Darth Maul Writes the Book of Love
By Maya, Mad Mambolica
[Read Maya's author bio]
Disclaimer: George owns who he owns, I own a strong character. For that I thank J-, C-, N-, and others. I have based this on Siubhan's Sith Academy, because I know it will never make the canon, but I think it had to be written. Warning: Listening to Neil Diamond or Depeche Mode when you're depressed may be bad for your heart.
There was a knock on the door, which Maul knew instinctively wasn't his master. Damn Jedi, always right on time. The Sith quickly pulled up his freshly pressed dress pants and tucked in his black turtleneck. Catching a glimpse of himself in what was left of his floor-length mirror, Maul untucked his shirt again deciding that hanging loose was much cooler. Well dressed, but with a wild unkempt side.
"Hi Maul," said Obi-Wan in a somewhat subdued voice as Maul opened the door. "You look nice."
Maul's cheeks burned as he coughed his thank you. He struggled with the wooble in his stomach. It was particularly strong this time.
"You want a drink before we go out?" asked Maul, making for the kitchen. Obi-Wan shook his head. "Okay then, let's go." Maul grabbed his robes off the back of the couch, raising a thin cloud of cat fur.
Maul grudgingly accepted that he was excited. He was treating Obi-Wan to the opening night of Alderaanian Graffitti: the Special Edition, a night he had been looking forward to for a while. It was his way of apologizing after a nasty tiff they'd had a couple weeks earlier. There were throngs of people waiting in line and the sense of excitement was palpable.
Finally the line filed into the theatre and after a number of bland looking previews the film began.
And it was good.
Maul was very into it and never noticed how Obi-Wan kept leaning away.
They went for coffee after the film. Maul started to feel a nebulous sort of twinge settle over him. He didn't understand why, so he tuned it out. It was a nice evening so the couple chose to walk back from the café. Maul began to feel a bit unnerved by how many times Obi-Wan managed to disengage his hand from the Sith's to point things out or to gesticulate. Maul ignored it.
"What does it mean when your eyes go green?" asked Maul. They were sitting on the floor of Maul's surprisingly clean sitting room looking at photos and talking about nothing in particular. It was a touching moment.
"Are they green?" asked the Jedi, a flicker of worry passing over his smooth face.
"Ya, really green. It's a good look on you." Maul winked and reached up to his lover's face. Obi-Wan flinched and sat up.
"It, uh, means I'm upset."
"Upset?" Maul raised what would have been his eyebrow. "Why are you up - oh." There was a heavy silence. "Oh, oh no." Maul sat up and stared at Obi-Wan, disbelief and shock vying for control of his expression. The Jedi remained silent, looking back at Maul through shiny eyes.
"Oh, by the gods," whispered Maul. "Oh Force. Oh no. No, no, no, no. You are not doing this," he said, voice trembling.
"Maul please don't get angry." Obi-Wan seemed to take a handle on his emotions as he was trained to do, surpressing them, appearing calm.
"Angry?" The Sith wasn't angry, he was appalled. Aghast, stunned, but not angry. Not yet, anyway. This can be worked out, I know it can. A great, deep pain began to swell in his dark soul. "I don't understand."
"I just don't think we can keep this farce of a relationship up." Obi-Wan toyed nervously with his padawan braid. Maul stared. This is not happening. The Jedi continued, "I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, what with all my return trips to the Happy Farm and all. All that Andy Griffith, it starts to speak to you. Anyway, the fact is, if I want to persue my future as a Jedi Knight, well, it's just..." he trailed off.
Maul's bottom lip began to quiver, not the coy attention-grabber employed by padawans the galaxy over, but a heartfelt, anguished tremble. Noooooooooo! hissed his brain. Obi-Wan dropped his eyes from the crumbling face of his lover choosing to study the carpet instead. He could hear Maul whisper inside his head, I don't understand.
