Chapter 1: Chapter 1
As happened with unfortunate frequency, it was a tired, soggy and generally bedraggled Master & Padawan team that departed the shuttle in the main hanger of the Jedi temple. Their most recent mission had, in fact, been a success and the elections on Anthosia (a planet that they had been assured was not perpetually drizzly, cold and grey but certainly was for the duration of their stay) had completed smoothly and lawfully as far as the general public were concerned.
Unfortunately, behind the scenes it had been another story entirely. An investigation by Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi into the source of funds for the far-right campaign had led them right in to the middle of a people smuggling ring they were obliged to break up through a difficult series of Aggressive Negotiations.
Qui-Gon was mindful to slow his step as they walked in to the temple and slid a glance at the damp 16-year-old, currently trying to shiver as unobtrusively as possible, following him. Jedi code be dammed he was immensely proud of Obi-Wan, always, but particularly at this moment.
Circumstances had meant that his padawan had taken the lead on dismantling the smuggling ring whilst Qui-Gon put on a calm façade and handled the negotiations. Obi-Wan had displayed the wisdom, fortitude and skill of a Jedi with twice his experience. However, to Qui-Gon’s dismay, his usual amount of self-preservation instinct. He was sure Obi-Wan had been pushing himself too hard. Neglecting to eat properly, find time to sleep and at one point he had heroically saved the lives of 18 children, standing in a storm for hours using the force to hold up a crumbling building to stop it collapsing with the children inside.
The result was an exhausted and very ill Padawan. Obi-Wan was taking his illness with his usual attitude towards his own health and wellbeing, which is to say he was ignoring it. It had made for a very quiet journey home at least; Qui-Gon had sensed Obi-Wan trying (in vein) to hide his coughs, sniffs and shivers and focus all this strength on keeping his various aches and exhaustion behind his mental shields. Qui-Gon had been impressed at the effort but it had not quite stopped him from picking up on his Padawan’s state.
Noting the change of his Master’s gait and the concerned glance he was getting Obi-Wan sighed.
“I’m fine master” sniff. Qui-Gon rolled his eyes.
“Of course you are Obi-Wan, I have full confidence in your medical skills and extensive training. We shall however, be asking the Healers to back up your diagnosis.”
“But master really it’s –“ came the beginning of the reply,
“Not up for debate” Qui-Gin interrupted firmly. He was impressed with his apprentice’s self-restraint when this was greeted with nothing but a quiet huff and a folding of arms as he sullenly followed his master.
As they approached the lift doors a loud cheerful greeting came from one Jedi Master Ally Etude “Qui-Gon, Padawan Kenobi, welcome back!” Master Etude was one of Qui-Gon’s many old friends at the temple and had spent the previous year teaching Obi-Wan’s Negotiation and Meditation class. He was a permanently cheerful, deceptively energetic old Togruta, and both Jedi were pleased to see him. He cast an eye over the team.
“Ahh I see it was another peaceful walk among the gardens of Naboo for you two?” he smirked at Qui-Gon’s snort. His eyes lingered on the younger of the pair as he took in Obi-wan’s pale pallor, uncharacteristic silence, dark circles and quiet sniffs. “Are you quite well padawan?” he asked, concerned.
“Yes thank you Master, I may have picked up a slight case of the sniffles but I’m fine” came the slightly too loud, and rather pointed response, clearly directed at all occupants of the lift. Qui-Gon met his old friend’s eyes with a frustrated look.
“We are on our way to the healing halls now to get Obi-Wan looked at, I’m afraid he has clearly got the flu” he replied, equally pointed. He looked over at his padawan “or some kind of plague” he finished with a hint of a smile. Another huff. Master Etude smiled at the exchange. Well used to dealing with stubborn young Jedi, and having had first hand experience of the stubbornness of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he was not envious of his old friend. The lift arrived at his floor before he needed to get deeper into the debate.
“Well…I wish you a quick recovery from your sniffles Obi-Wan” he looked over at Qui-Gon “good luck Master Jinn” he said with a twinkle in his eye as he departed. Qu-Gon glared in response.
A beat of silence. And then the predictable: “Master, what if we just went home first for a rest, and to clean up and then I promise I’ll go to the healers as soon as-“
“Obi-Wan” Qui-Gon rounded on him fully in his best no-nonsense tone, feeling just a little guilty for interrupting again, but quickly loosing patience and finally allowing worry to influence his mood “I will not have this argument again. Your health and wellbeing is of paramount importance, you do not have to like it but you will go to the healers”. The guilt returned when he watched the young man visibly deflate, shoulders slumping and posture finally starting to show exhaustion, he said nothing. “Cheer up, perhaps Bant will be on duty, or maybe Master Toll?” he offered to his miserable padawan “and then we can indeed go home. Tahl may have re-stocked the pantry if we’re lucky. Or unlucky depending on what she’s been experimenting with”. This at least got a vey weak smile out of his apprentice, as they exited the lift and entered the busy reception area for the halls of healing.
Steering Obi-Wan over to the reception desk he greeted the senior padawan on duty, not Obi-Wan’s friend Bant unfortunately, but a Twi’lek competent enough to take one look at Obi-Wan and promptly direct them over to an examination room.
“Master Toll will be with you soon” she informed them.
Moments later the privacy screen was pulled back and Master healer Ermi Toll took in the sight of them with a cheerful hello “Ah my favourite patients back at Temple. I thought my life had been just that little bit too easy of late” he teased, pausing to run an analytical eye over Obi-wan.
“Hello Master Toll”
“Thank you for seeing us so quickly”
“Hello Obi-Wan, of course not a problem Master Jinn. I know when either of you actually walk in here voluntarily” a snort from Obi-Wan at this point, earning a raised eyebrow from Master Toll “then the matter deserves my immediate attention” he smiled. Truthfully, he was very fond of the copper haired young Jedi. Generally very polite, always kind, and known for being selfless, Obi-Wan was a good friend to Padawan healer Erin and had a dry wit that Ermi appreciated.
“Right” he started, brisk and suddenly business like “Master Jinn, if you’d like to wait just outside I will examine Padawan Kenobi”. He locked eyes with Obi-Wan “who will give me full and honest answers to all of my questions” he said sternly and was satisfied when the young man nodded and flushed a little. They had been down this road before, Obi-Wan was not a very forthcoming patient.
Qui-Gon left the room and Obi-wan eyed Master Toll with a very wary look. He had been uncharacteristically quiet throughout the while exchange, and seemed to get a little smaller as he sat on the bio-bed. Ermi took a gentle approach, as one would a skittish animal.
“Now then Obi-Wan” he started “tell me how you feel, I’m just going to do a few scans but I’m assuming you have a headache, sore throat and blocked nose?” Obi-wan nodded (stopping quickly with a wince at the pain in his head) as Master Toll took his force levels and waved a beeping instrument over him, making a tutting noise at the reading.
