The Passion of Maul

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Summer Rains, Summer Ends: Part One

By Teresa Kilmer

Disclaimers: George owns the characters, I own this story. I'm just playing. No money being made, blah blah blah.

Warnings: NC-17 for sex. Violence, some animal deaths. Slash, M/O, M/other.
Archiving: With my permission only.
Alternate Universe: Oh, yeah.

Thanks to RedSith and Belle for the beta read and thanks to ZP for always inspiring me.

Based on the "Patient Z" alternate universe. This takes place after "That Hangs the Verses from the Trees" (Millennium, 2000) and "Crowd Us and Crush Us". (Imperium, 2001) and about two years before the start of "Bird in a Cage" (Delusions of Grandeur, 2001).
Maul has survived the battle of Naboo and gone to the Jedi expecting to be sentenced death for killing Qui-Gon Jinn. Instead, he was banished to his home planet of Iridonia and fitted with a tracking implant that will kill him if ever tries to leave.

Rejected by Lord Sidious, their Force bond hideously broken, Maul has managed a spare life. Feared as a sorcerer and considered deformed and ugly by other Zabraks, Maul is alone for many years. Then, by teaching martial arts and doing some Force healing, Maul has bridged some of the distance between himself and the villagers nearby...

Feedback: Sure!

"Maul!" Daveir swept into the cave so quickly that he fluttered the drawings on the wall. "There's someone here- a human in a speeder. I think it's Meirta..."

A human. It could only be Obi-Wan.

Maul rose and brushed off his hands and clothes. He was sand painting and the tints and hues he was working with were spread out on his new easel. He had a bright smudge of turquoise and yellow on his nose where he had wiped his face, unthinking. They walked outside together.

Obi-Wan bounded out of the borrowed speeder, smiling, anxious to see Maul again. It had been nearly two years since his last visit. He looked around the cave site for a moment noting a few changes. The garden was much larger this year, a dozen rows of cultivated plants set in curving lines. New pipes ran from the pond into the cave. The *perrin* tree they had planted seven years before had grown to nearly two meters tall and he could see the small buds of fruit ready to set.

*I bet those flower buds will smell wonderful at night.*

His excitement increased, anticipating a few precious evenings in front of the fire...

Two Zabraks strode towards him from the cave. He recognized Maul in an instant, with his heart and his loins. Maul was pulling on a tunic, a subtle smile on his face.

Obi-Wan leaped forward. "Maul!" He wrapped his arms around the smaller man and hugged him boisterously. He planted a
quick kiss on Maul's cheek as they pulled away from each other.

Maul motioned to the young man standing at his side.

"Obi-Wan Kenobi, this is my friend Daveir Nagarin. Daveir, meet Obi-Wan." They shook hands. Daveir was as tall as he, his golden eyes meeting Obi-Wan's with friendly curiosity. His bright red workout shirt revealed his solid arms and shoulders. The other Zabrak looked good-natured and... young.

"I'm pleased to meet you finally. Maul has spoken very highly of you." Daveir said, with easy camaraderie. The three of them looked at each other for a moment until Daveir snickered. "You've got... Here." Daveir reached over with gentle fingers and brushed away the tinted sand from Maul's nose. The gesture wasn't all proprietary or territorial, but spoke of gentle ease and intimacy.

Maul's eyes met Obi-Wan's evenly.

Obi-Wan swallowed.

"Um, well, I brought some supplies," and he motioned at the speeder, still looking at Maul, fumbling now, feeling awkward and out of place. "Meirta insisted that I use her speeder. I promised that I would return it by tonight."

Daveir moved towards the speeder. "Let's get this inside. I'll take the speeder back and you two can visit in private." He lifted out one of the boxes from the general store. Two bottles of champagne were nestled in travel boxes on the top. "Wow! You must be ready to celebrate something!" he said as he passed by them, a smile on his face.

