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A Darker Choice

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Obi-Wan had clearly been affected by Jango’s assertion that they were soul mates.

On the face of it, the effect was a good one. Obi-Wan still hadn’t joined Jango in his bed, but he’d been calmer, more at ease in the two days since Jango had told him the truth.

Jango slid a plate in front of Obi-Wan, a simple noodle dish for dinner. Obi-Wan smiled up at him. “Thank you, Jango.”

Jango moved one knee onto the small bench so that he could better lean forward to brush his lips against the side of Obi-Wan’s forehead. “You’re welcome, cyar’e.”

He could hear Obi-Wan breathing. Carefully even and controlled, as Obi-Wan shifted a little, turning his head and tilting it up, his lips brushing against Jango’s cheek.

It was absolutely chaste, and it was down-right embarrassing how hard Jango’s heart was beating. He wondered if he could get away with an outright kiss.

Obi-Wan turned back to the food. “It looks delicious, but then, so far everything you’ve made me has been.”

Jango retreated to get his own plate, ignoring the delighted look on Boba’s face at the exchange. Boba had been upset at Obi-Wan for indicating a desire to leave them, and was encouraged by the shift in Obi-Wan’s behavior.

Boba was clever and talented, but he was still young. Too young to see that for all that, in the wake of the soul mate revelation, Obi-Wan seemed to have accepted the situation, that Obi-Wan had done nothing of the sort.

No, if anything, Jango knew that Obi-Wan was even more determined to escape. He mentally winced as he remembered the way Obi-Wan had called him delusional. No, Obi-Wan’s current acquiescence was nothing more than a ploy to get Jango to think Obi-Wan had accepted the situation so that he would lower his guard.

Of course, even knowing that, Jango would take advantage of the situation as much as he could. He expected that once Obi-Wan tried—and failed—to escape, Jango would be faced with a far more stubborn soul mate. So he’d take the affection while he could, storing it up to help him get through the upcoming storm.

He settled in the seat across from Obi-Wan, tangling their feet together. Obi-Wan’s lips pursed, but he didn’t try to pull away, and Jango was only a little surprised when Obi-Wan shifted so that their ankles rested a little more comfortably together.

“We’ll be landing soon,” Jango informed him casually.

Obi-Wan glanced at him, and his face was almost passive but Jango could see his mind racing. “Define soon?”

“Tomorrow morning.” They could actually make it sooner, but the others said they wouldn’t be able to make it until late tonight, and Jango was wary enough of his soul mate’s abilities that he would prefer that they weren’t on planet until he could have his soul mate surrounded by Mandalorians who would be just as eager to keep the be’alor with them.

Obi-Wan nodded again, before turning away and tossing a question at Boba to pull him into conversation.

Jango let the two of them talk, watching Boba and Obi-Wan interact with quiet pleasure. Obi-Wan really was so good with Boba. Kind and attentive, with clear respect for Boba’s own intelligence and ability, despite how young Boba was.

Obi-Wan finished first, and slipped away, carrying his plate to the small kitchenette. Jango watched him from the corner of his eye as he finished his own meal. He narrowed his eyes as Obi-Wan moved to put the clean silverware away, dropping the fork and lingering over the cabinet that Jango hadn’t locked after finishing meal preparation.

“Boba, how about you go pick a game for the three of us to play tonight.”

Boba looked up from where he was trying to swipe up the remaining sauce from his plate. “Any game?”

“Sure.” Boba’s eyes brightened and Jango and hoped he didn’t end up having to play Linked Fingers for the next hour.

Jango picked up his and Boba’s plates before heading to the kitchenette, setting them carefully on the counter before sliding behind Obi-Wan and wrapping his arms around his waist.

Obi-Wan had about an inch on him in height, but it was still easy enough to rest his chin on Obi-Wan’s shoulder. Obi-Wan stiffened for a moment, but then merely reached out to grab the dishes Jango had brought to continue cleaning them. “Now, what would you need with a knife, Obi-Wan?”

Obi-Wan froze. “I don’t know what you mean.”

Jango kept his close position against Obi-Wan’s back as he shifted his hold on Obi-Wan so that he could run his hands along Obi-Wan’s arm.