“My head hurts the most, it feels like my teeth are throbbing and my nose really hurts” Obi-Wan reluctantly admitted. He knew better by now than to withhold information from Toll. “Everything is a bit fuzzy and breathing is…really hard” he finished lamely, wheezing a bit. Master Toll nodded, his readings corroborating this and more. Minutes passed, a few more waves of the beeping machine, as well as some prodding of Obi-Wan’s face. He was asked to open his mouth and say ahh, breathe deeply and then after even more tutting Master Toll invited Qui-Gon back in to the room.
“Well” he faced the two “let it never be said that you do things by halves Padawan Kenobi” he started. Qui-Gon sighed and it was Obi-Wan’s turn to raise an eyebrow. “You have a nasty case of psychic shock from force overuse, you have the flu and you have one of the worst sinus infections I have seen in a long time” Obi-Wan groaned and Qui-Gon sighed again. “What on earth have you been doing Obi-Wan?” Master Toll asked incredulously. A beat of silence and then;
“I stood outside in the rain for ages” Obi-wan offered unhelpfully
“…why in the galaxy did you do that?”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time” came the flippant response. Toll bit back a smile.
Qui-Gon rolled his eyes and resisted the urge to throttle his student.
“Obi-Wan saved the lives of 18 children by holding up an entire building for a several hours, in the middle of a storm”. He explained to Master Toll, who was suitably impressed.
“Well…now that is quite something. Padawan Kenobi you should be very proud, few could achieve such a feat at your age” he complimented. Obi-Wan promptly went pink.
“Wasn’t a big building” he muttered and Ermi laughed, Qui-Gon shook his head.
“All heroics aside padawan, I’m afraid you’re in for a rough couple of weeks to say the least. You’ll need lots of rest, fluids, full meals and we’re going to fill you full of vitamins. You’re in no shape to do anything, absolutely no exercise or force use beyond your normal shielding.” Mater toll hummed for a moment, Obi-Wan had the sense not to argue as Ermi eyed him thoughtfully. “In fact, I know you’re not going to like it, but I’m temped to keep you here overnight to keep an eye on you”
Obi-wan, who had up until this point been holding his composure quietly accepting his fate, let out a noise of surprise and a look of utter dismay crossed his features. He shot a childish pleading look at his master.
Qui-Gon looked down at the boy sitting on the bed in front of him. Obi-Wan was one of the most mature, serious and intelligent young people he had ever met. He was the first person Qui-Gon would choose to watch his back, and he trusted him to shoulder responsibilities he would ask of no one else. But now, leaking exhaustion and hurt into the force around him, Obi-Wan looked every inch the stressed, miserable youth that he was.
“Master Toll is that strictly necessary? I assure you I can look after Obi-Wan perfectly well, and we will follow your instructions to the letter” he tried to negotiate with Toll.
“I don’t need looking after!” came an indignant mutter, summarily ignored.
“Master Jinn if you’re sure? I am not to be misunderstood. I want him off his feat for the next few days, and then plenty of rest and absolutely no stress.” Master Toll instructed sternly. Qui-Gon nodded
“We are of one mind in this Ermi, I promise I will make sure Obi-Wan behaves and I will monitor him closely”. Master Toll nodded approvingly. Obi-Wan looked between them both hopefully.
“Well, I will be back momentarily with my prescription for you” Master Toll looked from Qui-Gon to Obi-Wan “I’m going to get you a course of antibiotics, painkillers, vitamins – we’ll be taking about your general eating habits later- some decongestants and an inhaler”. Obi-Wan’s eyes widened, this all seemed rather excessive but Master Toll was already heading off to gather their supplies.
Obi-Wan turned to his master gratefully, with this eyes trained on the corner of the bed he said “Thank you Master. I’m sure it won’t take too long to shake this off, and I promise not to be too much of an inconvenience, I can look after myself”. He looked up at that, a familiar look of determination on his young face. Qui-Gon felt his heart clench a little. After all these years Qui-Gon had still never managed to assure his beloved Padawan of his importance. What was he thinking? Obi-Wan” he said softly, and put his hand on a skinny shoulder.
“It is my job to look after you, something I take great pleasure in doing. When you allow me to” he finished wryly. Obi-Wan lifted his head to look at his Master with a shy smile, and Master Toll re-entered the room. Holding a disconcertingly large paper bag full of medicine.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
15 minutes, many more assurances and several lists of instructions later (Qui-Gon was trying hard not to take it personally. He was perfectly capable of taking care of his own apprentice!) the two were crossing the threshold into their cosy flat in the temple. It hadn’t been a long mission, but they had left on short notice and Qui-Gon distinctly remembered leaving their rooms in rather a state. Force bless Tahl for looking after them, he made a mental note to buy her a drink at some point. Spare cloaks had been hung up, pads tidied up in neat piles and yes! There was a bowl full of hearty stew ready to be heated up in the fridge that he spotted as he headed to the kitchen, followed closely by Obi-Wan.
It was a post mission ritual that both Jedi would reacquaint themselves with their sofa over pot of tea and gorge themselves on whatever Tahl had left them. Obi-Wan began filling up the kettle, moving around his master in the small kitchen with well-practiced ease, only to let out a yelp as the kettle was snatched out of his hand. “Hey!”
“You need to go and clean up, leave this to me” his master instructed.
“But I always make the tea” Obi-Wan protested. And then sniffed.
“You heard Master Toll, get in the shower and change in to your sleep clothes. There’s a de-contestant cube in the bag you can use that should help clear your sinuses, then head in to my room” turning Obi-Wan around Qui-Gon pushed him towards their small fresher. Obi-Wan complied with sluggish movements and a small quiet mutter Qui-Gon didn’t catch.
He completed the tea preparation to the sound of their shower, and had just finished changing the sheets on his large bed in the master bedroom when Obi-Wan shuffled in. He looked marginally happier (Obi-Wan was a big fan of cleanliness and was generally grumpy when he was dirty, even when he was in the best of health) but still very pathetic, and Qui-Gon had to remind himself that a big hug and being forcibly burritod in blankets would not go down at all well with his teenage Padawan.
“Well, hop in” He pulled back the thick duvet and gestured to the bed.
“Er…what? Master this is your bed…?” ginger eyebrows raised and he was looking very dubiously at his master.
“I am aware of that Obi-Wan, however I want you where I can keep an eye on you and my bed is infinitely more comfortable than yours, and bigger” he pulled back the fresh, thick duvet a little further and Obi-Wan looked at him uncertainty again before he reluctantly slid in to the bed. Qui-Gon allowed himself a quick satisfied smile when he caught a relieved sigh from his apprentice and gently helped Obi-Wan into a sitting position propped up on pillows. He was repaid with a huff and a half-hearted glare.