"I..." Obi-Wan couldn?ook at Maul anymore. His heart pounded in his chest, his feelings in a feverish swirl around him. Maul wasn't alone, an unexpected turn of events. "I should have written...let you know I wanted to visit."

Daveir moved back and forth between the speeder and the cave. They watched him to avoid looking at each other.

"I'm glad to see you, Obi-Wan. You know that." Maul?eep voice was low and then he shrugged. "Did you really expect me to wait for you all these years?"

"No, of course not."

//I'm sorry. I'm intruding.//

//No, you're always welcome. But things will be different this time.//

Obi-Wan nodded. By the time they moved over to the speeder, there were only two boxes left. Daveir was quick.

"Listen, I'll run the speeder back to Meirta. I need to run today and that will be my exercise. Okay?" He didn?ait for an answer and he wasn't asking permission. He leaned over and kissed Maul on the cheek. "I'll be back by dinnertime." They squeezed hands quickly.

"Thank you, Daveir. That is considerate of you. Drive safely."

Inside the cave, Obi-Wan saw more changes. A stack of power cells nestled against one wall, supplying energy to a comp unit, lighting and a water heater. A lounge chair faced the fireplace and several colorful thick cushions rested on a new rug near the hearth. Behind a new floor screen, Maul's sleep mat was thicker and larger now with two sets of pillows denoting two sides of the bed.

*He doesn't sleep alone anymore.*

A satchel marked with the University of North Iridonia emblem rested on the bottom of the sleep mat. Daveir's clothes were hung on the dozen pegs next to Maul's.

Maul moved to the kitchen area. Obi-Wan could see everything...explanation wasn't needed.

"I'm going to start some vegetables for dinner. Use the shower if you like. There's hot water now. A gift from Daveir."

"That sounds good, thanks." Obi-Wan waited a bit. "It seems like he's given you a lot. Not just the power cells."

Maul stopped slicing the vegetables and met Obi-Wan's questioning gaze.

"Yes, he's very generous with me."

Fifteen minutes later, Obi-Wan sleeked back his hair, the towel draped over his shoulders. He felt curiously modest and was careful to fasten his tunic before stepping from behind the shower screen.

"I'll set the...Hey! New table!" The kitchen table was sturdy looking and freshly made. He could see the saw and chisel marks on it, smell the fresh wood green scent. "What happened to the old one?"

Maul's mouth twitched.

"It got broken. I made a new one. Some of that is wood from the *chutzen* tree we chopped down together."

"Nice work." He moved carefully behind Maul to reach the shelves. How odd it felt to avoid touching the Zabrak, to pull away from the warmth of his muscular body. Instead of wrapping his arms around Maul's waist or nuzzling his neck, he was straining away. For a moment it pained Obi-Wan.

*I was looking forward to this visit so much. Dammit.* He tamped down the thought, feeling disloyal and churlish.

"You've put on some weight," Obi-Wan noted.

"We like to cook." Maul smiled slightly. "And it's more enjoyable to cook for two." Maul rat-tatted quick slices through a *tweesit* bulb on the cutting board. The pungent odor brought tears to the Jedi's eyes.

"So? How...?" Obi- Wan motioned with his hands.

"He was a student of mine for a while. Martial arts. Good too, good enough to get on the team at school. He visited his aunt here during summers when he went away to University six years ago. He just finished first year graduate studies," Maul replied.

"And was this a surprise?"

"It was to me. Apparently not to him..." Maul's eyes softened. "Oh, I always knew he had a crush on me, that happens so often with an intense student-teacher relationship. You know that."

Obi-Wan nodded sadly.

"He made an overture to me when he still a teenager and I turned him down. But I never hoped that he might..." Maul shrugged. The knife in his hand stilled and his eyes grew distant and far away. Obi-Wan knew his mind no longer dwelled on dinner...

