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“You need to stop playing.”

“What?” Obi-Wan asked blankly, looking up from his intent observation of the bubbles rising in his beer. 

He really should have heard what Quinlan had said—the bar wasn’t particularly loud, not on a snowy Tuesday night. It was only quarter-full with locals, instead of packed with college students. There was no live music, no deafening chatter. 

Obi-Wan had just been distracted, thinking about how much grief he was going to get from the rest of the guild when he got back to his computer. He was missing an important Tuesday raid. He grimaced apologetically at Quinlan. “What did you say?”

Quinlan gave him an unimpressed look, as if he knew exactly what Obi-Wan had been thinking about. “You are beyond addicted, man. It’s been years. You need to stop.”

“I’m not addicted, it’s a hobby,” Obi-Wan said defensively. He took a long drink, glancing at his phone to check the time. It was after eight, so the raid had already begun. They’d probably already killed Goroth, and were moving on the Demonic Inquisition. Even Vader at his worst wouldn’t mess that part up too badly.  

Obi-Wan set down his glass carefully, trying to avoid thinking about Vader, and gave Quinlan a mild look. “I just enjoy it.”

Quinlan scoffed at him, “No, you don’t. You complain about it constantly. If you attempt to talk to me about Vader and his rash, reckless behavior one more time, I am honestly going to disown you.”

“I do not talk about him that much.” Obi-Wan took a drink. “You’re exaggerating.”

Quinlan barked a laugh. “No, I’m not! You bitch about him constantly, Kenobi.”

“I’ll grant that he is extremely irritating sometimes,” Obi-Wan shrugged. “The rest of the players in my guild are good people. The game is challenging and fun, and I find it rewarding. I don’t understand why you have a problem with it.”

“You need to hang out with your real friends. I had to like, forcibly remove you from your house to get you to socialize.” Quinlan raised his eyebrows, as if trying to impress upon Obi-Wan the seriousness of his crimes. 

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes, and took a drink. He knew there was no real point in trying to defend himself—they’d had this identical conversation a hundred times. “I have responsibilities in my guild, Quinlan. I enjoy taking them seriously. I’m missing out on a raid to be here as your wingman. I know you don’t care, but within the context of the game it’s important. You’re welcome.”

“You’re ridiculous,” Quinlan said resentfully. He threw back the rest of his beer and set it down hard. “Ridiculous!” 

Obi-Wan ignored him. He took a drink and picked up his phone, unable to resist checking in on the guild chat. He frowned at his friend list. Vader was offline too. He looked back up to Quinlan’s disapproving face, and felt a swell of frustration. “Why are you so bothered by it, Quinlan?” 

Quinlan spoke slowly like he was explaining a simple concept to a small child, emphasizing every word. “It’s a game. You’re in your mid-thirties.” 

“So?” Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes. “Plenty of adults play. I’m hardly the oldest in the guild, and besides—I know it’s a game. I just enjoy it. Why isn’t that enough?”

“It’s just a fucking game!” Quinlan’s volume rose as he threw out his arms, gesturing broadly around them, totally exasperated. “You've been playing for years. You need to live your real life, man. You haven't been on a date in a year and a half! You need to get out there!” He punched Obi-Wan encouragingly hard on the shoulder. “You’re going to die alone if you don’t.” 

Obi-Wan recoiled, scowling and rubbing his arm. “Thanks, Vos.”

“It’s true,” Quinlan said apologetically. He tried to take another drink of beer and made a face at his empty bottle. “It’s just true, dude.” 

“Whatever,” Obi-Wan muttered, trying to let the topic go. He looked around the bar for a distraction. There was nobody playing billiards, and the TVs were all tuned to sports. He watched the front door open and close, admitting a gust of cold air and a handsome, scowling young man.

Obi-Wan stared almost wistfully at how a wreath of snowflakes was clinging to his curly hair, framing a face worthy of an classical statue, flushed pink from cold. There was a fascinating scar over his right eye, which somehow made him look brave, but not dangerous. His black peacoat made his snow-dusted shoulders look impossibly broad.

A beautiful woman followed him in and touched his arm, speaking quietly into his ear. The man shook his head slightly and ran a hand through his hair, dusting off the snow. He grumbled something, and the woman tugged on his arm, leading him towards the bar. He followed along after, his expression transforming into a pout that was surprisingly cute.

Obi-Wan blinked and quickly looked back at his half-full beer. He mechanically took another long drink, gaze drifting back to the time on his phone. The guild might be fighting Harjatan by now if it was going well. They didn’t need him there, it would be fine—Vader wasn’t there. 

Why wasn’t Vader online?

As Obi-Wan thought about the infuriating tank whose reckless style of play had been driving him insane for years—no matter how much Obi-Wan tried to teach him how to play more collaboratively—he began to realize the voice in his head wasn’t coming from a memory. 

He looked up sharply, scanning the room. He felt like he was hallucinating. Vader was here? How was that even possible?

Quinlan sighed, “Look, I just…” He frowned as he realized that Obi-Wan’s attention was elsewhere. “What?”

“Shut up,” Obi-Wan said, shooting him an apologetic look and holding up a hand. He looked back down the bar, his eyes going wide.

“He thought I couldn’t handle it!” The handsome young man was speaking in a heated tone that Obi-Wan more than recognized. He’d lived with it in his ears for years—it even occurred in his dreams, it was so familiar. There was no way it was him.  

“But I did! I handled it perfectly.” He wore an arrogant, sullen expression, and his attitude was so perfectly typical of Vader that Obi-Wan couldn’t believe it. It was impossible. “Ben gives me so much shit for pulling bosses early, but I did it perfectly!”  

“I know, Ani.” The woman sounded tired. She smiled gratefully at the bartender, accepting her drink. “You told me before.”

Obi-Wan stared at the couple. He felt a wave of deafening static rising in his mind, and his heart was beginning to pound. Not only was Vader here—looking like that—but he was complaining about Obi-Wan to his… girlfriend, probably. 

Obi-Wan swallowed, taking a steadying breath, trying to look away, but was impossible. Vader couldn’t be him, and he just couldn’t be here, not in this random bar on a random night.

Obi-Wan hadn’t even known they’d lived in the same state. He hadn’t known he had a girlfriend to complain to. Vader never said anything about his life, even when asked.

“I’m a really good tank, like… I’m the best in the guild.” Vader’s voice was petulant, and his girlfriend rolled her eyes affectionately. “He’s way too critical of me, for no reason! He just makes me so mad, Padmé.”

Obi-Wan’s fists clenched and he looked down, heart racing. He felt torn between options, unsure of what to do. In a way, they were both friends and strangers. He wanted to ignore him, pretend this wasn’t happening—but he was completely impossible to ignore.

It was as if the rest of the volume in the bar had gotten turned all the way down. Quinlan said something, but Obi-Wan missed it. He couldn’t hear anything except Vader

He couldn’t see anybody but him

They’d spent so many hours together on quests or doing raids—hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours. Vader’s voice in the guild voice chat had been a frequent comfort and occasional irritant in the past, but it was the voice of a friend. A friend who drove him insane with frustration, but a friend nonetheless. 

As Vader continued to complain about Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan felt his blood pressure rising. Perhaps friend was the incorrect word, perhaps he’d been wrong. Perhaps they weren’t actually friends at all.  

“Ben’s so absurd and unfair. He’s way harder on me than anyone else. I don’t deserve to get in trouble at all the time, it's not fair.” Vader ran a hand through his hair, and whined, “I don’t deserve it. I don’t.”

“I know, Ani.” The brunette patted him on the arm consolingly, taking a long sip of her drink. 

“We killed all the bosses. We always do. I don’t understand his problem sometimes.” Vader pouted, slumping in his chair. His bottom lip was so pink and full—his sharp jawline only emphasized how incongruously soft it looked. Vader pulled sullenly at his coaster, bringing his drink closer. “He’s so annoying.”

“Why don’t you leave his… guild?” She said the last word as if it were in a foreign language.

“I’ve thought about it, believe me, I’ve thought about it,” Vader said darkly, and took a long drink. Obi-Wan’s stomach dropped, and he felt like he’d been slapped. Vader considered leaving? Leaving because of him? “It’s the worst, Padmé. He’s the worst.”

