by Andrea Evans
[Read Andrea's author bio]
Disclaimer: My undying gratitude goes both to George Lucas for characters like the devilicious Darth Maul, and also to Siubhan. Without her Sith Academy, where would I get my chance to literally LOL? And where would I get my fix of M/O? ;}
BANG! The doorhandle slammed into the hole in the plaster as Darth Maul's front door was flung open for the umpteenth time. It was greeted only with silence.
Sidious, resplendent in his Palpatine guise, paused in the doorway. He decided to take advantage of the greater light from the hallway to practice his Dramatic Entrance #26, but the traditional expression of jaded smugness deflated a moment later when he noted the continuing lack of a suitably appreciative audience. He pouted and tried a mental shout.
Sidious drew breath to shout aloud and paused, sniffing at the air. Yecch. ...Nooo, surely not? His revoltingly undomesticated (yet mouthwateringly built) Apprentice couldn't have done something rash, ...well, more so than normal? Like actually eat one of those old pizza slices of his? Even those young enough not to have developed entire civilizations, weren't what you'd call the breakfast of champions. They tended to lurk under the couch, creeping out after dark to scavenge toenail clippings, horn filings, and hairballs, and hunt down occasional gym socks which strayed from the herd in the dirty laundry basket. One of the more savage pepperonis, crazed from hunger after Maul's recent cleaning jag had deprived it of its normal prey, had actually pounced on Maul's Apprentice, and had almost managed to make a Sithkitty burrito of itself before the Furry Paws of Death finally shredded the thing.
Oh well, only one way to find out. Torn exquisitely between apprehension and a certain sadistic anticipation, Sidious stepped into the darkened living room. There he saw Maul, sitting hunched forward in the couch. Staring with grit-jawed, fiery-eyed, feral concentration. ...But not, for once, at Darth Lara Croft or the latest eyewatering incarnation of Jedi Roadkill. ...At a book.
The Sith Handbook stared right back at Maul, giving as good as it got. The light from the doorway fell on the wrinkled, uneven surface of its rather suspicious leather cover, and the shadows seemed to form a wizened face, creased into a mocking grin. Sidious waited. The staredown continued. A fly blundered into the airspace between the two and vanished in a fzzt of red sparks. Neither blinked.
"Maul, what are you doing?" Sidious snapped at last.
Without turning his head, Maul grated past his clenched teeth, "I'm sorry Master," the absentminded nature of the apology was duly filed by Sidious for future revenge, "I'm just... persuading this damn book to spit it out!" The last words were a pantherish hiss of concentrated menace. If possible, the furious focus of Maul's concentration tightened. Sidious had never seen Maul throw the kitchen sink into a Mind Whammy before. He was, reluctantly and very secretly, impressed. So, it seemed, was the book, which reared back and opened just wide enough to ruffle the edges of its pages skittishly. But a moment later it rallied, and something flat and rounded poked a short way out from between its pages, lolling as insolently as a tongue. Maul pounced instantly, in a way that even made his Apprentice sit up and blink, grabbing at the shiny thing with his fingertips and heaving with all his might. The book wasn't giving up though: it growled, dug in its corners and heaved back in a grimly determined tug of war.
Sidious leaned up against the doorjamb to feast in the sight, taking in every detail of those hard young muscles. His eyes followed their writhing movements beneath the tattooed skin of Maul's arms and shoulders, left delightfully bare by the ratty armholes of that inevitable Sith Lords Kick Ass t-shirt. Sidious inhaled the sudden musk of Maul's sweat trickling down his straining body as he redoubled his efforts. But above all, Sidious tried not to soak the front of his shirt in drool. Or the front of his pants, come to that.
In an attempt to distract himself enough, Sidious asked, "What exactly are you two squabbling over?"
In that moment the book's grip on their bone of contention suddenly failed and Maul was flung backward into the couch hard enough to rock it back into the wall with a crunch of plaster. Unfazed, Maul snapped to his feet on the rebound. Something gleamed brightly, clutched in Maul's fist as he pumped it victoriously at the ceiling.