Davier had been searching in his boxes for something. "Let's watch the sunset, okay? It's the Qasitl shower tonight, it should be spectacular. Go ahead, I'll meet you on the hill."
He heard the younger man trudging up the hill towards him, but he didn't turn. Maul sat calmly on the dirt, arms looped over his knees. He felt an uncommon patience in his waiting, unlike the days he had spent pacing while in service to his Dark Lord.

To his surprise, Daveir set down two stemmed glasses and a bottle of champagne, its sides sweating.

"I kept in the thermal wrap so it's still pretty cold." He popped the cork and Maul noticed his hands closely... their strength, the nails cut blunt and short, his dexterity with the bubbling wine.

They saluted with their glasses. Maul felt flushed and drunk before he had taken a sip.

"To friendship," Davier said solemnly and kept his eyes on Maul's as they drank.

Maul looked away from his intensity, his need, his candor.
*What is this? What does he want?*

And the answer, low and liquid.

*He wants you. Let him.*

They sat quietly as the sky turned to eggplant, navy, then black. When the first star appeared on the south horizon, Daveir took a deep breath. He reached over and snaked one index finger beneath Maul's.

"Can I stay?"

*Deflect, push away, defend.*

"Of course. You're welcome to visit as long as you wish." Was his voice shaking, could Daveir hear his heart hammering in his chest like a mad thing?

"You know what I mean." Daveir took his hand and clasped it in his. "You know how I feel about you, don't tell me you don't."

Maul couldn't answer.

"Maul, please... look at me."

*What will I see in his eyes? Sidious's contempt? Pity, like Obi-Wan?*

Maul finally turned.

But it was only Daveir looking back at him, clear golden light in his eyes, nervous hope and desire mixed into a warm aura. Maul gazed at him evenly, uncertain. He wanted to push the young man away... he wanted to grasp him with carnal fierceness... he wanted to cling to him like a cub. His feelings clawed in his belly like a beast in a cage.

"May I stay?"

Maul put one hand on Daveir's face. "Daveir, are you sure about this? Absolutely sure?" Daveir nodded in his grip and pressed his lips to Maul's palm.

"Yes. For six years, I've been sure."

"I don't want you to feel coerced or misled. This is important to me."

They touched their foreheads together, a Zabrakian gesture of trust and friendship.

"I'm not a child anymore. I want you, I want you, I want you." Daveir leaned over and licked Maul's neck. His rough tongue sent shivers through Maul; he'd never felt a Zabrak's tongue on him. Blindly reaching for him, Maul tugged him close. Daveir straddled his lap *oh he's heavy oh so good* and continued licking Maul's face.

"Have you been with humans?" Maul gasped as Daveir's hands began to stroke his chest. Daveir rocked his hips, pressing his pelvis to Maul's belly.

"Yesssssss. You want kissing?" Davier hissed.

"Oh, yes."

Daveir cupped his face with his hands and rose up on his knees. His lips were electric, hot white on his skin, Daveir's warm tongue against his and Maul felt himself slide over backwards onto the cool earth. The ground seemed to thrum beneath him, urgent and steady.

*Oh yes so warm yes warm on me oh oh oh yes with me now.*

They moved together as the night turned to shadow, thrusting, cooing, pleasuring. The sky filled with stars.
Later they returned to the cave and made love twice more. For the first time, Maul felt another's rumbling purr in his ear, the growling cadence filled him with delight. Afterward, Daveir slept next to him, warm and lush-bodied. Maul opened his mouth and scented for a moment.

Maul reared up on one elbow to look at the younger man. His gaze moved over his even featured face, noting the velvet smoothness of his skin, a glorious chocolate brown in comparison to his own ebony hue. What was different about his face, what was tugging at him, asking for his attention? Not the youthful smoothness, not the boy's sheer beauty. Something else.

*Innocence. This boy knows nothing of evil. Or Darkness.*

His eyes weren't haunted, immediately drawn to a lump on the pathway expecting it to be some dead thing. His body was
unmarked, no scars showing pain borne, no evidence of battles fought, won or lost. His psyche was unmarred as well, his glee for life unfettered, no anticipation of adversity, loss or pain.