His fingers brushed against something hard stashed beneath Obi-Wan’s sleeve. “Oh, what’s this?” He pulled at the sleeve to reveal that Obi-Wan had created a make-shift knife sheath against his forearm.

Obi-Wan didn’t answer.

Jango smiled a little, as much as it annoyed him that Obi-Wan was still clearly plotting, he appreciated the spirit. “Going to stab me?”

“Maybe I should.” Obi-Wan’s voice was low, clearly aware that Boba might be back at any minute.

Which was why Jango felt safe enough sliding the knife into Obi-Wan’s hand, shifting a little so he could murmur straight into Obi-Wan’s ear. “Well, here you are, here I am. Why don’t you do it?”

Obi-Wan’s fingers stiffened around the knife and he twisted around. Jango kept his arms where they were, keeping Obi-Wan close.

The knife ended up against his abdomen, the point of the blade almost digging into his skin. “Interesting choice.”

“Perhaps you’d prefer a more lethal option?” Obi-Wan asked, and his eyes were dark. Jango couldn’t help but smile as the knife shifted.

“Buir, what about Linked Fingers?” Boba asked as he came back into the room.

Jango didn’t move, perfectly aware that in their current position it merely looked like Jango had Obi-Wan in an embrace.

“So, Obi-Wan?” Jango asked, keeping his voice for Obi-Wan’s ears only. “Going to do it?”

Obi-Wan’s gaze flicked to Boba before he closed his eyes, his body relaxing in defeat into Jango’s hold. The hand with the knife fell to Obi-Wan’s side. “No.”

Jango slid his own hand down Obi-Wan’s arm, taking the knife from Obi-Wan’s fingers and depositing it in the sink. "You get one pass, Obi-Wan. Don't make me need to take this further." He brushed a soft kiss against the soft skin of Obi-Wan’s cheek. “Go help Boba set up the game, Obi-Wan. I’ll finish up the dishes.”

Obi-Wan sighed, but the glint in his eyes told Jango that this was far from over. Still, Obi-Wan obediently moved out of Jango’s arms and toward Boba.

“Did I hear you say we were playing Linked fingers? What is that?”

Jango turned a little to watch Obi-Wan join Boba, before turning back to finish the dishes so he could join the family game night.

He would lock up the kitchen drawer again, though. No need to tempt Obi-Wan any further.

-_-

Jango found Obi-Wan preparing for bed in the cell. “Boba’s in bed.”

Obi-Wan hummed absently in response.

“Join me in bed?” Jango asked, the same thing he’d asked since he’d revealed that they were soul mates.

Obi-Wan shook his head and then paused. “Just sleeping?”

Jango felt his heart rate pick up just slightly in hope. “Of course.”

Obi-Wan seemed to consider that for a long moment and then nodded. “Your brig really isn’t comfortable, Jango. You should look into that.”

Jango scoffed. “Or you can just stay in my bed and we don’t have to go through this every night.”

Obi-Wan sighed.

“Come to bed, Obi-Wan.”

Obi-Wan still hesitated for a long moment, apparently trying to decide if he could change his mind right back.

Finally Obi-Wan moved towards him, tentative and unsure and the most beautiful man Jango had ever seen.

His soul mate.

And he was finally going to be in Jango’s bed again. Willingly.

He escorted Obi-Wan back to his own small room, feeling Obi-Wan move perfectly in step with the barest touch of Jango’s hand on his back.

He didn’t rush his night time preparations, but it was a close thing.

Obi-Wan was already in bed by the time Jango had finished everything, stiff as a board and trying to hide it. Jango slipped into the bed beside him, immediately pulling Obi-Wan back into his embrace.

Last time he hadn’t taken full advantage of Obi-Wan in his bed, but he would this time. He moved them until they were both on their sides, Obi-Wan’s back against his chest and Jango’s own arm resting over his soul mate’s waist.

He rested a soft kiss to the back of Obi-Wan’s neck, inhaling deeply enough that it felt like Obi-Wan was in his very lungs. It was near perfect. “Isn’t this so much more comfortable, ner’runi?”

Obi-Wan didn’t answer,

“So stubborn,” Jango teased.

“Says the most stubborn person I’ve ever met,” Obi-Wan retorted. “But yes, I suppose it’s more comfortable than that cot.”