"You're bad for my training, you're holding me back. I find I'm isolated from my fellow Jedi because of you. It's been fun, right, but that's all it ever was. It never really got any deeper."
Something in Maul snapped.
"Pardon me? Are you blaming me for your problems?" The Sith's lips began to curl. The initial shock was replaced by -
- anger. Oh, sweet anger.
"You keep me from my training. Jedi training is very difficult and takes a lot of mental energy. Energy that I spend on you."
As a volcano which has laid dormant for too long finally blows its top, Maul responded, "I'm a bad influence on YOU?!" He jumped to his feet, gesticulating violently. "Uh hello, Kenobi, YOU went after me! Not the other way around, or had you forgotten?!"
The Jedi cautiously rose to his feet. "Well, not entirely."
"Do you know what you said to me?" asked Maul, his voice barely above a whisper.
"It's like COURTING A VIRGIN!" Maul drilled his fist into the wall. "You said that to me. Up until then I could have let it all go, but no, you went and told me in plain English that I was your fucking virgin!" The wall was not letting go of Maul's fist which he twisted gently trying to break free. "All that talk, all that time you spent making me wonder, making me second-guess myself... You deny this?"
His words bit into the Jedi's emotional wall. "No, but -"
"BUT WHAT!?" Maul yanked his hand free sending a little shower of plaster onto the floor where it settled like snow on a pizzabox civilization forcing schools to close and packing the highways leading to ski resorts out-of-town.
Arms raised in a calming, yet defensive, posture, Obi-Wan replied, "It's just that our relationship is very unbalanced and -"
"UNBALANCED?!" Maul called his lightsaber to his hand from its resting place beneath a sleeping My Apprentice. "I went to therapy because of you! Fuck you, Kenobi! You're not the only one making sacrifices, you know. I used to spend hours plotting murders, honing my rage, making a general asshole of myself, and you come along and throw me right off course.
"Damnit, I have a lot of lost time to make up. I think now's a good time to start."
Obi-Wan's veil of calm dropped like a sheet as his own lightsaber snapped into his outstretched hand. "As if you're telling me that sitting on your ass all day was training!"
Two lightsabers ignited simultaneously and crashed together between Sith and Jedi.
"Well now I know who's the important one here!" hollered Maul as the two circled each other like feral animals.
"Oh ya? Who?" Their weapons came together again in a hurried burst of feignts and parries.
"You. It's all about YOU! You wanted me, you got me." Feint, parry, uppercut, slice, block) "You start to fall behind, so you drop me because I'm not worth it. YOU! ALL YOU!"
Maul lunged forward knocking the Jedi backward, his foot narrowly missing the French Quarter of the pizzabox civilisation.
"You just can't accept that this is how it has to be!" shouted Obi-Wan as he regained his balance and returned the assault.
"Sith do NOT get dumped." The Handbook flipped its pages in agreement.
My Apprentice had had enough of the buzzing lightsabers and headed for the bedroom where ahe could wash herself without fear of being knocked with debris.
"Well, sorry to break the news, but yes, they do!"
"I do NOT accept that."
Obi-Wan was sweating heavily. "There! THAT'S IT! You're so fucking stubborn Maul! It's unlivable. You refuse to accept. Why can't you just let go?"
With a scream of rage, Maul kicked the padawan out the door.
"Sith do not accept defeat."
Obi-Wan threw a disgusted look at the Sith, its impact no less even as he lay on the ground. Keeping his eyes locked on Maul's, the Jedi rose to his feet. "Look at you, all along it's been you who insisted that it was just sex. So find someone else to fuck." Turning his back on Maul he stomped off to his apartment.
"I will. BUT YOU STILL OWE ME FOR THE MOVIE!" cried Maul. It was a cheap shot.
"Lovers' tiff, my apprentice?" oozed Darth Sidious as he strolled up the hall.
"ARAUGH!" Maul lashed out at his master, his rage complete.