*He knows nothing of pain.*

Maul traced one finger lightly over Daveir's lips.

*He would pull away if he really knew me. He'd be frightened.*

He leaned closer and used his tongue. Davier stirred at his touch, a small smile easing onto his face as he woke.

*I won't tell him. I won't scare him away.*

"Mmmm, come here lover," Daveir said as he pulled Maul onto his belly. They moved together.

The next afternoon, Daveir untangled himself from Maul's legs. "I'm starved. How about dinner?"

"Yes." Maul was slow moving and slower witted, nearly groggy. They had spent the night and day experimenting with each other, discovering what pleased the other; a quick motion with the hips, the tightening of a fist, a guttural Zabrakian obscenity at the right moment.

Maul felt languid with delight. He had never enjoyed his time with Sidious in this way; as the years passed he had learned to rush through, to give Sidious his pleasure quickly in order to stave off cruel games. Even with Obi-Wan, there had been urgency, knowing that the Jedi would leave, that they had only a few days together. This was different... this was the slow rise of desire and taking pleasure in the waiting.

"You wash up first and I'll start dinner." He slapped Daveir's buttocks.

"The first thing I'm going around here is getting a water heater. I hate cold pond baths."

Maul only smiled.

"Cool down first and I'll warm you up later." Daveir grinned and moved away.

Maul started chopping vegetables on the shelf that served as a counter. He stacked them to one side, noticed their sensual gleam in the light, saw the gold honey tones of the cooking oil, eyed the silvery gleam of his knife. He was unfocused, just moving through his work, mind drifting to Daveir. He could smell the other man on his own skin.

*No wonder Sith do not love. It makes you vulnerable and off-balance.*

He felt drunk, but Daveir had imbibed most of the champagne. A few moments later, Daveir returned, a towel wrapped around his waist, beads of water gleaming on his chest. They reached out to each other instinctively, hands touching.

Daveir settled behind him and wrapped his arms around Maul's waist. Maul closed his eyes and leaned back.

"This has been wonderful, Maul. Thank you for letting me stay." His lips fastened on one of Maul's earlobes, suckling. The noise drove Maul mad and his belly flushed warm.

"Oh, Gods, Daveir, what are you doing to me?" Daveir pulled him closer and Maul could feel the other's thick cock rise up beneath the towel. He pressed backwards.

*Oh please does he want please yes yes yes.*

Daveir rotated the oil bottle to show the label. Between kisses on Maul's neck he whispered, his voice husky and low. "Tell me, is this just plain oil, not spiced or anything?"
Maul could only nod his head.

"So, if I were to say, dribble some on you maybe..." A long pause as Maul twisted his torso and Daveir kissed him deeply. "Say you got a little slippery..." Daveir dipped one finger into the oil as his other hand nestled between Maul's legs, caressing Maul's scrotum. When Daveir eased his finger down the cleft of his buttock, Maul moaned aloud.

Lower, lower, slow, Daveir eased his oiled finger around him. Slow teasing, just a tip inside, then out... the oil slick.

"Oh, Daveir, please..." Maul could hardly speak. His head was filled with a high pitched buzz and his body was on fire. He spread his legs, wanting more.

Daveir turned him and kissed him fiercely. They teetered, off-balance for a few seconds, then stumbled against the table. Daveir deliberately lifted Maul onto it and kept his eyes focused on his tattooed face as he pushed Maul's legs apart.

Maul tore away the towel and now he could feel Daveir hard against his testicles, his cock bobbing upwards between them. Maul lay backward and spread his legs further.

*Oh please now, yes, feel you in me, oh please.*

Daveir pressed down onto him, combining a heated kiss with a sensual grind of his hips.

With a loud snap and pop, the table cracked in half and they landed on the floor in a heap.

Dead silence. A puff of dust rose in the air around them.