“What would you like to eat? Tahl has left some stew but it might be a bit much for your throat.” He thought for a second, mentally cataloguing the contents of their pantry.
“Actually master, I don’t think I’m very hungry thank you”
“Why yes we do have porridge, that’s a good idea. Muja fruit or berry flavour?”
“No, master I don’t want anything”
“Ahh berry might be a bit sweet, I’ll go and heat up a sachet of the Muja fruit flavour” Qui-gon carried on. He often found he got more satisfactory results when he simply had the conversation he wanted to have, rather than the conversation he was actually having. In this case he was rewarded with an actual laugh (and a wheeze) from Obi-Wan at the ridiculousness of their exchange.
Obi-Wan settled back in to the pillows with a sigh. The bed really was much more comfortable than his own and he basked for a moment in the feeling of being clean, horizontal and home as he listened to the comfortingly familiar sounds of his Master pottering in the kitchen. He rolled his eyes, this was so unnecessary he was sixteen years old for Force’s sake! He was a Jedi Padawan not some initiate. He could make his own porridge! Qui-Gon did overreact sometimes.
Qui-Gon re-entered with a small bowl of flavoured porridge and a large mug of tea. Tea! Obi-Wan felt his heart soar as he tried not to snatch his favourite mug (“Galaxy’s best Grandfather” a joke gift courtesy of Garren) from his Master. “Thank you Master”
“You’re welcome little one”
Uh oh Obi-Wan winced at the nickname, his Master only used it when Obi-Wan was looking particularly pathetic. He was going to have to be smart to avoid spending the rest of his life smothered in blankets.
“Eat your porridge” Qui-Gon filled the silence and stood up. He walked around the bed and settled on comfortably on it next to Obi-Wan, sitting up on top of the duvet and stretching his long legs out in front of him. He pulled out a pad and began to read.
“…aren’t you going to shower Master?”
Qui-Gon gave him a very flat look. "Really, Obi-Wan?”
Obi-Wan flushed “sorry Master it’s just…er…it was quite a busy mission” he started diplomatically and blew his nose whilst he struggled to find the words to continue. Qui-Gon took pity on his apprentice. With a loud put-upon sigh and a dramatic groan, he got up and made for the fresher. He said nothing, except to look pointedly at Obi-Wans untouched porridge. Taking the hint Obi-Wan began to eat.
Whilst he did not share Obi-Wans love of cleanliness Qui-Gon did enjoy his shower, and was thankful he took the suggestion. He changed in to soft clean clothes and padded back to his bedroom. His Padawan had finished most of the porridge and the bowl was set on the bedside table, Obi-Wan had picked up the nearest pad (a volume on the wildlife of Aldreaan that Qui-Gon had got bored of) and was reading. He smiled softly when he saw his master and Qui-Gon re-settled himself on the bed, on top of the duvet giving the teenager some space.
Obi-wan was rather pleased at how much of the porridge he had managed to eat, feeling better for it, and would never admit it but his master’s warm solid weight next to him was incredibly comforting. The words on the pad started blurring at the edges and he felt his head droop. He was sure he wasn’t this tired before and wondered, with a glance at his Master, weather Qui-Gon was slyly using a sleep suggestion on him.
“I am not Obi-Wan, you are exhausted” Qui-Gon had caught the stray thought through leaky shields. He looked up from his reading and added with a slight smile and a small wave of his hand “it is not a bad idea though”.
Before he could protest Obi-Wan felt himself being drawn in to a deep and dreamless sleep with a vague feeling of irritation.
Qui-Gone smiled at his ill Padawan’s sleeping form and removed the pad from his slack hands. He had a lot of faith in the healing powers of a decent night’s sleep but doubted there would be any change in Obi-Wan’s condition in the morning. He was not looking forward to dealing with a moody and stubborn teenager. Deciding he would need all his strength he too put his head on the pillow and used the force to pull a spare blanket over himself (what his student didn’t see wouldn’t hurt either of them) as he drifted off to sleep.
Qui-Gon was woken a few hours later by an…upset in the force. It took him a few moments to identify the feeling and why he had been woken but it soon became clear when he took note of the warm lump pressed against his side. Obi wan was shivering slightly, letting out soft congested snores and had rolled his way to Qui-Gon’s side seeking warmth. Still fast asleep he was twitching slightly.
“Ahh, a bad dream” he thought, reaching out a hand he gently stroked Obi-Wan’s hair and sent soothing waves through the force. He soon calmed down and Qui-Gon used the force to bring over another blanket, tucking it snugly around his padawan.
He smiled. Obi-Wan would be mortified if he knew what he was doing, cuddling up to his old master, but Qui-Gon enjoyed the rare closeness. Obi-Wan had never been one for a huge amount of physical comfort, another way the two Jedi were different. Though in his darkest moments Qui-Gon felt the guilt of their first few years together and wondered if he had moulded his ward to be this way. He had not been in the right mind frame to readily offer comfort, hugs and other things children liked at the start of their partnership, and Obi-Wan had been too shy and conscious of keeping his master happy to seek them out.
He shook himself out of his melancholic thoughts and gave the lump that was his ill Padawan another gentle pat. He loved teaching and Obi-Wan was the best thing that ever happened to him. Frustrating, stubborn and a magnet for trouble as he was, Qui-gon would move a planet for his boy. Jedi code be dammed, their bond was the will of the force he was sure of it.
He checked his comm and sighed at the reading. He would soon need to get up and depart for his council de-briefing, sure to be a long-winded and tiresome affair but necessary he supposed. At least he had good news to report.
With clever use of the force he reluctantly extracted himself from his Padawan’s side without waking him, and began preparing for the day.
The temple corridors were bustling with life as Masters, Knights, Padawans and initiates all moving in all directions to get to breakfast, classes or the transport hanger. Qui-Gon enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere as he weaved his way through the crowd to get to the council chambers.
“Good morning masters” he greeted the council, looking at them all in turn and making one bow to the centre of the room.
“Welcome back Master Jinn, it is good to see you in one piece, your mission report made for interesting reading” Mace Windu greeted him. Qui-Gon resisted the urge to roll his eyes and at the subtle dig. He certainly hadn’t bothered filing a report, Obi-Wan must have done it at some point and the council knew it. Dam over-achieving Padawan, he thought.
“Yes Master Windu, it is a pleasure to be back at the temple. It was a challenging mission but I trust you are satisfied with the outcome?”
Mace smirked, but it was Master Plo Koon who answered “yes, very much so Qui-Gon. We have received a communication from the Frist Prime of Anthosia commending yourself and your Padawan. You both saved a lot of lives and kept the government afloat in difficult times”
Ahh Qui-Gon had always been a big fan of Master Plo, he flashed the Kel Door a smile.