"Yesss! I am Hot Shit!" he snarled in a most Sithly manner at the book, which had levitated onto the top of the bookshelf to sulk. Triumph stretched Maul's patterned face into a savage grin as he turned to wave his prize at Sidious. "This..." Maul cried, "is the beta CD of 'Jedi Temple Raider: The Swimsuit Edition'!!!" The fire of a true fanatic blazed in Maul's eyes and Sidious contented himself with a nod and a feigned look of interest that wouldn't have fooled a blind Jawa. But it was enough for Maul, high as he was on the rush of the Dark Side in triumph. He raved on, "After I sent my demos from 'Jedi Temple Raider: Storm In A D Cup' to MicroSith, they wanted me to give my, ahh, Creative Input on their next game." he leered. "The final version won't be in the shops for six whole months! And by the time it gets there, I'll have left MY personal mark aaall over it!" Maul smiled like a shark. Life is good!
Sidious hmphed and turned the disk over. "Well you've certainly left your personal mark over this version too." A gloved hand tapped the unlabelled side of the disk, where not only fingerprints, but the tracks of Maul's claws were clearly visible, gouged there in the struggle for the disk.
Maul strangled a whimper in his throat as he snatched the disk, opened the PlayStation and tried feverishly to load the game. "NOOOoooOOO!!!"
Sidious basked again, this time in the rich emanations of despair that rolled over him from the young man who was currently banging his head against the coffee table. The gashes his horns left gave the term 'distressed furniture' a hole new meaning. Ohh yes, Sidious thought as he gorged himself emotionally, this Apprentice of mine is a treat for ALL my senses. ...But too much of a good thing, Sidious added regretfully, he's going to blunt those wicked horns if he keeps this up.
"IF you've finished your homewrecking, Maul..." Sidious said briskly.
Maul blinked up at Sidious, somewhat dazed by the crushing impact of defeat and hardwood. "What did you want..."
Sidious narrowed his eyes and drummed his fingers on his thigh, as tiny arcs of purple lightning snapped, crackled and popped at their manicured tips.
"...Master?" Maul finished the sentence hastily.
Sidious rallied, and struck what he at least thought of as a fetching pose. "I 'want' you..." he paused and leered for effect's sake, rewarded as always by the wave of utter revulsion from his pupil's battle-scarred psyche. "...to come with me to the Darkside Strutters' Ball."
Maul boggled, wrestling with his imagination and his intestine simultaneously. Panicked, he settled for the first lame excuse that came to mind (better lame than lamé): "But I don't have anything to wear."
"Nonsense," Sidious trilled, "You SHALL go to the ball!"
Darth Cinderella sniggered the cat into his mind, earning a glare from Maul that almost set her whiskers alight.
Sidious peered into the sadly silent TV screen, admiring the reflection of himself in his new royal blue crushed velvet disco suit. Maul's Apprentice had already passed sentence on Sidious's latest fashion crime by a deftly executed rub-and-run sideswipe which left so much white cat hair on the flared trouser bottoms that they now seemed to be fringed with marabou feathers.
"Really, Maul, I don't understand you," Sidious drawled, oblivious to the cat-egorisation of his sartorial sins, "You have such marvelous natural assets," he turned hopefully, but since Maul was sitting on said assets, Sidious couldn't really ogle them. "And yet, you flatly refuse to show them off to their best advantage! Well I'm not going to let you get away with it any more, my headstrong young Apprentice. 'Clothes maketh the Sith.' It's in the Handbook." Maul's head whipped around to impale the hated book with a baleful stare of warning. But the book just curled its cover at him in a sneer and rustled its pages, happily finding the best place to store Sidious's latest addition. "You, my boy," Sidious advanced on him, regaining his wandering attention, "have absolutely no sense of Fashion!"
And then, so high was Sidious by this time on the continuing silent outpouring of Maul's hatred and disgust, that he actually started to sing. Warming up for the Karaoke no doubt. At the mental images that conjured up, Maul shuddered until he thought his bones would dislocate.