Obi-Wan couldn’t stand it another moment. He threw back the rest of his beer, put it down hard, and stood up sharply. 

Quinlan looked alarmed. “Where are you going? Why are you so mad?” 

“I'll be right back,” Obi-Wan said tightly, his mind stuck in a loop of Vader’s voice—annoying, absurd, unfair, worst.

Quinlan looked even more alarmed by his tone. “Don’t get in a fight without me.” 

Obi-Wan gave him something resembling a pacifying wave, and turned away. He walked down the bar with smooth, deliberate strides, trying to relax his jaw and unclench his fists. His blood was pounding in his ears. How dare he?

He came to stand beside the open stool next to the young man, who looked over at him in surprise at his approach. Obi-Wan stared into his wide blue eyes, and felt an even larger surge of resentment. How dare he look like this, have looked like this the whole time? 

“Excuse me,” Obi-Wan’s voice came out almost level, almost polite, “Are you Vaderkin?”

“Benobi?” Vader’s jaw dropped, and he looked aghast, searching Obi-Wan’s face and shaking his head in disbelief. “That’s impossible. You’re not him. He’s old.”

“I am not old,” Obi-Wan ground out, trying to keep his anger from coloring his words, with moderate success. “And nothing I have ever said to you has been either disproportionate or unjustified, Vader. I am not unfair, and I am not too critical. I may be annoying, but you absolutely do deserve to get yelled at.”

Vader gaped at him for a long moment, as if still in shock. The woman behind looked like Christmas had come early, and Obi-Wan ignored her in favor of glaring at Vader. He could spot the moment his words actually registered—Vader’s expression crumpled into a petulant scowl. 

“No, I do not! Is this about Sunday? I handled it.”

“You…” Obi-Wan ran a hand down his face, trying to smooth his expression. Vader’s girlfriend was still looking at him with fascination, and he could feel Quinlan’s eyes on the side of his head. He kept his voice as level as possible. “Healing you was a nightmare! I had to ignore everything else to keep you alive!”  

Vader scoffed, and Obi-Wan felt a spike of irritation. He sat down in the empty seat and spoke quickly, trying to keep his volume down and not make a spectacle of himself. “You had zero situational awareness during the raid, Vader, as usual! You’re incapable of patience, and so obsessed with your own ego, we almost wiped!”

Vader puffed up, offended. “My ego?!”

“Yes!” Obi-Wan stared angrily at him for a long moment before looking away. How dare he be so handsome? “If two mobs have abilities that combine badly, like I told you they would, you can’t pull them at once!”

“I could too!” Vader growled, crossing his arms. “We made it through fine!”

Obi-Wan scoffed, “We did not! Everyone around you was dying repeatedly—do you have any idea the size of the repair bill everyone else had to pay because of your dramatics?”  

“My dramatics? I’m one of the best tanks on the server!” Vader’s voice got louder.

“Yes, you are!” Obi-Wan matched his volume, snapping irritably, “You’re welcome!”

“What?” Vader stared at him, brow furrowing. “You had nothing to do with it.”

Obi-Wan glared at him, his gaze boring into the blue depths of Vader’s eyes. “I haven’t forgotten teaching you how to play, Skyguy. I made it possible for you to get where you are!” 

“No, you didn’t!” Vader looked furious. “I did it myself.”

Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes and lowered his voice even further, speaking quickly and quietly. “Do you really think you could’ve done what you’ve done without the help of my healing? I have to raid every time you raid, or the rest of the guild will whisper me constantly complaining!” 

Vader made a dismissive noise that made Obi-Wan want to wring his neck. He rebuked him sharply, “I’m getting tired of you being my responsibility, Vader, when you don’t even listen to me! Other healers in the guild refuse to work with you, and I don’t blame them!”

“If they’re not good enough to play mythics, that’s not my fault!” Vader snapped. He was blushing, his posture defensive. “You’ve never had a problem before.”

“I certainly have had plenty of problems,” Obi-Wan gave Vader a dark look. “But I could always handle it because I’m very experienced, Vader. I’m good at it, but I’ve had to be better than good because they always make you my problem!” Obi-Wan took a deep, steadying breath. 

Vader opened his mouth angrily, his cheeks flushed crimson, and Obi-Wan cut him off with a sharp gesture. “They’re perfectly competent healers, Vader. You make it hard for them and they can’t keep up. I’m the only one who can.” He raked his eyes over the pink tips of Vader’s ears, his bright eyes, his frustrated expression.  

Obi-Wan thought about the things he’d heard Vader say to his girlfriend about ‘Ben’—annoying, absurd, unfair, worst—and felt his stomach turn with betrayal. He fixed his posture, leaning back and sitting up straight, pulling away from Vader. When had they gotten so close? 

He tried to speak as calmly as possible. “Feel free to leave the guild at any time, Vader. Nothing is holding you back. You know they call us the Team but we’re really not. We’re not a team at all.” 

Vader’s head moved back slightly as if struck. “We’re not?”

“No, we aren’t,” Obi-Wan said disbelievingly. How could Vader be surprised by that? How could he be hurt? “You don’t act like we’re a team. You never think about the larger picture, never think about me or anyone else. I’m constantly having to run after you and clean up your mess, and you never even think to say thank you.” 

Vader blinked at him, mouth open.

Obi-Wan exhaled hard. He looked at the ground, trying to stay calm. It really was all just a game. This was beneath him. “Quinlan’s right. I really do need to quit.”

Vader sucked in a breath to reply, but Obi-Wan stood up quickly.

“I apologize for interrupting your evening.” Obi-Wan smiled tightly and dipped his head in apology at Vader’s girlfriend, who nodded back quickly, waving a hand to indicate that it was no problem. He looked at Vader’s stormy face one last time before walking back toward his coat. 

He felt Vader’s eyes burning into his back as he walked away. 

Quinlan was staring at him like he’d never seen him before. “What the fuck was that, Kenobi? You know that guy?”

“That’s Vader,” Obi-Wan said quietly, putting on his jacket. His heart was pounding, and his hands were shaking. “That’s Vader, and I’m going home now.”

Quinlan’s eyes went wide. “That’s Vader? That’s who you’ve been complaining about this whole time?”

Obi-Wan gave Quinlan a repressive look. “Yes.” 

“Ah ha!” Quinlan laughed loudly in satisfaction. “Now it all makes sense, man. I take it all back. I get it now.” He gave Vader an appreciative look, and laughed again, more quietly. “He’s still staring at you, Obi-Wan. You should take him home, he looks interested.

“He’s not.” Obi-Wan threw his scarf around his neck. “I’ll see you at work, Quin. You’re covering Luminara’s docket tomorrow, remember? The client files are on your desk, I saw the clerk put them there. Do not forget—it’s at 9am. Not 1:30pm. 9am. Judge Organa appreciates it when you’re not late.”

Quinlan gave him a long look, and then shook his head in mock despair. “You’re such a loser, Kenobi. Are you safe to drive?”

“I had one beer over the course of an hour,” Obi-Wan said incredulously. “I’m not even remotely buzzed.”

“Fine,” Quinlan sighed and waved a dismissive hand. “Fine, drive safe.”

Obi-Wan nodded at him, “I will. Good luck getting laid.”

“I have a plan,” Quinlan said with a grin, making speculative eye contact with Vader’s girlfriend. “I’ll be fine.”

“Fantastic.” Obi-Wan rolled his eyes and turned to go, searching his pockets to make sure that he had his keys, wallet, and phone. He had everything. He definitely didn’t want to have to come back. 

He had made it all the way to the front door before he was stopped suddenly by a hand on the shoulder. Obi-Wan froze, the world narrowing to the point of contact. 

Vader’s voice was quiet but insistent. “Stop, please.” 

Obi-Wan felt a strange leaping sensation in his stomach. He slowly looked down at the hand, and then turned his head back to make eye contact. Vader was looking at him seriously, his eyes full of an emotion that Obi-Wan couldn’t place.

“Why?” Obi-Wan asked sharply.