“The greater share of the credit should go to my Padawan, his bravery and skill made the mission a success” he responded to approving looks from the councillors.
“Your Padawan, where is he?” Yoda spoke up for the first time.
“I’m afraid Obi-Wan is ill, we visited the healers yesterday and he will unfortunately be recovering for the next couple of weeks”
“Hmm a shame that is” Yoda’s ears twitched downwards “to see him, we would like, to commend him for his actions”. Oh he’s going to love that, Qui-Gon thought sarcastically of his awkward and attention-shy apprentice.
“Yes, bring him here when he is recovered, we would like to speak with him. It has been a long time since we have seen him” Mace Windu instructed, which just a hint of disapproval. Obi-Wan had managed to avoid their last two council meetings and the council did so like to keep an eye on both members of their maverick team. “And please pass on our best wishes for his speedy recovery” he finished genuinely.
“I will of course Masters” Qui-Gon acquiesced. Obi-Wan could count a few council members among his supporters, it seemed.
“Master Jinn, several details were omitted from your report Master Jinn, could you give us a more detailed account of the mission?” Shaak Ti began, and so another tedious council meeting got in to full swing.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Obi-Wan Kenobi was sure he had never felt this bad in his life. He was not, as a rule, the dramatic sort but really, he felt like he’d been run over by a speeder. Somehow both too cold and too hot at the same time, his head was throbbing, all his muscles were sore and every breath was coming out a wheeze. He was sure he hadn’t felt this bad yesterday coming home from the mission. He lay in the silence of the empty flat for a few moments. He assumed Qui-Gon must be meeting the council.
Ugh. He made to get up. As nice as it would be to lie around all day (Qui-Gon’s bed was much better than his own, and it seemed he had made himself a very snug blanket nest in the night) he felt disgusting. It was time for a shower and some clean clothes. Yes, a shower he decided and closed his eyes. Any minute now. He worked on summoning the energy to sit up. He thought of the decongestant cubes Master Troll had given him to dissolve in the shower, and how wonderful it was to be able to breathe through his nose even for just a few minutes. Maybe once he made it to the shower he could just stay in there forever?
He pushed himself up and then froze. There was a noise coming from the living room now, someone was in the flat and his bond told him it wasn’t Qui-Gon. There was no need to be alarmed, he certainly wasn’t in danger here in the Temple, but it left him in an awkward position. Someone must have let themselves in and was waiting for Qui-Gon. Should he get up and greet their visitor? He didn’t really want to see anybody right now (especially all gross and in his sleep clothes!) but the visitor knew he was there and it would be rude to ignore them.
His sluggish mind was still dithering when the bedroom door opened, and the identity of their guest was revealed. He should have known really, and smiled when he saw Tahl pop her head round the door and come towards him holding a cup of tea and a handful of tablets.
“Hello Obi-Wan!” she smiled and set beside him on the bed.
“Hi Tahl” incredibly glad to see her in the midst of his misery, he gave her an awkward one armed hug from where he was sitting (which unfortunately resulted in a coughing fit and a sympathetic pat on the back).
“You look terrible” She joked, pretending to look him over with her blind eyes. Obi-Wan laughed out loud (more coughing).
“Thanks very much”. A beat and then “I feel awful” he admitted quietly, looking down at the bedsheets. Obi-Wan known Tahl since he was a small child, she was what he imagined a mother would be. Soft and caring, he was incredibly grateful her quiet comfort and wisdom, but would sooner fight a Kyat Dragon than cross her.
“I know darling, it sounds like you’ve been through the wringer. Here” She handed him the tea and tablets “drink this and take these” he took a quick sip of the tea and held the tablets in his hand.
“Go on” she prompted “one at a time” watching him keenly. He rolled his eyes and started taking the tablets. Euck. It felt like he was trying to swallow pebbles around his swollen glands. She nodded approvingly and took the tea out of his hands.
“I hope you weren’t thinking of getting up” she said at the same time as holding the back of her hand against his forehead in the universal gesture of a caregiver “Hmm you’re a little too warm” she carried on, without waiting for a reply. “I’ll just get the thermometer, you stay there” she made to leave the bedroom.
“Oh no I’m just going to get in the shower” He started to move again but the Jedi Master was back in a flash, sitting next to him again forcing him to shuffle back.
“We’ll see. Open wide” she said, basically shoving the thermometer in his mouth. He glared at her, making sure she felt it in the force, and she smiled back, ruffling his hair.
“MmmHm” he complained around the thermometer and shook his head away. The thermometer beeped and Tahl took it out of his mouth, feeling the reading with an unhappy noise.
“Hmmm yes you have a slight fever, but I think that’s to be expected from what Qui-Gon and Ermi have said” Great Obi-Wan thought everybody has been thoroughly briefed on my situation. Thanks Master Toll. She felt his dismay around his fragile shields.
“Qui-Gon gave me a copy of your medical report, I hope that’s alright?” she explained. Realisation dawned on Obi-Wan.
“He asked you to babysit me whilst he’s with the council didn’t he?” Obi-wan asked, with a small amount of bitterness. It didn’t say a lot about his Master’s faith in him that he wouldn’t leave his apprentice alone for a few hours. He really didn’t need a babysitter!
“Now then” Tahl countered soothingly “he’s just worried, you know how he gets” Obi-Wan did indeed know, she was referring to Qui-Gon’s 'Mamma Bantha' routine.
“And you don’t help you know, you do tend to push yourself harder than you should” He opened his mouth to argue but she carried on “I have strict instructions to make sure you remain resting, take your medicine, drink lots of fluids and eat sensibly. So, I’m going to make breakfast whilst you have a nice cool shower. It might help get your temperature down.” She stood up and helped Obi-wan to his feet and pulled him in to a hug. He smiled and hugged back, it really was wonderful to see her. And she was letting him shower! He had been gearing himself up for an argument about that.
It took an incredible amount of energy to complete his shower. It was wonderful to be clean and to be able to breathe for a little while, but he had all the strength of a wet noodle by the time he had changed in to fresh sleep clothes, and his wheeze and blocked nose quickly returned when he hit the cold air. He groaned and shuffled from the fresher into the corridor making for his room.
“Back in here please Obi-Wan” Tahl called from Qui-Gon’s room. Too exhausted to argue he made his way to the master bedroom and collapsed on the freshly made bed.
“Thanks, Tahl” he sighed quietly and closed his eyes.