Jango shifted a little, working a hand under the bottom of Obi-Wan’s shirt so he could rest skin on skin. Obi-Wan sucked in a soft breath, a soft oh that Jango almost didn’t hear.

Jango didn’t push any further, content for now, to have Obi-Wan in his arms and in his bed.

“Sleep now, Obi-Wan. Tomorrow will be busy.”

“Where are we going?”

Jango paused, he didn’t want to give Obi-Wan too much information, not while he knew Obi-Wan was still angling for an escape. But he also wanted to build up an atmosphere where Obi-Wan felt comfortable and a part of things.

“Mandalore Sector.” One of the moons of Concord Dawn, specifically, that the New Mandalorians and Death Watch had both left generally alone. It wasn’t exactly a True Mandalorian hold out, but it was friendly.

Obi-Wan stiffened a little. “Dangerous place to bring a Jetii, Jango. If you want that Jetii to live.”

“No one will touch you, Obi-Wan.” Even Death Watch—at least those of Death Watch who were still enough Mandalorian to feel the touch of Mand’alor in their soul—would hesitate to touch someone who felt like Be’alor. “You’re mine, Obi-Wan. Ours. You’ll be safe.”

Obi-Wan was still a little tense. “If you say so, Jango.”

“I do.” He pulled Obi-Wan a little closer. “Now stop worrying, ner’runi, sleep.”

-_-

Waking up to Obi-Wan still in his arms was the best feeling, and Jango went through his morning cheerful.

“The two of you should take a seat.” He waved to the seat straps as he moved to the cockpit. “We’ll be entering the atmosphere soon.”

Jango took his seat in the cockpit, getting the ship moving again. He’d had it floating just beyond the moon so that he could arrive after some of his True Mandalorians had already arrived. Best to ensure that he had help in keeping Obi-Wan around as soon as he arrived.

The entrance into atmosphere went smoothly and Jango began to guide the ship to the agreed upon meeting point.

“Buir!” Boba darted into the cockpit, voice pitched higher than normal in panic. Jango’s contentment fled instantly. Something had gone wrong. “Something happened to Obi-Wan. He collapsed!”

Jango jerked to look at Boba, fighting his instincts to run immediately to Obi-Wan. He kept his hands steady on the controls. “Boba, you remember what I taught you about landing the ship?”

Boba’s eyes went wide. “Yeah.”

“Take the controls.”

An alarm started sounding and Jango froze. “Controls, now, Boba.”

He slid out of the pilot’s chair, cursing quietly as he ran for the holding bay.

Wind was crashing through the room, tossing around everything that wasn’t screwed down, and Jango moved to the wall for support.

Obi-Wan wasn’t there. The landing ramp had been emergency opened.

Jango pushed along the edge of the wall until he could flip the emergency close switch, and the landing ramp started closing again.

Frustration and grief raged within him.

Had Obi-Wan jumped? They were too high for Obi-Wan to survive that fall, not without the Force.

Perhaps he was only pretending to escape, and he’d actually hidden? Waiting for Jango to start searching for him so that he could make his actual escape?

Jango swore again, because they still needed to land and he couldn't prioritize finding Obi-Wan right at this moment. He headed back to the cockpit, quickly switching out with Boba whose face was a little pale, but his eyes determined. “Check the ship throughly Boba. Just in case Obi-Wan was just trying to cause a diversion and is hiding.”

Boba nodded, rushing back out of the cockpit, face grim.

This was going to break Boba’s heart.

Jango’s own heart was aching a little as he finished landing the ship in the meeting area he’d set. He stared out the view screen to see that there were already two ships here, Cort’s and Ruusaan’s from the looks of it. He’d have to bring them up to speed quickly and get them looking for Obi-Wan.

He moved back to the main part of the ship to find Boba there, the faintest hint of red eyes signaling that his search had been unsuccessful.

“I found this.” Boba held out a silver circlet and it took Jango a moment to recognize it as the Force cuffs that Obi-Wan had been wearing.

Jango closed his eyes, a strange mixture of grief and relief filling him. Obi-Wan had the Force again, which meant he probably would have been able to survive the jump.

It was easy to see what had happened now. Obi-Wan had somehow found a way to get the bracelets off, and then had faked a collapse to get Boba out of the holding bay so he was out of danger.

Now Jango just had to track him down and drag him back where he belonged.