If Sidious hadn't managed to shoot off a bolt of lightning when he did, he would have found himself in several bite-sized portions littering the gray carpeting of the 42nd floor.
But he managed, and Maul found himself running his hand under the tap.
"Don't try to give me that 'don't get mad, get even' crap, okay?" Maul snarled at his master when things had settled down a bit. "Er, Master," added Maul as an afterthought.
"But my apprentice, that's what Sith do. It's practically a sport."
"Ya, ya. Reveal and revenge, I know the script. Blah, blah, blah."
"I detect sarcasm, Maul."
"You will NOT speak to me like that. If you will not listen to my advice - then I'll just have to get your kitty a can of tuna."
Maul rolled his eyes, but silently thanked the grinning feline.
**You owe me one.**
It was raining. Hard. Maul was soaked through as he trudged down the empty Coruscant street. He passed through Nemoidiantown and stopped to buy a springroll from a local snack stand. He continued on through the clubbing district, neon lighting turning his tattoo many bizarre shades of puke. He stood outside the Grey Side.
It was Friday. He knew Obi-Wan would be in there, leather-clad, dancing, flirting...
Maul kept walking.
His wanderlust brought him to The Corral. They had finally finished their repairs. Fucking grapevine. Maul tried to laugh at the starched Wookiee waiting to get inside, holding a ridiculously small umbrella. Instead he thought of Obi-Wan diligently trying to show him the steps. A single tear pooled in the corner of his amber eye and silently rolled down his cheek, blending and merging with the rain before dropping from his chin. He walked on in despair.
All those times that Obi-Wan had dragged him out, seduced him, soothed him. It was all a lie. All those times when Maul had doubted his own words, knowing full well that it was beyond sex. Now he understood that he'd been used. Like a used condom, knotted and tossed into the trash. The Jedi twit had used him, Darth Maul, Sith Lord.
Maul rounded back toward his own neighborhood. The rain was finally letting up and people were braving the out-of-doors. It felt as if they were staring at him.
Wearily Maul stepped into a phone booth. He dialed the number he knew so well.
"Hi, you've reached Obi-Wan, Fluffy-Wan, and Cuddles. We can't come to the phone right now, but if you leave your name and a message as long as you like, we'd be thrilled to call you back."
Maul held the phone for a moment. He closed his eyes as the anger swelled. "Liar," he finally breathed into the mouthpiece before hanging up the phone with his clenched fist.
Slumped against the wall, phone receiver dangling by its metal cord, Maul felt loss.
/You are the sun/
/I am the moon/
/You are the words/
/I am the tune/
Maul lifted his gaze from the paused image of Darth Lara Croft to the thin wall separating him from his ex.
Not Neil Diamond, not now. I can't take it. Maul pressed 'play' on his stereo remote and upped the volume to drown out the sentimental lyrics. He also fished the last melted remains of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough out of the container on his lap.
/I want you now/
/Tomorrow won't do/
/There's a yearning inside/
/And it's showing through/
Maul found he couldn't get the remote to work. Fuck no! He needed to stop his stereo NOW. He leapt from the couch and across the room in order to make it stop sending a light shower of creamy droplets onto the floor.
He tripped on My Apprentice who yowled, hissed and slashed at her master's ankle.
/Reach out your hands/
/And accept my love/
/We've waited for too long/
/Enough is en-
Maul snatched the disc out of the player and roughly popped it back into its case. With a vicious snarl he threw the album onto the growing pile of Obi-Wan's stuff to be returned (or burned) that was growing in the corner. It had buried most of the pizzabox civilization leaving the survivors to mount an extensive rescue operation.
Maul was on his way to the Laundromat, bag'o skivvies under one arm, Tide and fabric softener under the other, when he bumped into Obi-Wan, basket of neatly folded Jedi robes in hand.
"Hello," said the padawan. Maul growled.
"Going to do laundry?" Maul glared, unable to think of a come-back.
"I haven't seen much of you lately."