“No no, there’ll be time for sleep in a moment, just eat a bit of this first” She prodded him and manhandled him into a sitting position, worry in her eyes. Really must work on shields he thought blearily as she handed him a protein bar, but touching the force physically hurt at the moment. He really wasn’t hungry but he was smart enough to pick his battles, there would be no winning this one. He finished the mushy bar in a few silent bites, swapping it for a large glass of water Tahl watched him finish. Swallowing was becoming more painful and he just wanted to float off in to sleep. The empty glass was taken from his hands and he slowly lowered himself onto the pillows. He closed his eyes and felt a cool soothing hand carding through his hair, gently sending him off to sleep.
Qui-Gon entered the flat as quietly as possible. Hopefully Tahl would have been able to keep Obi-Wan in bed and he would be asleep. He spotted her sitting at the table and grinned, despite the wearisome council meeting he felt a rush of happiness at seeing his…friend. He announced himself with a cough and gave her a big hug as she rose to greet him.
“Hello you” she smiled
“It’s good to see you” he said keeping his voice low. They went in to the tiny kitchen and he started making a pot of tea for them both quietly. “Thank you for doing this" he started, “how is he?” Qui-Gon motioned towards his bedroom.
“Nonsense” Tahl replied disapprovingly and whacked him on the arm “of course I’m here to look after him” she frowned. “He really is very ill, poor thing. He took his tablets, managed a shower and a protein bar and he’s been dead to the world for the last…” she felt her wrist chrono “hour or so. He did have a bit of a temperature, but we can keep an eye on that”. Qui-Gon nodded thoughtfully and handed her the tea as they sat down.
“How was the mission?” She asked. He sighed and rested his head against the back of the sofa
“Oh long and hard, though not as hard as the council meeting” they smirked at each other. “Obi-Wan was incredible, he’s so skilled Tahl, he’s going to be a great Knight” He paused, debating his next words and lowering his tone “I’m afraid it will be much sooner than I’m prepared for” he admitted quietly, still looking at the ceiling. Tahl smiled at her friend.
“We have always known he is a prodigy Qui. Actually, the only person who doesn’t know is Obi-Wan.” She patted him on the arm comfortingly. “They outgrow us much faster than we outgrow them, it’s the hardest part of being a master and there’s nothing to be done about it” she counselled sagely “…but I promise to get you absolutely hammered after you cut his braid” she finished with a wicked smile. Qui-Gon laughed
“Thank you so much, the Dresillian martinis are on me”. They passed the next couple of hours in comfortable quiet conversation, catching up on temple gossip and Tahl’s latest few missions, mindful of their sleeping Padawan in the next room.
As with all good things though, their reunion had to end, and Tahl left to teach her afternoon meditation class with a quick kiss on the cheek and the promise to pop in tomorrow and say hello to Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon popped his head in to check on his ill student, it was time for more medicine. The silence of the bedroom was punctuated by congested snores and slight wheezes. Qui-Gon braced himself for a disgruntled and moody apprentice, and gently shook Obi-Wan’s shoulder.
“Obi-Wan” he said gently. No response. “Padawan” he tried again, a little louder and with another shake of one shoulder. This time he was rewarded with a grumbling sound and a murmur as his apprentice opened his eyes and squinted at his master.
“Master? ‘time is it?” he questioned thickly, rolling away from his master and closing his eyes again.
“No no” Qui-Gon gently tugged him back towards him “it’s time to take more medicine Obi-wan, just stay awake for just a few moments”
“nnarrgh don’ wanna”
Oh dear. It seemed his mature polite Padawan had been replaced by, force help him, a Teenager. “Come on Little One just sit up for me” he coaxed, ignoring the death glare and the huff he handed his reluctantly sitting Padawan another handful of tablets and a glass of water. To his relief everything was ingested with minimal trouble and soon his apprentice was settling down again with a groan.
“I don’t suppose you’re feeling any better?” he patted Obi-Wan’s hair but quickly stopped at the disgruntled noise and accompanying glare.
“’m not a child Master” ahh yes. Firmly in teenager territory.
“I know Padawan” Qui-Gon attempted to placate his student and backed off a bit. It wouldn’t do to stress Obi-Wan. “How are you feeling?”
“Ugh, tired. Don’ fuss Master” Came the moody response as his normally obedient and dutiful student closed his eyes and rolled over again. Qui-Gon resisted the urge to laugh. The rare occasions Obi-Wan acted his age were oddly gratifying. His Padawan was far too tightly wound and anxious of his place in the Order, he never allowed himself to be petulant or give in to his base instincts and it did him good sometimes. Qui-Gon resisted the urge to tuck him in and left quietly. Still, it would get old soon. Hopefully when he awoke Obi-One would be a little more cheerful.
Qui-Gon peaked round the door again several hours later, and his apprentice was still sleeping soundly. Qui-Gon frowned. He still sounded congested and if Qui-Gon tuned in to the force he could still pick up on Obi-Wans aches and pains around faulty shields. They would have to work on those at some point when Obi-Wan was feeling stronger. For the second night Qui-Gon laid down on the bed next to his padawan and drew a blanket over himself as Obi-Wan was under the covers. The majority of the covers actually but he was no longer shivering. At least he wasn’t awake to take issue with Qui-Gon’s hygiene again.
The next morning found Qui-Gon settled on the sofa engrossed in his reading. He was on a teaching rotation whilst they were both back at the Temple and that meant re-familiarising himself with the Junior Padawan Galactic History curriculum. He had heard the shower finish a little while ago, and was listening to sniffing and a cough from his bedroom. He paused, wondering if Obi-Wan was going to emerge. More coughing, Qui-Gon winced. Obi-Wan shuffled into the living room clutching his dressing gown around himself and moving slowly. Hmm obviously still a lot of muscular pain then, Qui-Gon observed.
“Good morning Obi-Wan” he greeted cautiously, remembering the teenager who emerged the previous evening.
“Hi Master” came the small reply. Ahh his worries were unfounded. His apprentice was back! Obi-Wan cautiously came closer and stood directly in front of his Master on the sofa. Qui-Gon rose his eyebrows. “…is everything alright Padawan? Besides the plague I mean” he questioned lightly. Obi-Wan was fiddling with the corner of his dressing gown and seemed to be struggling to look Qui-Gon in the eye.
“Master, I owe you an apology I was…rude last night, you’ve been so patient and I didn’t mean to be ungrateful, I didn’t mean anything I said” Obi-Wan’s unnecessary apology came out in one breath, garbled and quick. Qui-Gon stared at him.
“Obi-Wan” he started, and then paused. How could he possibly put his feelings in to words? He took in the flushed, skinny, child in front of him (still not making eye contact) and simply decided not to. In one swift motion he stood and gathered the boy in his arms, pulling him down on to the sofa. “Master!” Obi-Wan squeaked “what?..what are you? Master!” he spluttered as he was manhandled to sit with his back against his Master’s chest.