And then Maul burst into laughter, his deep voice curled into hiccups of delight.

Daveir laughed with him until they were shaking with mirth instead of passion. Daveir rested his head on Maul?houlder. They lay together, sodden, silly, giggling like schoolchildren.

Daveir gasped between chuckles. "Oh, Maul, I'm sorry I broke your table." He lifted up to see Maul's face.

Maul turned serious. He reached to grasp Daveir with no gentleness by his horns, his hands rough, his voice guttural and low.

"Fuck me until you break me."

Daveir obliged.


Maul finished cutting up the vegetables and added some spices to the oiled pan. "...should have figured it out. He was the first in the village besides Meirta and Brutarnis to see past my... face. Anyway, he came back right after school this year and hasn't left. It's been six weeks." Maul finished cutting the vegetables up and added some spices to the oiled pan.

"How old is he?"


They both sighed.

"Well, we were twenty four once..."

"We had different lives, Obi-Wan. We were raised in dedication to our order. He's lived a comparatively privileged life here. His parents run a few businesses in the city, so they're doing well. Listen," Maul hesitated. "I've told him that I was a soldier... Nothing about the Force, nothing about the Sith." He neatly scraped the collection of vegetables into a hot oiled pan. The
cooktop was new as well, no more struggling over a balky fire.

"Is he Force sensitive?" Obi-Wan pulled down plates and utensils for their meal.

"As a stone." Maul smiled. "I don't use the Force with him, it wouldn't be right. He makes me talk about things, I can?ust Send to him like I could with Sidious... And you."
"He loves you, Maul, I can tell. That must feel wonderful."
Maul nodded, almost reluctantly. He stopped stirring the fry pan, his eyes distant and unfocused. The vegetables began to smoke. Obi-Wan reached over and moved the spoon to get the food moving again in the hot oil.


Maul came back and shook himself perceptibly.

"I don't know how to take it. He's so giving and he doesn't expect anything in return." He motioned around the room with the spoon, at the new solar power cells, the drawing easel in the corner, the stacks of realpaper piled next to it. "With Sidious I learned to be on guard. I had to be. Every gift had some hidden obligation, every caress was matched with a slap, every good day we ever had together was balanced by at least one wretched night."

Obi-Wan's ghost of a smile faded.

*Gods, he was so broken. No wonder he's unsure about this.*
"Take it, Maul. Believe me, take it while you can." He squeezed Maul's shoulder once, quick and hard. He turned to pour some wine.

When Daveir returned he was breathing hard, dusty and sweaty. He walked in circles to cool down outside the cave, tugging off his dirty shirt. Maul's eyes flared at the sight of him. Once inside, Obi-Wan noticed that the younger Zabrak went right to Maul, that instinctive need to touch after separation overriding any other consideration. His happy energy filled the cave.

*No wonder Maul couldn't resist this. Daveir is so... bright.*

During dinner conversation focused on Daveir?ducation. He and Obi-Wan spoke in-depth about cultural anthropology.
Obi-Wan had studied it a great deal as a Jedi, the Council was insistent that their Knights be sensitive to all cultures and therefore more effective. Daveir was just getting into fieldwork, his learning up until now had been mostly from books.

"...could find that the people you've been studying may not be at all accommodating when you arrive in the field." Obi-Wan said, checking Daveir for signs of irritation. The Jedi sipped his wine and glanced at Maul.

"Well, that may be true, but with enough explanation and education, most people will ease up on their xenophobia, don't you think?" Daveir maintained his position. "I mean, with information comes acceptance."

Maul's eyes went flat.

"Perhaps. But when you're working with some peoples, you'll find it tougher going. I'm speaking from experience here, Daveir. They may not want your presence, your equipment and your disruption of their lives. They can be suspicious. I think you'll have to be prepared for some hostility," Obi-Wan explained gently.

Daveir shrugged. "Maybe so."