"If you're blue," a twitch of the wide lapels of the cobalt velvet coat, "And you don't know where to go to, why don't you go where fashion sits, puttin' on the Sith!"
It didn't help that Maul, now so deep into a deep blue funk that he might never see daylight again, thought of his own last line at the same time. It also didn't help that it rhymed, unlike Sidious's line. It really didn't help that Maul hadn't shielded his thoughts. Givin' me the ...
Maul ducked the lightning bolt by a hair, or he would have if he had any. It punched a small hole through the wall separating Maul's apartment from the one next door, and was greeted by a gratifying and very familiar "NOOOoooOOO!!!", followed by a certain Twit Padawan's voice sobbing, "Oh Master, look, all the wiring in the walls has blown! I told you we shouldn't have tried to run the RotoVibraStim 2000 off domestic power! It said it needed JediCell AlkaSabre batteries!" Two dark heads turned as one, staring toward the smoking hole in the wall with shared fascination, which was superseded the next moment by a shudder on Maul's part and a truly evil smile from Sidious.
Sidious turned to face his apprentice again. The Sith Master's smile turned positively sweet. Maul stared, mesmerized, at this horrible sight, and beads of cold sweat started to meander down his skull. "Well, if you're going to persist in being sullen and ungrateful," Sidious said waspishly, "then I order you not to come with me to the ball!"
Relief crashed over Maul Yeah, like that's a punishment! But a moment later it was followed by a frantic scramble to hide this reaction, and by rising suspicion. No. It couldn't be that easy. My life's not like that. Maul swallowed, licked suddenly dry lips and said, "Of course. I obey, Master." in a carefully neutral voice.
That saccharine grin widened. "Of course you will." Sidious purred, before turning away, leaving the room. Maul trailed after him as he walked to the front door, his hot eyes bright with a new hope. The old bastard's leaving! Don't tell me he's actually going to let me get away with this?
Sidious paused, silhouetted dramatically in the doorway. Maul's heart simultaneously fell into his boots and rose into his throat (or was that his breakfast?). "Mind you, it's a pity," he said airily over his shoulder, "Darth Mary Sue was sooo looking forward to, ah, renewing her acquaintance with you at the party. And afterwards."
Sidious almost drifted down the stairs, buoyed on his way by a glorious tide of young-and-horny-Apprentice-flavored despair. "NOOOoooOOO!!!"
Hours later, Maul was still pacing and snarling like a caged tiger. "I am going to KILL HIM! I am going to Force-reach straight down that flabby neck of his, grab him by the asshole and TURN HIM INSIDE OUT! Then I'll make pate out of his guts, assuming he HAS any, and feed it to all the morons who voted for him, and watch THEM die like the sheep they are!" The book rustled, unsettled by the rebellion in the air, and Maul whirled on it and added, "I do know his hide'll be thick enough I can use it to cover a whole set of NEW Sith Handbooks, and I'LL write them all myself! And there'll be enough of them to gang up on you, and beat the dictionary out of you!" The book shouldered its way in among the others in the darkest corner of the shelf, and cowered there.
I wouldn't think too much about skinning my master, if I had such an interesting hide myself... smirked a small voice in the back of Maul's brain.
He crouched down and glared into the cat's sneer, "I've only got two words to say to you: 'catskin moccassins'!" he hissed. The cat hissed back and took a swipe at his nose, which he barely managed to duck. He'd had enough of her ideas of tattoo remodelling for one lifetime. And she still hadn't forgiven him for that copy of 101 Uses For A Dead Cat that he'd Force-levitated out of a remainders bin and left open on the coffee table, as a hint about just who was Master round here. Which was ridiculous, Maul's Apprentice thought. She already knew very well who the real Master was. She smirked to herself, and bided her time, shedding while she waited. When Maul went back to his pacing and muttering, she squirmed through the latest hole in the wall the moment his back was turned in mid-rant.
Maul was so preoccupied in dreaming of the sort of revenge that would keep ILM employed for years and give the most hardened horror fan nightmares, that he didn't even notice she had gone. It took the distant voice of the blithering-idiot-next-door to do that. "Ohnonono. Ooooza silly liddle furry fing den? Come away from Fluffi-Wan's door, therrrre's a goood fuzzy baby."