“You’re really going to quit?” Vader said quietly, his voice laced with true concern. He tightened his grip on Obi-Wan’s coat slightly. “You can’t.”

Obi-Wan shrugged Vader’s hand off his shoulder. “Why not?”

“I need you to play,” Vader said, making intense eye contact. Obi-Wan blinked and swallowed, feeling off balance—the ghost of Vader’s touch was heavy on his shoulder. “You can’t quit.”  

Obi-Wan clenched his jaw and turned his face back towards the door. “You’re wrong. I can, and I will.” 

He pulled open the door sharply and headed out into the cold, winter night. His car was parked several blocks down, and he turned up his collar against the breeze. It took a moment for him to realize that Vader had followed him out. 

Obi-Wan did not stop walking. “Go back inside.”

Vader flashed him a stubborn look. He was awkwardly pulling on the coat he must have grabbed and brought with him in his rush to beat Obi-Wan to the door. “What would… what would you need me to do to keep playing?”

Obi-Wan blinked at him, and then furrowed his brow. “What?”

“I’ll…” Vader broke off, licking his lips anxiously. Obi-Wan’s eyes got stuck on his mouth for a long moment. His foot slipped, and he turned his attention back to the snowy ground. Vader walked beside him, vowing earnestly, “I’ll listen better, I promise. I won’t complain.”

“What?” Obi-Wan asked again, shaking his head with incomprehension and giving Vader a sideways look. “What are you talking about?”

“I… I’m really, really sorry, Ben,” Vader apologized sincerely. He bit his lip, struggling for words. “I didn’t mean… I didn’t realize it was… I didn’t know you were actually annoyed with me enough… Enough to quit.”  

Obi-Wan sighed, and slowed to a stop under a wide department store awning. He crossed his arms across his chest, and gave Vader a tired look. “I know you didn’t know, Vader. Don’t worry about it. Go back to the bar.” 

“No, I can’t just let you quit!” Vader shook his head. “You can’t.”

“I probably should have years ago,” Obi-Wan sighed. “Anyway, you should play how you want to play, and not get lectured—and you won’t anymore. I’m done annoying you. It doesn’t matter anymore.”

“No, it does! It has to matter!” Vader stepped closer, and Obi-Wan tipped his head back slightly, processing the fact that Vader was tall. “You’re the best healer in the guild, the best on the server! You’re an incredible player, Ben. I didn’t mean any of it, I was just mad because you’re right, you’re always right! You can’t just quit. I need you not to quit.” 

The streetlights and the strung holiday lights in the shopping district cast a soft glow on Vader’s face, making the brassy gold of his curls gleam. He looked so sincere and so sorry, so concerned at what he might have done. He blushed and shifted anxiously under Obi-Wan’s steady observation—he was so cute. 

Obi-Wan spoke without thinking. “It’s Obi-Wan.” 

“What?” Vader’s gaze sharpened on his face. 

“My name is Obi-Wan, not Ben,” Obi-Wan said flatly. He shook his head slightly, trying to shake himself awake and pull himself away. He turned to keep walking, and Vader tagged alongside.

“Obi-Wan.” Vader shaped the vowels carefully with his mouth, and Obi-Wan felt a swoop in his stomach. It was Vader’s voice, the voice that haunted his dreams, saying his real name. It was uncanny, and… nice.  

“Obi-Wan,” Vader repeated, flashing a quick toothy smile and staring earnestly. “My name is Anakin. Please don’t quit. I’m sorry I… I said those things, and took you for granted, Obi-Wan… But isn’t it… Don’t you have fun?” He bit his lip again, looking so worried. “Am I really making it not fun?”

“You make it very stressful.” Obi-Wan ground out, trying to look away. He wasn’t sure if he wanted the knowledge that Vader was Anakin. He wished they’d never met in person. The light snowfall had begun to gently dust Anakin’s hair again, his long eyelashes, his broad shoulders. 

“But you laugh, I hear you laugh.” Anakin said, confused. He looked down and ran a hand through his hair, exhaling hard. “You make jokes, you seem… I thought you seemed happy when we played together. You don’t… You don’t like it?”

Obi-Wan slowed for a moment and studied the hurt on Anakin’s face. “I like… I liked to play with you, yes, but…” Obi-Wan trailed off, feeling frustrated. He kicked a bit of snow, and kept walking. His car was on the next block, this conversation was almost over. 

He stole a glance at Anakin again—wounded eyes, pouting bottom lip, pink cheeks—before looking back at the road, searching for his parking spot. “You’ve been driving me insane. You never listen to me.”

They reached a stoplight on an arterial, and Obi-Wan pressed the button for the crosswalk. Anakin stood next to him in silence for a long moment, and Obi-Wan frowned at him. “Why are you still here? Why aren’t you in the bar?”

“Are you going to quit?” Anakin asked again, almost desperately. “Are you still quitting?”

“Yes,” Obi-Wan sighed. The light changed and he kept walking. Anakin followed along persistently, and Obi-Wan shot him a warning look. “My friend is probably flirting with your girlfriend. You should go back and stop him.”

Anakin looked at Obi-Wan like he had two heads. “Padmé’s not my girlfriend, and she can flirt with whoever she wants. If she doesn’t want him, your friend will know very quickly.”

Obi-Wan imagined Quinlan getting a drink in the face and huffed a laugh. Anakin’s eyes lit up at the sound, and he beamed at Obi-Wan. 

Obi-Wan quickly looked away from his smile—it was too bright, too happy. He felt a pang of relief and disappointment at the sight of his parked car. 

Anakin apologized earnestly again, “I’m so sorry, Obi-Wan. You always kept me alive, I didn’t know it was… I didn’t know you don’t like doing it.”

Obi-Wan pulled out his car keys, muttering reluctantly, “It’s not that I don’t like it.”

“Then why quit?” Anakin asked, studying his face.

“I like it too much,” Obi-Wan said. Anakin tipped his head to the side curiously, and Obi-Wan clarified quickly. “WoW, I mean. I like the game too much. I spend too much time playing, that's why I need to quit. I need to spend more time on other things.” 

He leaned back against the side of his car, and gave Anakin another look, from his black combat boots to his messy hair. Far too handsome. “Why do you even play so much?”

“What?” Anakin asked blankly.

“I’ve always wondered, but it never felt right to ask,” Obi-Wan said lightly. “It seemed like you were always online, Anakin. Whenever I was on, you were there.”

Anakin looked indecisive and then reckless. He began pulling at the glove of his right hand, taking it off slowly. Obi-Wan watched in confusion at how a bare hand was relevant to the conversation—then the glove was gone, and Anakin raised his hand and shook it a little. 

Obi-Wan realized all at once that it was a prosthetic. He stood up straight, walking forward two steps, needing to get closer and really look at the metal hand that Anakin was showing him. It was extraordinarily advanced, a marvel of engineering, almost something from science fiction. 

He gave Anakin a sharp look. “How?”

“What do you mean? How did I lose it?” Anakin began putting the glove back on. 

“Well…” Obi-Wan stared at him, feeling numb. His memory was suddenly flooded with recollections of the most sublime examples of play he’d ever witnessed Anakin pull off, almost miraculously. “Yes, I mean I want to know that too, but… Anakin, how are you the best tank on the server, playing with just one hand? Your non-dominant hand? Isn’t that… Isn’t that difficult?”

Anakin blushed deeply at his comment and ran a hand—his left hand, always his left hand—anxiously through his hair, brushing off snow. He sounded embarrassed. “I… I’m good at writing macros, I guess. I automate a lot and I use keyboard shortcuts. The arm is myoelectric so it’s not… it’s not just passive, I can use it some.” He demonstrated the movement of the fingers, and then looked nervous. 

Obi-Wan felt a surge of pride and fondness, as well as a wave of regret. He shook his head, abashed—he’d never imagined how much work Anakin must have put in behind the scenes to make it all possible. “I apologize for taking credit in the bar for what you’ve done, Anakin. That is truly remarkable. You are an extremely capable player, and I would have never known if you hadn’t told me.”

“Thank you.” Anakin looked down, fidgeting slightly. He was so pink. 