“Hush” Qui-Gon admonished, securing Obi-Wan against him with one arm around the thin waist, and pulling the padawan’s legs up on to the couch so he was in a lying position. Obi-Wan squirmed, his arms trapped against his torso and Qui-Gon’s large arm, but he was exhausted and quickly gave up and gave in.
“Is this alright?” Qui-Gon questioned quietly. He didn’t want to make his padawan uncomfortable. He simply wanted him close and to know, everything between them was fine.
“I…yes, Master” He felt Obi-Wan’s surprised pleasure through the force.
“Good” he said. “Your apology is appreciated, but unnecessary. Though you are much of the time, you cannot always be perfect” he couldn’t see but could safely assume his apprentice was blushing. “You are only human Obi-Wan, and you would have to say a lot worse to offend me. I cannot imagine anything you could say that would cause me disappointment” he finished softly. Cutting to what he thought was the route of Obi-Wan’s anxieties. He left it a moment to allow his words to (hopefully) sink in, and Obi-Wan said nothing.
“…still though” he started again with a mischievous thought “do you take back everything you said?” Obi-Wan froze.
“Yes of course Master” he was assured quickly.
“Excellent. Then I believe I can ignore your request of last night, and can indeed fuss” Qui-Gon stated happily.
“No wait that’s not fair!” came the indignant response, accompanied by a couple of sniffs and a clearing of the throat.
“Ah but I believe it is, and as the senior member of our little partnership I get to decide what is fair. I believe I am entitled to one day” he looked at his chrono “well, afternoon, of fussing over you to my heart’s content with absolutely no whining or argument” He smiled and patted Obi-Wan on the shoulder, who, it seemed, knew when he was beaten.
“…I don’t whine” Obi-Wan muttered.
“Of course not, my most dutiful and obedient Padawan” he assured. Fully aware of how irritating he was being, and loving it. It was not often he got the upper hand this easily. Obi-Wan just sniffed so he continued. “Now, I believe it is time for you to eat something” Qui-Gon carefully extracted himself “do not get up” he firmly instructed his student as Obi-Wan made to stand. Instead he just folded his arms.
Qui-Gon returned with bowls of pink porridge and the two ate in silence, Obi-Wan struggling to swallow around his sore throat and Qui-Gon absorbed in his studies.
“Thank you Master”
“It is my pleasure Obi-Wan, here” yet another handful of tablets were shoved under Obi-Wan’s nose and a glass of water appeared in his hand.
“Thank you Master” Obi-Wan ground out sarcastically, but nevertheless, did as he was bid. Managing to just about stifle a yawn after taking the last tablet. Just about.
“Ahh, I believe it may be time for a nap” Qui-Gon noted
“Yes Master, you must be tired” came the flippant response.
“Brat” Qui-Gon gently tugged on his apprentice’s braid. “Wait there I’m going to make the bed”
“Oh no Master you really don’t have to it’s fine the way it is.” Obi-Wan made to move off the sofa.
“Ah ah ah! I believe we agreed an afternoon of perfect obedience?” He was possibly pushing it a bit now but opportunities like this did not come along very often.
“…Yes Master” sniff. Qui-Gon smiled as he changed the sheets on the big bed whilst Obi-Wan remained on the sofa.
Some minutes later found the team in their usual spots on the bed. Obi-Wan dozing under the covers on the comfortable pillows and Qui-Gon laid out next to him. That was how Tahl found them hours later as she popped her head in to deliver what Qui-Gon thought could only be described as a bucket of soup. She smiled and silently waved the bucket at him from the bedroom the doorway, mindful of the sleeping youth on the bed. He nearly snorted but followed her in to the living room, closing the door behind them both.
“Do you think you’ve brought enough soup?” he questioned deadpan, looking at the bucket/container.
“Very funny. He’s poorly, and he doesn’t eat enough anyway. He’s a growing boy!”
“Yes but he’s not going to bathe in it”
“Oh shut up” She playfully smacked his arm and set about putting the container in the fridge. Or trying to. It was way too large. Qui-Gon watched her frown for a moment at the container and then turn to him “Would you like some soup?” She asked lightly. He laughed
“We had porridge a few hours ago but I am willing to help you my dear, if you’d be so kind as to get three bowls I’ll get Obi-Wan”
“Ahh Qui you are so good to me” She quipped as she decanted the soup.
Obi-Wan was actually awake and stretching as his Master entered the room, he smiled.
“Hi Master, is Tahl here?” he asked, sitting up and putting his feet on the floor. Qui-Gon handed him his slippers.
“Indeed, and she’s brought you enough soup to drown a Bantha.” He replied, a little louder for Tahl’s benefit.
“Right, no soup for Master Jinn” Tahl’s voice floated in to the room from the kitchen. The two Jedi grinned at each other as Qui-Gon helped Obi-Wan to his feet.
“How are you feeling Obi-Wan dear?” Tahl enquired of the sleepy, pale boy they were both so fond of.
“Better thank you, I think I should be back to normal soon” Obi-Wan replied confidently. The two Master’s shared a dubious look.
“Well I’m glad you’re feeling better but you don’t want to rush things Padawan” Tahl supplied cautiously, serving the soup. Qui-Gon gave him a scrutinising look and Obi-Wan made a non-committal noise and a sniff.
“Well...I imagine normal is a long way off, if it is something you ever achieve” Qui-Gon teased and got a roll of the eyes from his apprentice. “However, I feel a little more confident that you won’t join the force in your sleep. Maybe you could sleep in your own bed tonight?”
“I’d like that Master, and in the spirit of our agreement, I promise not to die” Obi-Wan smiled at him over his bowl. Tahl looked between them both, smiling at their own in-joke, and shook her head.
“Be quiet and eat your soup so I can fit it in to a smaller container” waving a spoon at her smirking boys.
“Happy to help” Qui-Gon quipped whilst Obi-Wan tucked in with surprising gusto. Maybe he was feeling better?
The soup was, as expected, delicious and there were three very satisfied Jedi a short while later.
“Thank you Tahl” ever polite, Obi-Wan put down his spoon and pushed his chair back, moving to clear the table.
“Ah ah ah” Qui-Gon stopped him, grabbing his own bowl before Obi-Wan could “You go back to sleep whilst we make up your bed” he instructed. Whilst Obi-Wan did seem improved, Qui-Gon had noticed the return of the wheeze during their meal, and he could feel a headache from behind Obi-Wan’s shields.
“Master I’m fine I’m not tired and I’m perfectly capab-“ Qui-Gon gave him A Look. Obi-Wan promptly shut his mouth and huffed. And sniffed.
“Fine. Look I’m being perfectly obedient and not arguing” He said loudly as he moved towards the bedroom with over dramatic movements.
“I believe this may count as whining though” Qui-Gon said quietly to Tahl with a smirk. She smacked him on the arm
“Leave the poor child alone”
“Not a child!” came the attempted yell from the bedroom. It came out as a rather more a horse sound though to Obi-Wan's chagrin. The adults smiled at each other.