Gah! The twit was talking to that other hamster of his. Maul turned to head for the kitchen. He needed beer, Drano, anything to wash the overpowering taste of saccharine out of his throat and make him forget. But the next words froze him to the spot. "Awww you're a WUVwy fwuffy kitty, aaaren'tchoo? Yess oo is!" Maul's eyes widened and the next moment he was out of there. He didn't even bother with the lock to the twit's apartment, just Force-palmed the damn door out of the way with a crash and bounded in.
And stood, gapejawed and frozen in shock. There was Obi-Wan, sitting in the lounge with My Apprentice on his lap. Draped along his lap. All four paws in the air, white belly showing. Maul crept nearer, gripped with horrified fascination, until the slit-eyed, loll-tongued expression of bliss on the cat's face glued him to the spot. Obi-Wan had his head lowered over the cat's belly fur and was rubbing his cheek softly against My Apprentice's chest, cooing over her like a baby.
Maul was speechless. There it was. The end of the world as we know it. His Apprentice had all of Obi-Wan's face, both of his eyes, his jugular for Sith's sake, all right under her paws, and what was she doing? Purring, hard enough Maul wondered if her legs might come off.
Maul swallowed, fighting down rising panic. And rising memories, of those hands moving over his own skin. And rising... No! This had gone too far. He'd take his damn cat, shove some plaster in the wall, and go home. And never come back. Any minute now. Move, damn it!!!
With a sniffle, the twit looked up and smiled. There was a, well, wan quality to it and Maul noticed that the Padawan's eyes were red rimmed. An allergy? I can only hope...
"Oh, hi, neighbor. I found her having a little play with Fluffi-Wan. You should have seen her climbing around on top of the HabiTrail. Those two get along so well, she just can't stay away from him..."
She comes over here to destroy her opponent, as any true Sith should! ...And stop purring like that! Have you no shame? The cat opened one eye, then let it drift closed. The purring stayed loud, the tongue stayed out, the cat stayed put.
"Don't be mad at her," Obi-Wan went on, noting the direction of Maul's glare, "I really don't mind. It's nice to have something warm to hold..." He bowed his head over the cat again. And there was another, unmistakable sniff.
Allergy. Maul closed his eyes and gritted his teeth. Tell me it's an allergy. I really don't want to deal with this...
The sniffs graduated into quiet crying. That prized Maul's eyes open. No luck. The cat was still lying there, soaking up the Jedi's shaky-fingered stroking. And soaking up quite a lot of tears. That's WATER! Maul howled into his Apprentice's mind. You're getting wet! Rise up and KILL HIM!!!
And miss out on petting like this? Are you out of your pointy little mind?
Maul reached out in a last-ditch effort to grab the cat and get out while he still had some rags of sanity left, but Obi-Wan's arms tightened around her, caressing as his sobs increased. Maul drew breath to demand that the twit unhand his Apprentice, or be unhanded himself. Instead he found himself growling, "Lemme guess. Qui-Gon. Again."
"He's gone to a - a class reunion. Didn't even tell me I c-couldn't come until I asked. I mean, I'd just assumed... But apparently it's sniff strictly for the Jedi Academy graduates of Qui-Gon's year."
Maul felt his favorite evil smirk return to his lips, after far too long away. "Fascinating..." he purred, sitting on the couch beside Obi-Wan, the better to shove that smirk right into the Padawan's weepy (yet attractively flushed, no stop it!) face. "Gee, I wonder who else graduated in Qui-Gon's year. It wouldn't be..."
"Maaace Winduuu-hoo-hoo!" sobbed the twit. Maul sank slowly back into the couch cushions, momentarily boneless with delight as the wave of jealous despair washed over him. Could there be any higher bliss for a Sith soul than a Jedi's negative energies?