The snow falling all around made it feel like the city was hushed, and the world was made strangely private. There was nothing except them, nothing except him. Obi-Wan felt the need to match the hush, his voice gentle. “How did you lose it?”

Anakin shrugged, scuffing his foot in the snow and looking down. “Back when I first joined the guild, I was still in Afghanistan, you know? I was a Marine. I could play sometimes on base, and I… I liked the escape.”

“I didn’t know,” Obi-Wan said, thinking back and drawing a blank. “You never said. I knew you quit for a year, once you hit level cap. You said you got bored.” Anakin barked a laugh without humor, and it felt like a punch in the stomach. “What really happened, Anakin?”

Anakin touched the scar on his face absently, and took a deep breath. His eyes were so far away. “IED. I got really lucky.”

“Why haven’t you…” Obi-Wan pressed his lips together and his hand twitched, but he kept it down. “Why doesn’t the guild know, Anakin?”

Anakin shook his head, staring at the ground. “I… it’s none of their business. I’m a good tank, it doesn’t matter if I have one real hand or…” He nervously rubbed his right hand with the left, looking so awkward, so ashamed. 

Obi-Wan shook his head again, harder. “No, Anakin, I mean… I thought the guild was…” His hand rose without permission, touching Anakin lightly on the arm for a moment before he pulled it back. “This is something you could tell your friends.”

At the word friends, Anakin’s eyes flicked up to meet his, before darting away. “I didn’t want you to treat me differently, alright? I like that nobody knows. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me.” He took a shaky breath, finishing in an undertone that Obi-Wan had to lean forward to hear. “I didn’t want you to feel sorry for me.”

“I’m not sorry…” Obi-Wan touched Anakin’s arm again, meeting his eyes. “I’m really impressed. I’m proud of you, Anakin.”

Anakin swallowed loudly, and Obi-Wan’s gaze tracked the motion of his throat before returning to his face. Anakin’s expression was vulnerable, his voice small. “You are? You’re so… You’re so hard on me.” 

Obi-Wan shook his head, and leaned closer, needing him to understand. “It’s because you’re the best, Anakin. I expect so much from you because I know you can do it. I’m sorry I was…” He didn’t know how to describe how angry he’d been after the Sunday raid. “I’m so sorry about that. What you’ve done, how you play… It’s amazing.”

“Th-thank you. Please…” Anakin swallowed again, “Please don’t quit, Obi-Wan. I like… I like playing with you. I like playing while you’re playing.” He finished slightly awkwardly, and cringed.

Obi-Wan stared at him, finally feeling like his strange cognitive dissonance was beginning to heal—Vader’s voice was starting to belong to Anakin, and Obi-Wan’s memories were adjusting rapidly, all his interactions with Vader irrevocably altered by the image of who had been on the other side the whole time. 

His hand closed on Anakin’s arm, squeezing him tightly. “I won’t quit, Anakin. I’ll keep playing.”

Anakin let out a relieved breath, and Obi-Wan could feel it against his face, they were so close. Anakin’s eyes were full of so much gratitude—almost too much. “Thank you, Obi-Wan. I like when you tell me what to do, it…” He looked down, scuffing his foot again in the snow. “It helps.” 

“Helps what?” Obi-Wan asked, studying his face closely.

“Me. I don’t know.” Anakin sounded embarrassed, and he couldn’t meet Obi-Wan’s eyes. “I like knowing what I’m supposed to do. It feels like I don’t… I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time.” 

Obi-Wan felt a thrill down his spine—Anakin’s words went straight to his cock, and he blinked in surprise. It sounded like Anakin was admitting something. He tried to clarify, his voice slightly lower, “You like when I tell you what to do?”

Anakin swallowed, and nodded slightly in confirmation. His breathing was so fast, so shallow. He was almost trembling, and Obi-Wan’s cock throbbed again.

He moved his hand from Anakin’s arm to his face, lightly cupping his cheek and running a thumb along his sharp cheekbone. It was like petting a wild thing, vibrating with simultaneous desire to flee and stay. “Do you want me to tell you what to do, Anakin?”

Anakin exhaled sharply, and nodded, pushing his head into Obi-Wan’s hand. 

“In the game?” Obi-Wan asked cautiously, appreciating the soft, warm skin of Anakin’s cheek against his palm, still stroking him gently with his thumb. “Or now?”

Anakin’s eyes slid shut, and he took a shaky breath. His whispered, “Both,” was so quiet as to be almost inaudible. 

“Come home with me,” Obi-Wan said quietly. His hand slid back into Anakin’s hair, and he gently pulled his face closer. 

Anakin’s eyes met his—they were so blue, so wide—he looked disbelieving, anxious, eager. He licked his lips and whispered, “Okay.”  

Obi-Wan’s lips quirked up into a small smile that Anakin returned gratefully. In the game, Anakin always eventually acknowledged Obi-Wan’s orders with a murmured, heated ‘Okay.’ The sound of Vader finally hearing and obeying orders had haunted Obi-Wan’s dreams for months. 

Obi-Wan rubbed Anakin’s cheekbone again, feeling another spike of arousal. This wasn’t a stranger. This was Vader. 

He pulled Anakin closer, “Kiss me.”

“Okay,” Anakin breathed the word against Obi-Wan’s mouth, closing the gap. “Okay.”  

Their lips met, and it was perfect. Obi-Wan’s eyes slid shut, falling into the softness of Anakin’s lips, the warmth of his body. The entire world fell away except for Anakin. Obi-Wan brought his other hand up, cradling his head, their lips moving slowly together. 

Anakin kissed him back tentatively and then eagerly, his hands sliding to the back of Obi-Wan’s coat, pulling him closer. Obi-Wan smiled and deepened the kiss, sucking Anakin’s plump bottom lip into his mouth—like he’d wanted to do since the first moment he’d seen him.

Anakin moaned loudly, pulling his head back. His pupils had blown wide, his cheeks flushed. He stared at Obi-Wan for a long moment, and then he startled as if waking up. He pulled his right hand back sharply, and then dropped the left, stepping back out of Obi-Wan’s embrace. 

Obi-Wan’s arms dropped as Anakin left them, and he frowned. “Explain.”

“I’m sorry,” Anakin said, looking down. “I didn’t mean to…” He didn’t finish his sentence, and looked confused and ashamed. “I haven’t… Not since I was…” He lifted and lowered his right hand quickly. “Does it bother you? I’m sorry if…”

“Stop apologizing,” Obi-Wan gave him a quiet order. “It is not necessary.”

Anakin huffed out a breath, and mumbled, “Okay.” 

Obi-Wan considered his tense posture, his lowered gaze. He reached out for Anakin’s hand slowly, giving Anakin time to move it away. “It does not bother me to touch your prosthetic, Anakin. You don’t need to hide it from me.” 

Anakin watched his hand approach with an almost nauseated expression. “Are you sure?”

“I am sure,” Obi-Wan smiled at him. He took Anakin’s right hand in his, squeezing the gloved prosthetic tightly. He made eye contact, repeating his request. “Come home with me.”

“Okay,” Anakin said, his voice slightly thick.

Obi-Wan tugged him toward the car. “Help me dust off the snow.”

Anakin nodded as if glad to have a concrete task he could manage. He set about it quickly, sending Obi-Wan a sideways look, “Where are your gloves?”

“In the car,” Obi-Wan grumbled. 

Anakin laughed at him, and Obi-Wan felt a surge of affection. The familiar cadence and rhythm of Vader’s happiness was incredible to hear in person, and it was beautiful to finally see the grin behind the laugh. 

Obi-Wan smiled fondly at Anakin, who did a double take at his expression and then blushed deeply, getting back to work brushing snow off the rear window. 

Obi-Wan turned away and used his bare fingers to delicately brush the snow from the handle, and opened the driver side door. Snow fell on his hands, and he shook it off. He barely felt the cold—his heart was pounding, his cock was thick in his pants.

He helped Anakin finish clearing the windshield and tipped his head towards the car. “Get in.”

“Okay,” Anakin smiled. He collapsed into the passenger seat, a pile of limbs. He gave Obi-Wan a sideways look. “Why did you miss the Tuesday raid?”