Dishes done, bedding changed on the smaller bed in Obi-Wan’s room and more tea ingested on the sofa, Tahl bid her goodbye to the only conscious male in the flat. It was early evening and time for more medicine for Obi-Wan, who took it with minimal complaints and another shower (he did so enjoy breathing), and then promptly fell asleep after shuffling to his own bed.
For the first time in days Qui-Gon slipped under the covers of his own large bed, it was heaven. He lay there enjoying the peace and quiet and stretched out in every direction. He kept his side of their bond open but was relatively certain his Padawan would not need him during the night, smashed his face in to the pillow and fell fast asleep.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was sure he was going mad. It had been a week and half. A week and a half of being basically horizontal in their small flat, either on their sofa or in bed, whilst his Master and Tahl treated him like a helpless baby bird. If he was forcibly stopped from getting himself a drink, or a tissue, or a cup of tea, one more time he wasn’t sure he could stop himself from throwing a very embarrassing tantrum. They wouldn’t let him do anything! It was unbelievably frustrating.
He had watched every holonovel he had access to, read every story on all of their Pads and had even made sure he was all caught up on his classwork (secretly though, his Master had forbidden him from doing work because it’s too ‘stressful’ whilst he was recovering). And now he was bored. He was feeling almost back to normal, and the only time he had felt the flat had been yesterday for a check up with Master Toll, who had declared him almost ready to do light exercise. Light exercise! Obi-Wan had almost skipped back to their rooms...where he was forced to lie on the sofa, swallow a handful of vitamin tablets and have a nap. It was torture.
Qui-Gon joined him on the sofa. Obi-Wan flushed a little, his Master had probably picked up on his mood behind his flimsy shields and he immediately felt guilty. Qui-Gon and Tahl had been very kind to him, making sure he was comfortable and generally treating him as if he was something precious and fragile. It was probably someone else’s dream, he supposed, being pampered like this. But he wasn’t precious or delicate and found all the fuss embarrassing and awkward.
His Master smiled at him sideways.
“You are definitely on the mend” He started, Oi-Wan nodded “Master Toll seemed very pleased yesterday, and I am happy with your level of mental strength” Obi-Wan turned to look at him with growing excitement. Was this going where he thought he was going? He was absolutely desperate for a sparring session.
“Steady Padawan” Qui-Gon rained in his eager student. “We need to work on those shields of yours, and then we can think about what’s next”
Obi-wan tried not to let his disappointment show on his face. Of course, idiot! He thought. His shields were a mess no wonder he hadn’t been allowed out.
“None of that” his Master admonished gently and moved to sit on the floor, gesturing for Obi-Wan to follow. He slid off the sofa and assumed the half lotus position facing his master, palms resting on his knees facing up, as he had a hundred times before.
Qui-Gon extended his presence in the force and gently prodded Obi-Wan’s flimsy shields, seeking permission. His student smiled with his eyes closed and lowered his shields, allowing his Master in. Qui-Gon smiled back as Obi-Wan’s own presence washed over him. His apprentice felt wonderful in the force, peaceful and light. Qui-Gon was reminded of the feeling of lying in a meadow on a sunny day, and basked in it for a moment. Until a questioning force pulse was sent in his direction. So impatient! He began setting about his, rather their, task. Gently and carefully he merged further with Obi-Wan in the force and together they began building a new set of strong shields. Like weaving a basket they were in and out of each other, round and around Obi-Wan’s mind. It was slow going but gradually they were getting closer. It was exhausting work though and occasionally Obi-Wan would slip, but Qui-Gon was there to reinforce the weaker sections and together they managed it. He extradited himself from Obi-Wan with extreme care, and was left feeling slightly alone when he did.
Qui-Gon watched Obi-Wan open his eyes and gave a weak smile.
“Not a problem Little One” he smiled as he saw Obi-Wan fail to hide his slight scowl, but felt nothing in the force. He took in his exhausted apprentice, pale and drooping slightly, and thought the nickname had never been more apt.
“How are you feeling?” He asked. Obi-Wan sighed.
“Fine Master, I’m just a bit tired” Qui-Gon was very proud he managed to hold back his snort. Understatement of the century. If Obi-Wan could stand on his own right now he would be very surprised.
“Of course you are, look at you I can barely stop you from jumping up and down” He said to his slightly pathetic looking apprentice, now smiling a little. “All the same, maybe I’ll just help you up and put you to bed.” He said firmly, man-handling the still grouchy Obi-Wan into a standing position and then letting the smaller Jedi lean on him as he steered him to his room and over to the bed.
“Well done Obi-Wan” he said gently smacking Obi-Wan’s hands away as he pulled the duvet up to his Padawan’s chin, getting another small scowl in response.
“Building shields is a very challenging activity, especially for a Padawan, it is very rare that it needs to be done in one so young”. Predictably, Obi-Wan flushed and looked away.
He smiled and turned out the light as Obi-Wan’s eyes closed slowly.
The next couple of days passed in similar pattern of resting, fluids and eating for Obi-Wan, and quiet study and pottering for Qui-Gon. But sure enough, Qui-Gon observed Obi-Wan getting gradually getting stronger. His pallor had returned to normal, he still had bags under his eyes but they were mere shadows of what they were, and the sniffing and coughing had almost completely ceased. All this, coupled with his much more secure presence in the force, meant it may be time to start returning to normal. He brought the subject up at breakfast one morning.
“So, you’re looking much better. Definitely in no danger of joining the force anytime soon” he commented as his apprentice munched on cereal. His appetite had definitely returned!
“MmmHmm” Obi-Wan commented, barely raising his head to his master, attempting to read his pad and eat his breakfast at the same time. Qui-Gon smiled. He may as well cut to the case.
“How about we engage in some light exercise in the salles this afternoon?” Obi-Wan’s head shot up at this, and he grinned.
“Ah ah, steady” he attempted to manage his eager student’s expectations “you are not completely well, we will be sticking to basic Katas and some slow sabre practice if you’re good. Absolutely no aerial manoeuvres or blaster deflection practice” he finished sternly.
“Yes Master” Obi-Wan nodded enthusiastically, breakfast forgotten.
“Good. Finish your breakfast, meditate and we’ll head out” Qui-Gon instructed, struggling to hide his amusement. Obi-Wan could barely keep still in his excitement, and Qui-Gon had to admit he was looking forward to starting up their training again.
Striding down the busy corridors of the temple with Obi-Wan, in his customary position to his Master’s left and ever so slightly behind him, felt good. They could get back to normal after just one more obstacle.
Upon reaching a fork in the hallway they turned a sharp left, away from the training salles. Qui-Gon felt Obi-Wan pause in surprise and slow his steps.