Lazily, My Apprentice oozed to the floor, shaken off Obi-Wan's lap by the escalating sobs. Great, Maul thought. All I have to do is grab her and get out... He leaned forward, reaching over for the cat. Trust the twit to misunderstand his reaching arms completely, and collapse, weeping, against Maul's chest. Yellow eyes snapped wide in panicked revulsion and tattooed hands closed hard on the Padawan's shaking shoulders, intending to push him away. But the loss the boy was radiating into him from this close range was so rich that it made his mouth water. The claw-fingered clutch faded imperceptibly into a non-committal hold.
Obi-Wan's arms slid around Maul's waist and he nuzzled in as the tears ebbed, tucking his head under Maul's chin and rubbing his cheek against the hard neck and chest muscles. Maul could feel a single tear on the skin below his collarbone meander tantalizingly down the middle of his chest. The Padawan murmured unsteadily, "You're the best neighbor a guy could have." He shifted, moving up and back enough to look at Maul. Brimming eyes locked with Maul's, who tried desperately not to think about how the tears made them glow a deeper shade of blue. But all that delectable misery, that marvelous heartache! The boy was incandescent with it, a glorious icon of innocence in pain. Maul simply could not resist leaning in, sliding his hands round to cup the buzz-cut skull, hold it still. Slowly his mouth opened and he licked the shining wetness from those hotly flushed cheeks with the very tip of his tongue. As Obi-Wan's eyes drifted blissfully shut, and he moved in to press his lips to soft human eyelids, something in his brain snapped.
Maul woke up with one of the Padawan's appendages in his mouth. I am going to bite this OFF one of these days! He spat the braid out, noting approvingly that at least he'd soaked it in drool while he was asleep.
He reared up onto one elbow, staring down at Obi-Wan, who still slept curled on one side in front of him. The tangled sheet draped almost sculpturally around the Padawan's legs, and his surprisingly muscled chest and arms gleamed in the morning sun. A satisfied smile curved the sleeper's lips and Maul gave a brief, feral grin of his own as lustful memories surfaced. But the grin faded into a narrow-eyed, considering look a moment later.
No. What does the Handbook say? "Once it's happenstance, twice it's coincidence, three times it's enemy action." How many times does this make it? ...Too damn many. He reached out and shook the Padawan's shoulder, trying not to admire the contrast between that pale skin and his own patterned fingers. When Obi-Wan just rolled over onto his back, smiled and murmured something drowsy and unintelligible, Maul sighed impatiently and gathered his concentration into a Force-shout.
Obi-Wan startled into a sitting position, then blinked at Maul and smiled. "Well hello there. So you've decided to stay around for more?" he murmured, smiling warmly and reaching for the other man. He was greeted with a hastily-raised Force wall.
"Oh no you don't!" Maul hitched backwards across the bed for good measure "You keep your hands off me!" As Obi-Wan's eyes widened in a delicious look of surprise and hurt, Maul growled, "Now. You're going to give me some answers, for once!"
"But Maul," Obi-Wan wheedled, "Don't I always tell you everything? How about that time when somehow my hair removal wax was replaced with contact cement?" Maul grinned nostalgically. Oh yes, that had been a good one, well worth breaking into the twit's apartment. The screams when he helped apply the turpentine were excelled only by the ones when he actually pulled off the "waxed" strips. "Or that time with Qui-Gon, the new cuffs, the psychotropic lube and Boss Nass?"
"No, you didn't tell me about that one." As Obi-Wan opened his mouth, Maul added Forcefully, "Don't!" He took a moment to beat the resultant swarm of speculative yet disgusting mental images back, though he couldn't do it physically of course. Slapping a Zabrak in the forehead is a good way to impale your palm.
"Now," Maul growled when he'd recovered his focus, "you are going to admit that all this," he waved an arm vaguely, "the entire setup, has been nothing but a deliberate and underhanded plot to get me in the sack!" He glared accusingly at the Padawan, who was looking infuriatingly innocent at the moment, "And don't look at me like that. I mean everything. Sucking up to My Apprentice, those revolting crying fits, the lot." His rant gained momentum and he leaned in until he was snarling nose-to-nose with the Padawan, yellow eyes blazing. "Why I wouldn't be surprised if even that little lovers' tiff with Qui-Gon was an out-and-out lie!" He sat back, smirking. "Yesss, a lie. What sort of conduct is that for a Jedi!" he added, twisting the knife. Welcome to the club, Obi-Wan! I'll enjoy making an Apprentice out of you, once I finish making Palpatine de foie gras.
