crossed a line. An apology was already on the tip of his tongue when Obi-Wan spoke (and it was marvellous to hear him from this close).
'You mustn’t make fun of me if I tell you this, Anakin.’
Anakin lifted his head and stared at Obi-Wan with growing excitement. Obi-Wan took one look at his face and sighed.
'What? I promise I won’t!’
'I don’t need the Force to tell me that you’re crossing your fingers in both hands.’
Anakin didn’t uncross any of them. 'Well?’ he asked impatiently, trying to ignore how stiff his cheeks and hair were. His face felt raw. He licked his lips again, tongue catching on the cracks forming. Obi-Wan looked just as numb as he felt, but this, simply talking, was helping. He shuffled back closer without breaking eye contact.
Obi-Wan visibly hesitated, then admitted with a grimace, 'I once wanted to be a holostar.’
This was beyond what Anakin had expected. He clapped his hands together and then smacked Obi-Wan on the shoulder. 'You didn’t! Did you?’ He tittered, then coughed when his breath rattled in his chest. 'Force, Obi-Wan, I’d give almost anything to see that happen. I mean,’ he waggled his eyebrows, and ice sprinkled down from them, 'you have the looks for it.’
'You’ll hold this over me forever,’ said Obi-Wan in resignation, but his eyes were fond.
'As you do that time we were ambushed and I had to fight the droids naked while desperately trying to keep the towel from falling at the same time.’
'That was a particularly memorable battle,’ laughed Obi-Wan. He made a humming noise and beckoned Anakin with his fingers. 'It’s prudent to keep warm, Anakin.’
'Admit it, Obi-Wan: you just want to keep me close.’
'Perhaps you won’t get in so much trouble this way,’ said Obi-Wan, tucking Anakin under his chin again. Obi-Wan tried to fight his yawn but it was like a ballooning sensation in the Force, which was the same strange feeling when someone attempted to hold in a string of hiccups.
'We should try to stay awake, Master. If we retreat too much in the Force, we just might freeze without knowing it.’
'Cheerful thought.’ Another shudder wracked through Obi-Wan and Anakin held him tighter. His own eyes were growing heavy. 'This is the coldest I’ve ever been, I must admit. ’
Anakin called out for Ahsoka through their training bond, but she was too far away. He asked the Force again to bring her and a very warm aircraft to their precise location.
Anakin cleared his throat. He was starting to lose feeling in his fingers and toes, and he tucked them as close to his core as much as possible. 'Tell me about your holodrama, Obi-Wan.’
'I haven’t thought about it. It was simply a youngling’s foolish dream when lessons ran a bit too long, ages and ages ago.’
'I don’t believe that. Knowing how thorough you are, Obi-Wan, you must have a few series’ worth of plot already. Please, Master.’ Anakin couldn’t use the eyes on him but he figured that the plaintive note, along with a much too genuine shiver, was a good equivalent.
'Well, if you really must know, it starts in a galaxy far, far away…’
'Force, you’re alive!’ someone shouted, and the Force wrapped around them in terrible relief, as well as a massive thermal blanket that shocked them awake.
Ahsoka. It was Ahsoka, and, Anakin sensed, what seemed to be half of his and Obi-Wan’s fleet, the combined power making the cave judder all around them.
Anakin blinked against the harsh glare in his eyes and then moaned when the heat finally broke through the cold that had settled tenaciously under his skin. Beside him, he heard Obi-Wan make the same noise and Anakin turned his head to squint at him. Obi-Wan really did look like a snow fairy right then, his beard and eyebrows and lashes and the hair at his temples thick with ice. Anakin startled when Obi-Wan brushed his knuckles (his very cold, gloved knuckles) against Anakin’s chin and came away with more frost crystals.
'A snow fairy,’ mumbled Obi-Wan in wonder, and Anakin knew he’d be forgiven if he held on to him for a little bit longer.
I’ve always been crazy about the “opposites attract” kinda pairings, like:
The Permanent Frown vs The Smartass
The Relativity of Good and Bad
The “You Don’t Make Sense But Apparently I’m the Only One Who Understands You” squad
Darkness vs Light
Too Awkward To Function vs Literally Won’t Shut Up (but deep down they’re both equally dorks)
And let’s not forget the “This Relationship Is Built Solely On My Endless Patience and the Fact That Murder Is Illegal” squad
Preferably one is a bit grumpy and kind of introverted, not
good with expressing themselves but still feels very strongly and
deeply. While the other one is more open and kind of mischievous,
doesn’t take things too seriously, or the literal incarnation of
sunshine and happiness. Whenever I find this kinda pairing it’s