“Quinlan threatened me with extra night shifts with the on-call beeper.” Obi-Wan signaled and pulled away from the curb, driving them safely home. While he was not wary of the snow per se, he was wary of the other drivers in the snow. Anakin sighed at his abundance of caution, and Obi-Wan suppressed a smile. “How about you?”

“Same, I suppose,” Anakin said ruefully. “Padmé plays dirty. We’re roommates and she’ll steal and hide the router when she wants a wingman.”

Obi-Wan felt a tug of curiosity. “Who is she?”

“She’s a good friend,” Anakin shrugged. “We dated briefly before I was deployed, and it didn’t last through that. She helped me a lot with some…” His hands shifted in lap, his posture growing more tense. “Getting into college when I got back.” He did not explain further, but let the silence extend. Obi-Wan shot a look sideways, checking his expression. 

He was nervous, why was he so nervous?  

Obi-Wan spoke in a light tone. “Did the latest patch alter your rotation at all?”

Anakin looked surprised by the change of subject, and then relieved. “No, nothing substantial. I was lucky this time.”

Obi-Wan also sighed with relief, coming to stop at a red light. He gave Anakin an arched look. “Not going to change your class out of nowhere again?”

“Are you still mad I switched from Skyguy to Vader?” Anakin laughed. “That was at least a year and a half ago.”

Obi-Wan gave him an annoyed look. “I know it was. It’s made my life hell, you know.”

“Why? Is this why you’ve been yelling at me so much?” Anakin asked, baffled.

Obi-Wan sighed, “Yes, I think so. Things were a lot easier on me when Skyguy was your main.”

“Why?” Anakin crossed his arms. “Why do you hate Vader so much?”

“I don’t hate Vader,” Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. The light turned green, and he turned his attention back to the road. “You know I play a Holy Paladin, I’m the primary tank healer. That’s like my whole job—keeping you alive. It was just easier when you played a Protection Paladin. But with a Blood Death Knight, your bars are so spiky because of all the ways you regen—”

Anakin cut him off, his voice knowing, “Death Strike heals for 25% of all damage taken in the last 5 sec, minimum 7% of maximum health.”

“Yes, exactly,” Obi-Wan said, giving him a dark look. “Death Knights are all about self healing. It felt like you were trying to show you didn’t need me, punish me somehow. I wasn’t sure what I did.”

“That’s not why, I promise.” Anakin said earnestly. “I only play as Vader because I’m able to survive so much longer than I ever could as Skyguy. It’s to keep the whole party alive.”

“I know,” Obi-Wan shook his head, finally turning onto his street. “It’s just that I have to figure out the pattern of your rotation so that I don’t heal when you don’t actually need healing. I end up overhealing you all the time when you act unpredictably and take unpredictable damage.”

He turned into his driveway, frowning as he drove over a bump of many inches of unshoveled snow on his sidewalk. 

“I’ve… I’ve noticed that happen a couple times.” Anakin admitted, looking around his garage curiously. 

Obi-Wan put the car in park, looked over at Anakin in disbelief and scoffed, “Couple times.” 

“Yeah,” Anakin grinned at him, unfastening his seatbelt. “Once or twice. A couple times.”

Anakin’s smile was so beautiful, Obi-Wan’s chest hurt. He turned and exited the car almost feeling like he was running away. 

“So you just don’t like overhealing?” Anakin climbed out of the car, giving him a funny look. “Is that really the whole problem?” 

Obi-Wan shook his head, gesturing for Anakin to follow and leading him in, talking over his shoulder. “Every time I overheal it is a waste, but that’s not the real problem. It’s just so frustrating trying to monitor your bar and the rest of the raid.” Obi-Wan sighed, thinking of Sunday. “I need to know what’s going on with you, Anakin. I can’t keep trying to guess. We have to communicate better.”

He began to remove his coat and boots in the hallway, and Anakin did the same, his eyes lingering on Obi-Wan in a way that made Obi-Wan feel hot and staticky. Their proximity was beginning to recharge with electricity—the narrow, dim hallway felt both cavernous and too small. They were alone, they could touch.  

All of his frustration with Vader, years of it, had crashed headlong into his desire for the handsome man who’d been pouting in a bar on a random Tuesday. They were the same. Anakin was Vader. Vader was Anakin.  

Obi-Wan hung his scarf and gave Anakin’s coatless body a long, considering look. He was wearing a tight, long-sleeved black henley and jeans—displaying the strength of his chest and the length of his limbs. Obi-Wan felt his hands twitch, flooded with an overwhelming instinct to pull him closer, or push him against the wall, fuck him here, there, on the floor, against the wall.

Obi-Wan turned sharply, heading to the kitchen. 

Not yet. 

Anakin followed him through the tidy labyrinth of his house, slowing down as they passed Obi-Wan's office and gaming computer. Obi-Wan sighed, and placed a hand on his back, directing him forward down the hall and through the door into the kitchen, sitting him on a stool. 

“I really am sorry about yelling at you on Sunday.” Obi-Wan turned and began to make himself tea, continuing to speak absently. “It’s just been so stressful lately, Anakin. You keep almost dying, almost every raid. I’ve had literal stress dreams about letting you die.” He scratched his beard and sent Anakin a curious look. “Do you want coffee?” 

Anakin ignored the question, his eyes wide, “You’ve dreamed of that? Why haven’t you told me to stop playing Vader?” 

“You’re a really good Blood DK. I couldn’t tell you to stop,” Obi-Wan said seriously. “Tell me if you want coffee, tea, or water.”

Anakin smiled at him, his eyes lighting up at a direct order. “Water, please.”

Obi-Wan filled a glass and set it in front of him, standing across the island. “Drink your water, Anakin.”

“Okay,” Anakin pulled it close. Obi-Wan gave him an evaluating stare, and Anakin began to drink. Obi-Wan nodded and turned away, back to his rapidly boiling electric kettle. 

He spoke over his shoulder, “I never told you to stop because someone should play that class. It is very useful. You’re easily the best at tanking in the guild, and I certainly wouldn’t want anybody else to play it.” 

“Anyone could do it,” Anakin said diffidently, embarrassed by Obi-Wan’s praise. He ran his hand through his hair and gestured vaguely. “You just drop Death and Decay on a group and follow up with Blood Boil. It’s nothing special.”

Obi-Wan barked a laugh, pouring steaming water into his favorite mug. The familiar scent of his tea made him feel truly at home. He inhaled deeply and held the mug close, absorbing the warmth into his hands. He walked back towards the island, taking a small sip and setting the tea down carefully. 

He met Anakin’s eyes, and tried to explain to him just how extraordinary he was. “You are precise beyond imagination, Anakin. You are reckless, but never sloppy. You pull early, but never by accident. You’re skilled enough to take hits that take you incredibly close to zero and then somehow manage to survive until regen. Nobody else can do what you do. You are the best. I would never ask you to stop that.”

“Thank you,” Anakin sounded overwhelmed. He looked almost anxious, and Obi-Wan thought he had no idea what to do with praise. The thought made him frown. 

“Drink your water,” Obi-Wan said gently, giving him a task. Anakin looked at him with such gratitude, Obi-Wan felt his cock twitch. He took another sip of his tea, and watched as Anakin’s throat moved. It was so surreal to have someone in his house after so long, someone so handsome, someone there asking to be… 

Anakin set down the empty glass and looked up for further instructions. 

Obi-Wan smiled at him. “Good, thank you. Do you need the restroom? It’s back down the hall.” Anakin shook his head mutely. “Tell me when you need it.”

“Okay,” Anakin said happily. His eyes flicked around the kitchen, looking fascinated from his calendar, to the messy whiteboard on the fridge, to the dishes drying in the rack. He seemed to be searching for something, or perhaps appreciating something. Obi-Wan wasn’t sure it was just the domesticity, or if he was looking for the signs of anyone else. 

There were none for him to find. 

Obi-Wan took another gulp of tea and set it aside thoughtfully. “Anakin, listen to me.” 