The two glasses of good wine made the Jedi loquacious. Obi-Wan waved his hand towards Maul. "You've got a case study right here. How accepting have these villagers been to this outsider?"

Daveir opened his mouth, then shut it without speaking. He looked away from Maul. There was an awkward silence.

"Obi-Wan is right," Maul said as he crossed his arms over his belly. "I've been here over eight years now and you and Meirta and Brutarnis are the only people who are close to me. The others are still afraid of me." Maul raised one hand to quiet Daveir's protest. "Yes, they come to me for healing, but that's because they're desperate and sick. And yes, they tolerate me teaching martial arts to their sons. But I am not a part of the village community and I probably never will be. No one remembers my family. No one cares that my tattoos come from a religious sect. No one knows that I lost my horns in battle. It doesn't matter. I'm just an outsider. And an ugly one at that."

"I wish it weren't like that for you," Daveir whispered, pain in his voice. He kept his eyes down on the table.

Maul leaned forward and put one tattooed hand on Daveir's. "It't much more tolerable now." He lifted Daveir's hand to his lips and kissed it. The gesture was gentle and loving, but Maul's eyes were so very sad.

Obi-Wan guzzled his wine, trying to distract himself.

Maul took his turn in the shower after dinner. Obi-Wan and Daveir sat near the fire for warmth and sipped hot tea, damp towels hung over a bar above the mantel. The crude water lines into the cave gurgled in the background as they talked.

"How long have you known him?" Daveir asked as he stroked moisturizing lotion onto his legs, the sound of his hands on his own skin making a slight scrape of flesh against flesh.
*Gods, he looks so much like Maul. The same sturdy musculature and glossy skin, the sharp crown of horns, the same amber eyes.* He had become so accustomed to seeing Maul's tattoos that Daveir looked blank-faced to him, as if something important were missing.

"Almost ten years."

"Do you know what happened to him?" Daveir motioned around his waist.

*I happened to him.*

Obi-Wan took a deep breath. "What has he told you?"

Daveir shrugged. "Nothing. He won't really talk about it. He gets... Well, never mind." Daveir dabbed more lotion on his palms and started on his chest and arms.

"I'm sorry, Daveir, but if he hasn?old you, then it?ot really my place."

"I know. I wasn't trying to be sneaky. It's just that... It's selfish, but I feel like I'm just not enough for him. You know? He has these bad dreams and wakes up in a sweat. He thinks I'm going to leave him... says I'll meet someone in school this year." Daveir shook his head in disbelief. "At times his eyes turn so sad I can hardly breathe. Seems no matter what I do or say... it's never enough."

"I'm sure he shares with you what he can." Obi-Wan reached for the bottle. "May I?"

"Sure." Daveir handed it over. "You know, I've figured something out too. A lot of times if I try to get him to talk he deliberately..." Daveir's eyes lowered. "You know... he distracts me so I'll shut up. He knows he can push off my questions that way."

Obi-Wan gave a little snort. "But what a pleasant way to be deflected."

*They've made love right here in front of the fire. No wonder this feels strange to me now.*

Daveir smiled, open and honest. Obi-Wan probed his emotions with just a touch with the Force. There was nothing hidden to this boy, nothing dangerous lurking beneath for Maul. Only clear-eyed adoration and warm hopes for the future.

*I hope Maul can relax and enjoy this. While it lasts.*

"Feel like a run tomorrow?"

"Sounds good," Obi-Wan replied. And a lot of energy. He must keep Maul on his toes.

They all ran together the next morning. Obi-Wan had forgotten the simple pleasure of running, the steady thump of their feet on the dirt, the rush of endorphins as they hit peak stride. Daveir ran behind, letting them set the pace. As he ran beside Obi-Wan, Maul set fierce example of clean, efficient movement.

*I miss watching him move. So much grace and strength in him.* Obi-Wan pushed away the thought.

They circled the lake, a two-hour walk, a forty-minute run. As the cave site came back into view, Maul looked over at him.