Far from being driven back by the close-range tirade, Obi-Wan leaned in. His eyelids were half-lowered and a sultry smile dawned on his lips. Captivated by the expression, waiting for the Padawan's final capitulation, Maul let him wind his arms around his waist, gather him into a tight, hot embrace. Soft human lips brushed his ear, the tip of a tongue toying with the stud in a way that sent shivers down his spine. Obi-Wan breathed, "Ahhh Maul, but it's all in a very good cause, I assure you." Maul froze, and he felt the mouth brushing across his skin curve into a smile. "Think about it. The Force is in balance. Everything one side can do, the other side can. So, if people can be seduced to the Dark Side, why can't I seduce you to the Light?"
Maul wanted to kill. It would be so easy. A simple headbutt would punch a horn through the human's temple at this angle. Never! Never! he howled inside his mind. He wanted to Force-hammer him into a smear on the ceiling. No, too impersonal. He wanted to feel human blood spurt beneath his fingers! But when he moved his hands, they insisted on relaying the delicious softness of Obi-Wan's skin. His nostrils twitched, thirsty for the salt of tears and gore. But every breath only hotwired the animal depths of his brain with the scent of sun-warmed human body, and the aromas of last night's passion. His hands weren't his own. He wanted to strangle, they wanted to caress. His body wasn't his own. He wanted to murder this upstart whelp of the Light Side, it wanted to grab that supple, sinewy body, throw it down, and have wild, passionate sex with it, over and over again.
After an endless moment poised agonizingly between reactions, his fevered brain seized on the solution. Maybe it was possible to screw someone to death! He owed it to future generations of Sith Lords to investigate this possible new assassination technique. Very carefully. Over as long a period as possible. Trying every combination of position, potion and tool could easily take years. So, it would be unusually slow, and merciful. What the hell? A roguish leer spread over his face as he raked Obi-Wan's body with that hot gaze. It was his turn to lean in, taking Obi-Wan's earlobe in his teeth and biting it, before murmuring, "Ahhh, Obi-Wan, but just who is really seducing who?"
As hard, tattooed arms closed tight around him and they fell sideways onto the bed, Obi-Wan wondered dazedly Maybe this is what Qui-Gon means when he talks about finding a Balance in the Force... Then, dazzling flares of the Light and roaring storms of the Dark blotted out all coherent thought.
"Well! Just what sort of a reception is this?!"
The furious voice prodded them both out of sleep. They surfaced from an indiscriminate (but enticing) tangle of limbs and blinked at the vision of Palpatine, this time in a silver lame jumpsuit that suggested that either he'd been clubbing recently, or that they'd both died in their sleep and been sent to Fashion Hell. But the foppish face wore a thunderous frown that Obi-Wan had never seen there before. Maul had, but not while his Master was still in his Palpatine persona. This could mean only one thing: Sidious was seriously losing his grip. Depending on how the next few minutes played out, Maul might be Master of the Sith. Or he might be a smoking hole in the ground.
Maul, you start radiating anguish and conflict so strong that I can sense it all the way across town - and on Coruscant that's saying something - I dash back to rescue you, and find you cuddled up to this Jedi idiot?
"I can explain..." Maul said aloud, thinking fast. As far as Obi-Wan knew, Palpatine was his sponsor. OK, just try to keep the fiction going, just in case the Sith doesn't hit the fan after all.
Don't bother. Sidious's voice hissed into his mind, Corruption of innocents is all very well, in fact it's high time, but you're supposed to kill them after you finish, not hold them!