"Gee Wally," intoned the Sith, "Maybe that's because you dumped me and now the sight of you makes me want to vomit copiously everywhere." Maul walked on.
"I don't understand your bitterness, Maul. You make everything so hard. I was just being civil," called the Jedi after the retreating form of the Sith.
Die, die, die, die, die.
Maul reached for a box of Corn Pops. There was another hand reaching for the same box. Maul knew the hand.
"Hey Maul," chirped Kenobi. "Gotta have your Pops?" His pained smile giving away his unease.
Maul reversed his gesture and grabbed a box of Count Chocula instead.
"Fuck you and the Jedi you rode in on," muttered Maul under his breath.
The Sith turned quickly, bringing his face inches from the Jedi. "Please what? Please don't be mad? Please don't be angry? Please what?!"
"Maul, please -"
"Please don't cause a scene Maul, I would be so terribly embarrassed for everyone in the store to know I dumped you for no good reason!" mocked Maul in an accented falsetto.
Straightening up and regaining his composure, Obi-Wan replied, "You're so stubborn. Why can't you just let it go? It would be so much easier if you just accepted that this is the way it has to be."
"It would be easier? For who? Me? Acceptance is for pansy-ass Jedi sucks." Maul dropped his voice, his tone acidic, "Like you."
"I swear by the Force, you say that one more time and Count Chocula's going where the sun don't shine." Maul shook the cereal for emphasis.
"Fine, fine. It doesn't matter. You just keep making it harder."
"Harder for who? You?"
"Well, uh," stammered the Jedi. His eyes were green again.
Maul continued bitterly, although his voice had lost some of its bite, "I didn't know it was supposed to be easy for you. I'm the one who got dumped, remember?"
A vaguely pleading expression settled over Obi-Wan's smooth features. "Maul, please."
"STOP SAYING THAT!!" Dark tendrils of the Force swirled around the hurting Sith as he rattled the cereal box again. "I think I've got a right to be pissed off right now."
Obi-Wan reached out to lay a hand on Maul's shaking arm, but he was shrugged off immediately. "I know, I know. I'm sorry, but -"
"There is no but, Obi-Wan. We're finished, you saw to that." Maul chucked the cereal into his cart and made to leave.
"Yes there is." Time slowed down in the cereal aisle. "Couldn't you, just once, admit the truth to yourself?"
Maul said nothing. What's there to admit? He merely blinked at the Jedi, incomprehension in his expression. Obi-Wan sighed.
"No, I suppose not. Sith wouldn't, I guess. Never mind." With a shrug, the padawan turned, shoulders slouched forward as he wheeled his cart toward the checkout.
Maul felt a surge of loneliness press in on him. His chest opened up and his heart plummeted, or at least it felt as though it would. He didn't want the Jedi to leave him behind. Desperation caused him to utter something. It sounded disturbingly foreign to his ears, so Maul repeated it again, louder. "I love you."
Obi-Wan stopped. Slowly, painfully slowly, the Jedi turned around, mouth open ever so slightly, "Huh?"
Maul couldn't believe what he'd just said. Kidding, so kidding, he tried to persuade himself, even as he spoke aloud, "I said I love you."
"What?" Obi-Wan approached the Sith hesitantly, "Could you say that again one more time?"
I hate you! I want you to die a thousand horri - wait, no I don't. I really don't.
Oh shit. "I love you, Obi-Wan Kenobi." An amazing burden lifted from Maul's shoulders. "There. I've said it. That's what you've needed, right? That's what you've needed me to admit, isn't it?"
"Isn't it? You'd better answer me. Sith don't like making public emotional spectacles of themselves, you know." Maul was shaking, shivering, almost on the point of collapse.
"Yes," whispered the padawan, taking Maul's hands gently in his own. They looked deeply at each other, their eyes mirroring each other's emotional states. "I love you too."
Maul smiled at Obi-Wan. "Okay then. So, do we really need two different carts?"
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