"Can you beat me, Jedi?" His voice was low and mockingly combative. Without a word of answer, Obi-Wan took off in a sprint.

He could hear Maul breathing hard behind him, feel his surprised energy as he worked to catch up. Closer now, the cave only thirty strides away...twenty-five, twenty... Obi-Wan pushed once more, lungs on fire, his legs screaming.
Fifteen strides to go. A blurred dark form raced by him, a gust of laughter on the other's lips.

Ten strides to go. By then Daveir was already there, walking quickly, hands on his hips, chest heaving. Obi-Wan staggered into the clearing, straining.

*Oh, shit, I am getting old here.*

They turned to see Maul walking, one hand below his ribs, his face contorted with pain.

"It's just a stitch." He waved away their concern. They all puffed as they continued walking; their muscles cooling down, heart rates easing lower. Maul rubbed his ribs, massaging away his pain.

"Are you sure you're all right?" Daveir's concern was plain in his soft words. Maul nodded quickly.

"I'm fine, really."

"Old man!" Daveir teased his lover and jostled him from behind. He planted a quick kiss on Maul's sweaty neck. "Old men, both of you! I'm making another lap. Anyone else?" His challenge was teasing.

They both waved him onward, shaking their heads, smiling at his youth, smiling at their age.


Obi-Wan stayed in the shower a long time, enjoying the heat on his sore body. When Maul finished washing, he set some
vegetables into a marinade, then put them in the small cold box.

"They'll soak up some flavor for dinner," he explained.

They sat before the fire to talk, Maul in the lounge chair and Obi-Wan folded against the cushions on the floor. Tonight they sipped wine from real glasses, not the military surplus cups from before Daveir.

"Obi-Wan..." Maul's voice trailed off. He fingered the throw folded over one arm of the lounger. His eyes were filled with pain, a look Obi-Wan had seen too often.

"What's wrong?"

"He's going to leave me." Maul bit his bottom lip and Obi-Wan could see the other man's self-control slipping.

"Why do you say that? He loves you..."

Maul shook his head. "He returns to school in the fall and this time... he won't be back. I've seen it. A Force vision." Maul's fingers began to twist the throw's fringe. "He's going to meet his bondmate at a Solstice party and he'll never be back."

The dreams Daveir had mentioned. Obi-Wan could feel the anguish pouring off the Zabrak in front of him. *Goddammit! Can't he ever just have something good for once?* For a second, Obi-Wan raged at the Force or the Fates or whatever power ground away at the universe.

"Are you sure? It's not just a dream?"

"I'm sure." Maul put one hand over his mouth, his eyes gone soft and brimming.

Obi-Wan moved quickly to Maul's side. "I'm sorry. Oh, Maul, I'm so sorry." He knelt down and grasped him in an awkward half-hug, Maul?eft arm entwined through his, the Zabrak's horned head on his shoulder facing the fire.

"I should have just sent him away the first night. I shouldn't have let him stay." Obi-Wan could feel Mauls face moving on his shoulder as the Zabrak struggled for control. The Jedi put his hand on Maul's neck and stroked him gently. "I was so unsure at first but I let him in anyway and now I've gotten... attached."

Obi-Wan said nothing, there was nothing to say. He didn't trust his voice.

//Love him while you can. That's all any of us can ever do.//

//Why does it have to hurt so much?//

//If you didn't care, it wouldn't hurt.//

Maul nodded and pulled away. Obi-Wan couldn't resist wiping away the tears on his cheeks.

"When you're ready, I'll always be here for you." Obi-Wan said in a shaky voice.

"Thank you, Obi-Wan. I know that." Maul looked at him steadily, then his hands bracketed Obi-Wan's face. They both bent forward, their kiss gentle, loving, quietly supportive. Nothing more. Not this time.

Maul leaned back and gazed into the fire, remembering...

Summer Rains, Summer Ends: Part Two