But Master, he is a Padawan. That's what makes it such a challenge. But challenges can't be completed overnight. He's been training for years. Overcoming that training will take more years. ...But won't it be worth it? To not only take someone Jedi-trained from them, but to actually turn him to the Dark Side? Maul gathered all his energies and Mind Whammied Sidious like he'd never Whammied anything before in his life, including that Handbook. He felt the Force roaring through him in an unprecedented torrent. In fact, if he hadn't known better, he'd swear he was focusing more than he himself could raise...
Hmmm. Not a bad idea at that. Not bad at all... Maul had the impression Sidious was filing the concept away for future reference. Well, carry on, then. Sidious thought grudgingly. But you had better not let me catch you showing weakness with this toyboy of yours, or the consequences will be terrible! You two looked entirely too loving when I came in. Maul caught the postscript And gorgeous... The mental leer that followed was almost as sickening as the earlier prospect of becoming a Sith-lightning shishkebab. Maul backed hastily out of the mental contact while he could still hang onto his last meal.
At that moment, they all heard a key in the front door lock. "Padawan, I'm ho-ome," singsonged Qui-Gon's voice, and the next moment the overgrown hippie was silhouetted in the doorway, holding out a pink teddy bear with a Padawan braid and a pennant saying "Class of '69"
Sidious noted the use of Dramatic Entrance #35 with a connoisseur's eye. At least Qui-Gon has enough hair to stream in the breeze and carry it off. Lucky cow. Sidious thought, still charged with righteous (wrongeous?) anger and needing something to take it out on.
Qui-Gon drew himself up to his surprisingly imposing height and said, "Senator, what are you doing in my Padawan's apartment?" The sting of unexpected sexual frustration and dawning jealousy from the Jedi Master attracted "Palpatine's" full attention.
"Don't be ridiculous, it's not that," More's the pity Sidious sighed, "I just came here when I found my A-ssociate's apartment empty," Sidious changed the word from Apprentice at the last moment, "and wondered what he'd been up to. You'll never guess what I found." Sidious stepped aside from the bedroom door and waved the Jedi Master in, smiling bitchily.
By Larkzen. Click to see larger image.
Qui-Gon visibly steeled himself before he peered round the doorway, to find his Padawan and that... that tattooed freak from next door, naked together in bed - Obi-Wan's bed! He fought the memories down with difficulty. Obi-Wan was sitting bolt upright with the sheets pulled up to his shoulders, blushing furiously. Hornboy lounged back on his elbows, watching the Jedi Master with knowing, tiger-yellow eyes and an insolent sneer. That one probably couldn't feel enough shame to blush, not that you could see it if he was.
Sidious poked his head round the door. Thirsty for more of Qui-Gon's simmering jealousy, he added, "Apparently, one of the things they teach in Padawan training is how to whore yourself with the first exotically handsome young male in sight."
"Excuse me," Qui-Gon intoned frostily, "but I'd rather you didn't speak that way in front of my Padawan."
Anger! Genuine Jedi Master anger, coming straight at him! Sidious's mouth watered and he had to swallow thickly before he said, "Very well, then why don't we take this to the living room?" He ironically waved Qui-Gon out and stalked eagerly after him.
Maul exchanged glances with Obi-Wan and they both sat forward with one accord. Obi-Wan tilted his head and cocked one ear, as he strained to hear His Master's Voice. Fortunately for them both, this display of egregious cuteness went unseen by Maul as he too concentrated his Force-sharpened ears on the other room.
Not that it was necessary. Soon, Qui-Gon and "Palpatine" had escalated into a full scale queeny screaming match. Both Maul and Obi-Wan soon abandoned their use of the Force. A little while later they leaned back against the headboard. A bit later than that, they'd ducked under the covers in an attempt to screen their ears.
In the dark, Maul grinned. He knew that quavering undertone in Sidious's voice of old. It meant that the old bastard was so high on that rarest of drugs, pure concentrated Jedi Master negativity, that it'd take him days to come down. Worry stabbed suddenly at Maul. A hopped up Sith Master was capable of any horror.
But then, all at once, the voices ceased. Obi-Wan's tousled head popped up above the covers, listening, followed a moment later by Maul's. Dimly they caught sounds. But not the sounds they'd heard before. Giggles. Moans, quiet at first but building. The telltale squeak of couch springs.