Anakin startled, and looked back over. He swallowed when Obi-Wan made intense eye contact. “Do you understand that you can say no at any point, and I won’t be angry? You can say no to anything, leave at any time. I will pay for the lyft. Any time, any point. You are free to say no.” 

“I know, Obi-Wan,” Anakin nodded hastily. “I don’t want to leave.”

“Good,” Obi-Wan said, relieved. “Because I very much want to fuck you, Anakin.”

Anakin’s cheeks flamed red, and his breathing hitched. He murmured, “Please.”

Obi-Wan smiled, and took one last sip of his tea. Anakin’s unsteady breathing was loud in his small kitchen, and Obi-Wan felt his cock begin to ache with arousal. His mind was flooded with possibilities, sorting and eliminating options. He could fuck him right here, now, over the table—he could walk around, bend Anakin over, and slide his cock inside, fuck him here… He shook his head slightly, clearing his vision.

Anakin was watching his face closely—he was so focused, so intent, that Obi-Wan could easily imagine him at home, alone at his computer, playing the game with him and listening to his orders. They’d spent so much time together, without knowing almost anything about each other. He almost knew Anakin better than anyone, but he didn’t know anything about him at all.

Obi-Wan wanted to know everything. His voice was gentle, but firm. “Stand up.”

“Okay,” Anakin breathed. 

He slid off his stool and straightened quickly, his posture perfect. He looked eagerly at Obi-Wan, trembling with anticipation for what he had to do next. His chest was rising and falling quickly with his rapid, shallow breathing. 

Obi-Wan nodded in satisfaction, “Follow me.” 

He led Anakin back through the hallway, and gestured for him to enter his bedroom first. Anakin readily obeyed nonverbal instructions just as well as verbal ones, and Obi-Wan smiled softly, following him inside. He looked Anakin up and down, appreciating his body again. “Take off your clothes.”

Anakin gave him a startled look. “All of them?”

“Yes,” Obi-Wan said, amused. “All of them.”

“Okay,” Anakin murmured. He shot Obi-Wan an insecure look. “Just, I have... I have scars. My arm, and… some burns.”

“I know you have scars,” Obi-Wan said, stepping closer. He brushed the tips of his fingers on the pink scar over Anakin’s eye. Anakin blinked rapidly at his touch, his long eyelashes fluttering. He swallowed nervously, resisting his instinct to pull away. “It does not bother me. Let me see them, Anakin. I need to see. Let me look at you.”

“Okay,” Anakin said in an insecure tone. He swallowed again, and Obi-Wan watched his Adam’s apple rise and fall. “It’s just that they’re really big.”

“Anakin, take off your shirt.” Obi-Wan’s tone of command was less gentle. “I don’t want to ask again.”

“Okay,” Anakin said a little more heatedly. “Okay.” He pulled off his henley quickly, and threw it on the floor. He gave Obi-Wan a vulnerable, defensive look, daring him to react. 

Obi-Wan kept his face smooth, his voice quiet and calm. “May I touch them?”

Anakin’s eyes were flicking between his, trying to find judgement, or revulsion. Obi-Wan made sure he found none, because there was none to find. Anakin was beautiful. There were indeed large patches of raised, pink scars on his right arm and shoulder, down the right side of his chest to his hip, but they didn’t detract from his beauty. They were his. He’d survived.

Obi-Wan ran his fingers across Anakin’s collarbone, down his right arm. Anakin hissed a breath as he touched the scars. Obi-Wan lifted his hand slightly, checking Anakin’s face. “Does that hurt?”

Anakin shook his head. Obi-Wan laid his fingers back on the large scar on Anakin’s bicep, and he whimpered slightly. Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. “Is it sensitive?” 

“N-no,” Anakin muttered. His eyes were fixed on the hand as it slid nearer to his elbow, nearer to the point of connection with his prosthetic. “The sensation is actually muted somewhat due to nerve damage. It’s just…” He trailed off, whimpering slightly as Obi-Wan’s hand cupped his elbow. “I don’t let people touch me… Them, I mean them, the scars.”

“Thank you, Anakin,” Obi-Wan said quietly. He ran his hand down the length of the prosthetic, and squeezed the fingers again before letting go. “Thank you for letting me see. Thank you for letting me touch you. I want to touch you very much—you are very beautiful, Anakin.”

Anakin scoffed quietly, and Obi-Wan frowned at him. “Do not laugh. You are, because I said you are. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” Anakin licked his lips. “Okay.”

Obi-Wan nodded crisply, satisfied by his response. “Take off your pants.”

Anakin sucked in an inhale, and began to say, “There are more—”

“Take them off,” Obi-Wan cut him off. Anakin still hesitated, and Obi-Wan gave him a stern look. “Can you follow simple instructions, Vader?”

“Okay,” Anakin blushed, his hands moving to his belt. 

Obi-Wan shook his head at him fondly. How many times had Obi-Wan asked him that question before? A hundred, a thousand? He pulled his own sweater off, folding it and setting it on the dresser. He looked back at Anakin, and bit his lip, his heart stopping and restarting with a pounding rhythm. 

Anakin was naked, his pants and socks were in a messy pile on the floor beside him. He was standing anxiously, rocking on the balls of his feet. His cock was thick and flushed, and looked achingly hard. It jutted out slightly, moving as he moved. 

His body was almost a work of art, it was so perfect. The scarring didn’t detract at all, only made his body his, only made his body special.  

Obi-Wan quickly unfastened his own belt, pulling his pants down and taking off his socks. He picked it all up, folding it semi-sloppily and set it aside. Anakin was grinning at him. “Do you want to fold my clothes too? Will this bother you?” He kicked at the pile by his feet. 

Obi-Wan gave him as flat a look as he could with his heart beating out of his chest. “I can ignore it.” 

Anakin’s eyes strayed down to his cock, and he licked his lips. His pouting bottom lip shined slightly with his saliva, and Obi-Wan abruptly took two steps forward quickly, kissing him hard, sucking his lip back into his mouth—unable to stay back, unable to resist, not for another moment. 

Anakin made a muffled sound of surprise, and then moaned loudly, kissing him back with equal desperation. Obi-Wan licked into his mouth, and their tongues met. Obi-Wan made a low noise as his cock throbbed hard. He put his hand in Anakin’s hair, tugging him gently, holding him close. Anakin whined, and pressed his cock against Obi-Wan’s. 

Obi-Wan pulled back, breathing slightly harder. He smiled at the intoxicated look on Anakin’s face. “Lay down on the bed.”

“Can I…” Anakin’s eyes slid down again, biting his bottom lip for a moment. “Please, can I…”

Obi-Wan shook his head. “Not this time, I want to fuck you, Anakin. I can’t come in your mouth, as much as I’d like to.” He gave Anakin a gentle push. “Lay on your stomach, now.”

“Okay,” Anakin murmured. He put a knee on the bed, and looked back. “Another time? I’ve wanted to for so long.”

Obi-Wan’s cock ached. “You’ve wanted to suck my cock? Did my voice make you hard while we played, Anakin? Did it make you want to get on your knees?” 

Anakin nodded shyly as he lay down, his face turned away and then pressed into a pillow. Obi-Wan’s eyes slid from his messy curls, down his long back, to his feet and back, settling to stare at the curve of Anakin's ass. He stepped to his bedside table, pulling out lube and a condom, tossing them onto the bed. 

“You really have been such an unmitigated brat in raids lately. Is that why?” Obi-Wan asked quietly, his tone low and amused. “Spread your legs.” Anakin whimpered and his legs opened slightly—not far enough. “Wider.”

“Is this okay?” Anakin asked anxiously as he exposed himself more, his head turning to the side so he could look at Obi-Wan’s face. 

Obi-Wan gave him an approving nod, and Anakin turned his face back to the pillow. He was flushed so red, his blush had spread down his neck to his chest. Obi-Wan climbed onto the bed, settling between Anakin’s spread legs. He grabbed another pillow and tapped on Anakin’s hips. 

Anakin obeyed his nonverbal command, letting Obi-Wan slide it underneath him, adjusting his body to lay exactly how he wanted him. He whined when Obi-Wan gently stroked his cock, making sure he was comfortable. Obi-Wan spread his legs slightly farther, spreading him open wide, exposing his ass—Obi-Wan hummed with satisfaction at the sight of Anakin’s tight, pink entrance. He was so perfect.