Maul and Obi-Wan turned to face each other, their faces aghast. Maul was so pale his tattoos had faded to pink and gray. They were frozen for a long moment, which was broken by a cry of "Ooo! Spank me, Love Monkey!" from Sidious. They gave a simultaneous shudder of pure, skincrawling horror. Maul buried his face in the hollow of Obi-Wan's neck, squeezing his eyes shut in a futile attempt to block out the mental images his accursed Master was tormenting him with. Bitterly, he realized that, yes Virginia, there are some things that squick even a Sith Lord. From his apartment, he sensed the Handbook opening lazily and snapping shut, crushing his errant thought like a bug between its pages and preserving it for posterity.
With one thought, they lunged at each other, desperate to do something, anything, that would block out the noises crawling through the walls and make them forget the ones they'd already heard.
A short while later, Maul was stretched out flat on his back, and Obi-Wan was curled up by his side, one arm draped over Maul's taut stomach. The noises from the other room had died down, which only added to the post-canary-catlike smiles on both their faces. Idly, Maul reached out with the Force, that famous speeder-wreck curiosity driving him to find out what was going on in the other room, regardless of what damage it might do to his unsuspecting psyche.
"Mmm, Qui-baby, that was toooo scrumptious," "Palpatine" simpered. What was worse was, Maul could sense that Sidious meant it! "That really was the best I ever had." What with that rich entree of Jedi anger and jealousy that Qui-Gon had fed him, Sidious was probably telling the truth about that. The truth. To a Jedi. What the hell sort of conduct is that for a Sith Master? Maul sat up, listening intently, forgetting even to breathe.
The tones in the room beyond lowered to something more closely resembling Sidious's real voice, as he continued, "Still, don't Jedi have rules against indulging themselves in negative emotions? Ones such as jealousy? Anger? ...Outrageous, ravening, lussst?" Sidious drawled triumphantly.
Maul could hear the grin in Qui-Gon's voice. "Ahhh Palpatine, but it's all in a very good cause, I assure you." Maul's eyes widened in delighted anticipation, and a huge shit-eating grin slowly plastered itself over his face as he listened.
Obi-Wan caught Maul's change of expression, but only managed to say "What...?" before being silenced by tattooed fingers pressed with absentminded softness to his lips.
"Shh. Any moment now..."
"If people can be seduced to the Dark Side, Ethril my darling," they could hear Qui-Gon murmuring affectionately into Palpatine's sweaty ear, "then why can't I seduce you to the Light?"
Maul smiled with savage delight at Obi-Wan. "Here it comes..."
A wail of horrified, existential realization. A cry of absolute, cosmic helplessness in the face of a greater force. And for once, for ONCE, it was coming from Sidious! Turnabout's vicious, Sid! Maul sneered inside.
Maul stretched luxuriously and collapsed backward onto the bed. A slow sigh of absolute physical bliss worked its way up from his toes and rolled out of him, blowing away years of frustration with the hypocrisy of a very flawed Master who still expected perfection from his luckless Apprentice. Maul's eyes rolled back in his head as his Sith spirit bodysurfed in the black tsunami of horror and shame that his Master was providing for him, for once in his miserable life.
It just doesn't get any better than this... Maul thought dimly, dazed by the pure power of his Master's despair. Dark Side, take me now. Now I can die happy...
Until a hand, warm, the muscles surprisingly strong under that soft human skin, trailed its way softly down his body, following the jags and swirls of his tattooing, slowly drawing closer and closer to hard and throbbing flesh.
A purr rumbled from Maul's chest and one hand slid up Obi-Wan's satiny back. Painted fingers curved to cup the back of the bobbing head in a grip that was half possessive clutch, half caress. Force tendrils dark as the void uncoiled from the depths of Maul's being as his ecstasy soared. His dark essence reached for the other man, twining with the Padawan's dazzling rays as the world behind Maul's clenched eyelids went to white.
Aaaah... Now... NOW nothing could be better... than... THIS!!!
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