He ran his fingers lightly down the back of Anakin’s thigh, touching the scars. He spoke in a quiet, intent voice. “Do you know why it’s very interesting to me to hear that you’ve wanted to suck my cock for so long, Anakin?” 

Anakin moaned into the pillow, “Why?”

“Because,” Obi-Wan murmured, stroking his back gently. “I’ve wanted for so very long to shove my cock deep in your insolent, bratty mouth, Vader.”

Anakin’s hips jerked down, and he gasped, turning to make eye contact, “Really?”

“Yes,” Obi-Wan confirmed. He popped the top of the lube, making his hands very slick. He was going to touch him, all over, everywhere he wanted.  

“Oh,” Anakin slumped back down, rocking his hips slightly to rub his cock against the pillow. Obi-Wan placed a stilling hand on his hips, preventing him from moving further. Anakin mumbled something inaudible but sullen, and stopped trying to move.

Obi-Wan stroked the curve of his ass, murmuring in his same intent tone, “Your attitude has been so infuriating, my darling. You’ve made me hard when I’ve been trying to focus on keeping you alive.” 

Anakin made an incredulous sound, his hips jerking again at his words, and Obi-Wan smiled at his neediness. He stroked Anakin’s leg from calf to thigh, running his fingers over the varying texture of the scars. 

A flood of memories filled his mind—all the times he’d gotten hard despite desperately trying to focus on the game. He shook his head ruefully, “You would mouth off, and I just wanted to make you quiet. I wanted to shove my cock down your throat until you gagged, Anakin, I was so frustrated.”

Obi-Wan noticed precome leaking from Anakin’s cock, the head was shiny with it. He swiped a finger along the slit in satisfaction, adding his precome to the slick lube on his finger.

“Please,” Anakin begged at the contact. “Please touch me more there, I want…”

Obi-Wan smacked him lightly on the ass, and Anakin moaned loudly. Obi-Wan stroked down the ridges in his spine apologetically and murmured, “Patience, Vader. Patience.”

“I’m sorry, Ben,” Anakin whined, and Obi-Wan’s eyes slid closed at the spike of arousal that pierced his stomach, his already hard cock twitching. He’d imagined Vader saying his name like that so many times—the idea of it would haunt his dreams, and drive him mad in the shower until he took his cock in his hand, stroking himself quickly and coming hard at the memory of a voice

“Very good, Anakin.” Obi-Wan’s voice was husky and low, and Anakin’s hips jerked again. “Stay still. Have you been with a man before?”

“N-no,” Anakin twisted anxiously to look at him. “Never, is that okay? Is that—”

“That’s fine, Anakin. Don’t worry about it.” Obi-Wan stroked him down the spine again, reassuring him. 

Anakin still looked embarrassed, so Obi-Wan moved his hand lower, stroking from Anakin’s balls back up to his ass. He gently circled the tips of his fingers around the sensitive skin of his entrance. Anakin’s jaw dropped and he gasped, his eyes sliding shut. He seemed frozen, overwhelmed by the soft, teasing touch against his hole. 

Obi-Wan asked roughly, “Has anyone touched you here?” 

“No,” Anakin shook his head, his eyes opening, his eyes almost black with desire. “I mean, me, I have. Only me.” 

Obi-Wan slid a slick finger inside, and Anakin moaned loudly, incredulous pleasure washing across his face. Obi-Wan began gently working his finger in and out, sliding deeper each time. He spoke quickly, his tone urgent, “I’m going to open you up, make you feel good, so please do as I tell you, and relax.”

“Okay,” Anakin whined, turning his face back down, his voice becoming muffled. “Okay.”

Obi-Wan stroked down his back with his free hand, encouraging him to get comfortable. He began fucking Anakin more quickly with his finger, murmuring a list of questions, “Did you think about me when you touched yourself, Anakin? Did you think about my voice? Did you come with your fingers in your ass, pretending they were mine, my cock?” 

Anakin whined affirmatively, and Obi-Wan began to use two fingers, scissoring him open and fucking him gently. “Tell me which, did you pretend they were my fingers or my cock?”

“Both, Ben.” Anakin said breathily. “Both.”

“Good,” Obi-Wan said, a smile growing on his face. He fucked Anakin harder with his fingers, pressing down, finding and stroking against the spot that made Anakin’s hips jerk and him groan loudly.

Obi-Wan smiled and stroked there again, speaking pensively, “I wonder, if I fuck you, will we play better together, Anakin? Will you behave for me? Will you be good? Is it even possible for you to be good for me, Vader?” He laughed at the idea, sliding his fingers out. 

“What?” Anakin twisted around with a pout at the loss of Obi-Wan’s fingers. “What did you say?” 

“Of course, you wouldn’t hear that,” Obi-Wan shook his head at him, amused. “Relax, now. I think you’re ready for me to fuck you, but you have to relax or you won’t be able to take my cock easily.” He stroked down Anakin’s inner thighs, pushing them farther apart, making sure he was spread wide. “I want you to take it easily.”

“Okay,” Anakin nodded, laying back down, wiggling a little, getting comfortable. It was so cute that Obi-Wan couldn’t resist smacking his ass again lightly. He grabbed the soft, round cheek, gently squeezing the strong muscle. Anakin’s hips jerked and he grumbled something unintelligible into the pillow. 

Obi-Wan sat back to roll on the condom and slick himself with lube. He dispensed extra on his fingers and touched Anakin’s ass again, pressing inside, trying to spread lube deep inside. Anakin whined loudly at the stretch, and Obi-Wan’s cock throbbed. He pulled out his fingers quickly. He couldn’t wait, not a moment longer…

Obi-Wan pulled Anakin’s hips up and back, adjusting him to just the right height for him to fuck him from his knees. Anakin’s back extended in a graceful arc, and Obi-Wan slid his hand down, appreciating his soft skin and the pattern of his scars. He was beautiful. 

“Relax,” Obi-Wan ordered, one final time. His voice was rough, and Anakin whimpered, nodding into the pillow. Obi-Wan watched him intentionally relax as much as possible, and then pressed the head of his cock against Anakin’s entrance. 

Anakin gasped at the contact, and then moaned loudly as Obi-Wan slowly worked the tip inside. The sound made Obi-Wan’s hips thrust forward slightly, and Anakin tensed. 

Obi-Wan let out a noise deep in his throat and paused, letting him adjust. He focused on keeping his breathing steady. He stroked Anakin’s spine, trying not to focus on the incredible sensation of the tip of his cock buried in Anakin’s ass. 

“You’re doing so well, sweetheart,” he said, stroking Anakin’s back again. Obi-Wan felt him relax slightly around his cock and murmured, “Very good, very well done, thank you, Anakin, so very good for me.”

Anakin twitched as he spoke, involuntarily rocking his hips and fucking back on Obi-Wan’s cock. He gasped and then moaned, repeating the motion cautiously and then again with more force, beginning to fuck himself gently open on Obi-Wan’s cock. 

Obi-Wan’s eyes slid closed and he tried to stay in control—it seemed that praise made Anakin relaxed, so Obi-Wan kept doing it, pushing his hips forward as Anakin rocked back towards him and took his cock, inch by inch.

“Very good, yes, perfect, you’re doing so well, Anakin,” Obi-Wan murmured. He shook his head in incredulous awe, “I can’t believe I’m first to fuck your perfect little ass, Anakin, you’re so tight, you feel so good.”

“Do I? Am I?” Anakin asked, his voice a slur of pleasure. “I’m okay?” 

“Yes, darling, you are much more than okay,” Obi-Wan murmured warmly. He appreciated the curve of Anakin’s back again, stroking him down the spine before moving his hands to hold his hips tightly.

Obi-Wan took a deep breath and finally thrust his hips forward with more force, getting Anakin to take it all. There was a slapping sound as their hips met, and Anakin moaned loudly at taking the whole thing. 

Obi-Wan paused for a moment, appreciating the way Anakin’s tight body took his cock, enjoying the way his scarred, muscled back looked laid out in front of him. So beautiful.

He began fucking him gently, “You’re doing perfectly, Anakin..." His hips sped up for a moment before he changed his mind, and he pulled out his cock, "... but I want to see you."

“What?” Anakin twisted around and looked at Obi-Wan very grumpily at the abrupt loss of his cock.

Obi-Wan grinned at the expression on his face, and Anakin’s frustration melted. He smiled sheepishly, and repeated, in a much more civil tone, “What?”

“Flip over, Anakin, I want to see you” Obi-Wan said, his smile still on his lips. Anakin nodded, obeying immediately. Obi-Wan gave him a fond look, and grabbed his legs by the knees, pushing them up and out. “Here, hold these.” 

“Okay,” Anakin said agreeably. He held and separated his legs, exposing himself without self-consciousness. His request turned into a whine, “Fuck me please, Obi-Wan, Ben, fuck me, please, I want—”

Obi-Wan leaned forward and kissed him, stopping his mouth and cutting off his whining, just like he’d always wanted. He kissed him deeply, pushing his tongue deep into Anakin’s mouth at the same time as he lined up his cock, pushing the tip gently inside. 

Anakin’s head dropped back, breaking the kiss, and Obi-Wan smiled at him. He thrust forward, sliding the length of his cock deep inside, making him take it all.

Anakin gasped, and it was impossibly cute—his eyes widening and mouth opening as he took Obi-Wan’s cock. Obi-Wan fucked into him harder, and Anakin moaned, his eyes rolling back. 

Obi-Wan smiled, and began to fuck into him faster. Anakin took his cock beautifully, instinctively beginning to roll his hips back, meeting Obi-Wan’s hips in rhythm. They began almost immediately to synchronize their motion into a regular pattern, working together to find the right angle, the right speed, the right force for Obi-Wan to thrust deeply and smoothly. 

“Perfect, Anakin, exactly like that, you’re so perfect.” Obi-Wan groaned as he slid a hand into Anakin’s hair, tugging a little, “Look at me.” 

Anakin opened his eyes, and his expression was so soaked with pleasure that Obi-Wan felt compelled to kiss him, no matter how sloppily he was able to kiss back. Anakin participated as much as he could in the kiss—his attention was split between the kiss, his effort of holding his legs open wide, and the feeling of Obi-Wan’s thick cock fucking into him hard.

Obi-Wan pulled back, looking deeply into Anakin’s eyes. The overwhelming surreality of having Vader in his bed and stuffed full of his cock caused Obi-Wan to break rhythm, his hand moving from his hair to gently stroke the scar over his eye.

He asked, his voice rough, “Is it really you, really Vader? I can’t believe it’s you…”

Anakin nodded fiercely, and dropped his hold on his left leg. He brought his own hand to Obi-Wan’s face, touching his cheek and stroking his beard almost reverently. He opened his mouth, and Obi-Wan knew instantly that it would be the sound of his so familiar, so precious voice that would push him to the edge—Obi-Wan was already so close to coming he could barely stand it, the pressure in his stomach so tight. 

Anakin whispered, eyes searching, “Ben?”  

“It’s me, yes,” Obi-Wan nodded at him, fucking him roughly and slowly, each thrust a punctuation. “I promise, it’s me. I can’t believe it’s really you.” 

Anakin looked up, his eyes boring into Obi-Wan’s, full of emotion. “Yes, it’s me, I’m Vader, I’m here, I promise.”  

“Good,” Obi-Wan nodded, fucking into him hard. “Just so unlikely. I never assumed.”

Anakin let go of both his legs, and wrapped his arms around Obi-Wan, pulling him close and holding him tight. Obi-Wan kept thrusting into him, and felt like he was falling into the soft warmth of Anakin’s body. Vader’s body. So perfect.

Anakin began muttering fervently and pressing kisses into the skin of Obi-Wan’s neck, “Ben, it’s you, I can’t believe it’s you, I never thought I’d meet you, Obi-Wan, I wanted to, I wanted you so much—I need you so much, I love it when you tell me what to do, I love it, I love you, Ben—” 

Obi-Wan groaned, slammed his hips in one more time, and came, his face tightening as he tipped over the edge into one of the most powerful orgasms he’d ever had—pleasure radiated in an overwhelming wave, rolling through his body. It felt like he was coming forever, one perfect moment stretched out, buried so deep inside Anakin, inside Vader.

Anakin stroked his back with both his left and his right hands, and the cool metal felt so good against his skin. Obi-Wan caught his breath for a few seconds, blinking rapidly, and then he jerked his head back. 

They looked at each other, out of breath, both startled by the words that had come out of Anakin’s mouth. 

Anakin’s expression grew apologetic, and Obi-Wan shook his head. He moved a hand to Anakin’s hard cock, stroking him before he could apologize. Anakin moaned at the contact, rolling his hips and realizing that he was still full of Obi-Wan’s cock. The apology melted off his face, going slack with pleasure and Obi-Wan began to stroke him quickly.

Obi-Wan stared at him, mind racing—I love you—and he thought rapidly back over the last few years, his emotions a writhing mess of realization. He shook his head with surprise, and looked into Anakin’s, Vader’s eyes. He exhaled hard and stroked Anakin’s cock more quickly, his wrist twisting. 

He’d been a fool to miss it, a fool to misunderstand. 

His voice came out rough, and his throat felt thick. “I think I might love you too, Anakin.”

“What?” Anakin asked, his voice so vulnerable, his face so flushed. 

Obi-Wan kept jerking his cock quickly, pressing their foreheads together for a moment before pulling back, meeting his gaze. “Why else would I care so much about keeping you alive? Why else would I miss you constantly? Why else would I dream about you? Why would I want to play all the time, any time you were on? It was all always for you. Everything I did was always for you.”

Anakin’s eyes rolled back, and he whimpered as he came—his face overwhelmed with pleasure. Obi-Wan’s palm was rapidly filled with come, and it dripped down onto Anakin’s stomach. Obi-Wan stared avidly at the expression on his face, overwhelmed with satisfaction and surprise. Watching Anakin come felt like he had accidentally won the largest lottery prize ever awarded. 

Obi-Wan kissed him, disbelieving, and Anakin wrapped him in his arms, holding him close. They stayed tangled up in each other for a long moment before Obi-Wan became truly uncomfortable, so he shifted and slid out. Anakin made a little sound of protest that made Obi-Wan grin. He was so cute.

“Sit up, come on,” Obi-Wan ordered gently. He removed the condom with a relieved sigh and got off the bed, standing by the door. “We are getting clean.”

“Are we?” Anakin asked lazily from the bed, not moving a muscle. Obi-Wan came back and tugged on his leg, and he grumbled, “Okay.”

Obi-Wan smiled at him. “Take a shower with me.”

“Okay,” Anakin said, raising his eyebrows at that concept. He sat up, finding some energy to be enthused. “That sounds nice.”

“It does,” Obi-Wan agreed gently. He began shepherding Anakin out the door and towards the bathroom, and then had a thought that made him feel a spike of dread. “Do you need to go home tonight, Anakin, or will you stay? I’d really like you to stay.”

“I’ll stay,” Anakin said brightly, and the ball of tension in Obi-Wan’s stomach released. He pushed him into the bathroom, and turned on the shower, letting it heat up.

Anakin leaned against the wall, and mused, “It’s too bad I don’t have my laptop, or we could do the reset dailies together. It always goes faster with two people.”

“It does,” Obi-Wan gave him a sideways look, and got in the shower beckoning him in. “Do you know your password?”

“Why?” Anakin asked, a smile beginning on his face until he was nearly beaming. He stepped under the stream of water and leaned in close to Obi-Wan, pecking him on the lips. “Do you have a spare computer?”

“Yes,” Obi-Wan said, beginning to get clean. “I just might.”

“Then I don’t need to leave, ever,” Anakin grinned again. “You’ll never get me out.”

Obi-Wan laughed, feeling a sudden rush of certainty. He leaned forward and kissed Anakin more deeply, and then pulled back, handing him the soap with a crooked smile. “Okay.”