“Er…Master the salles are the other way” Obi-Wan said slowly, Qui-Gon could feel the raised eyebrow behind his back.
“I am aware of that Obi-Wan”. A beat and then
“So where are we going?” Oh well here goes nothing Qui-Gon mentally prepared himself for their next exchange.
“We are going to pay a quick visit to the council Padawan” He felt his apprentice’s surprise and panic even through his new shields and Obi-Wan ground to a halt.
“What?” he demanded sharply “Why?” Qui-Gon also stopped walking and turned to stand next to his apprentice, an arm on his shoulder pushing him along.
“They have requested to see you. It was an eventful mission and they are aware of how well you did” he paused, Obi-Wan had definitely paled a little. “They would like to…commend you”. A look of absolute dismay was plastered on his apprentice’s face and he could feel his anxiety in the force.
“Calm down Padawan it’s nothing to worry about, it’s a good thing” Qui-Gon reassured flutily.
“But….Master please, I don’t want to be commended! Why can’t we just pretend nothing happened? It wasn’t a big deal!” Uh Oh. Qui-Gon could feel they were close to a louder outburst from his stressed Padawan.
He did feel for Obi-Wan, the full council was intimidating at the best of times, and Obi-Wan was practically allergic to being the centre of attention. But it was something he would have to get used to. As a Jedi they were often called upon to be the main event in some ritual or other, and public thanks were often given. Sometimes with an incredible amount of fanfare. A competent Jedi Knight needed to be able to take all this in their stride and continue to retain an air of serenity, and calm Jedi professionalism. This would be good for Obi-Wan, just a little painful for them both in the short term.
“Obi-Wan” he put both hands on his shoulders and looked the teenager dead in the eye. He was using what Obi-Wan called his ‘Master’ voice (usually reserved for when they needed to split up on a mission and following Qui-Gon’s instructions was a matter of life-or-death) and sent calming waves through their bond.
“I understand this is not something are comfortable with, but we are Jedi, we are servants of the Council and the Force and we must do as we are bid. You have faced down far worse things than this, and I will be right beside you” He watched his apprentice take a calming breath and release his feelings in to the force, nodding.
“Yes Master, I’m sorry” they started walking towards the council chambers. His master shook his head and waved the apology away.
“You could’ve given me some warning though” Obi-Wan folded his arms and huffed, just a hint of petulance in his voice. Qui-Gon looked at him sideways and smiled.
“I was afraid you would be difficult about it. I have no idea why I assumed such.” he answered with a quirk of his lips. Obi-Wan, to his credit, just gave a snort.
“Master Jinn, Padawan Kenobi”
“Good morning Masters” Obi-Wan responded with a deep bow. Qui-Gon followed suit with a slightly less respectful nod of his head.
Standing in front of the full assembled council always made a very small part of Qui-Gon feel like a naughty youngling. A very small part. Today the rest of him felt proud, and just a tiny bit smug. The ‘maverick Jinn’ had trained quite the rule abiding, sensible and proper Padawan. Of course, it helped that Obi-Wan had a brain the size of a planet and a natural pre-disposition towards avoiding conflict.
“Well, you are feeling Padawan Kenobi?” Yoda peered at the young man in front of him.
“Yes, thank you Master, I am fine. My Master and Master Toll have been very thoroughly managing my recovery” came the polite response. Qui-Gon resisted the urge to give a tug on Obi-Wan’s braid. Brat. Yoda’s ears twitched
“Glad to hear it, we are. Missed, you have been about the Temple” Qui-Gon observed the tips of Obi-Wans ears redden ever so slightly. He said nothing only nodded at the Grand Master.
“We enjoyed reading your report Padawan” Shaak Ti spoke up, giving up all pretences of Qui-Gon having written his own report. Is it so far outside of the realms of possibility that I wrote the damn thing? He thought, shooting a look at Master Ti. The corners of her mouth twitched and she carried on.
“Though you did leave out some of the more…interesting details regarding your own involvement in events, particularly the liberation of some children.” Obi-Wan looked guilty, but she did not wait for him to speak. “However we have received a supplementary, very complimentary, report from the Frist Prime and your Master was able to fill us in on the details. Well done Padawan”.
“Thank you Master Ti” Another Bow. Obi-Wan didn’t seem to know quite what else to say.
“It is not often a head of state goes out of their way to contact this council Padawan Kenobi.” Both members of the team turned to face Master Windu. “The First Prime was very impressed, and thanks to you and your Master, Athosia is open to a Jedi presence for future negotiations which should ensure the peace brought by the election will last.”
“That’s…good news Masters. And it was kind of the First Prime to get in contact with you, I wasn’t aware I made that much of an impression” Obi-Wan was managing to keep his voice clear and calm under the scrutiny.
“Yes indeed” Qui-Gon sent Master Plo a smile as he sat forward in his chair, addressing the young Jedi. “His exact words were ‘Padawan Kenobi acted with courage, strength and cunning. Without him the people of Anthosia would have suffered a terrible loss and we will be forever grateful’”. A beat of silence as he finished reading and the council looked at the Padawan.
“Uh…that’s very nice of him to say” Obi-Wan blushed a little and glanced down “Master” he added hurriedly. Oh dear. Qui-Gon could see his student becoming more and more flustered and uncomfortable. As did the rest of the council if the hints of fond amusement he felt coming their way was any indication. Thank force they worked on his shields! Time to step in.
“My Padawan and I are looking forward to returning to our training routine, and we are on our way to the Salles. If the council has passed on all you wish to, could we continue on our way?”
He felt Obi-Wan’s incredulity through their bond. It was bold, he knew, to simply ask to leave but really there was little else to say and Obi-Wan had heard what he needed to hear. Qui-Gon did not see any need to draw the meeting out and further upset his apprentice.
“Yes of course” Master Mundi gave them a big smile “thank you for coming to see us, Master Jinn. Padawan Kenobi, I understand you do not enjoy hearing it, but you are a credit to the Order.” Qui-Gon felt the force equivalent of a panicked ‘eep’ from Obi-Wan through their bond.
“…Thank you Master” his blushing apprentice simply responded. Master Mundi nodded their dismissal and they both bowed and left the room. Obi-Wan’s relief was palpable.
“See, that wasn’t so bad” Qui-Gon put an arm around Obi-Wan’s shoulder as soon as they were around the corner. He could feel his apprentice calming down. “I wish I could get them to say nice things about me” He joked.
“No you don’t, it would ruin your whole aesthetic” Obi-Wan smiled up at him.
“True, and I wouldn’t want to frighten anybody with a complete personality change.” They grinned at each other.
“You handled yourself well, I know that was hard”
“Oh Master please stop! I really can’t take any more dramatic compliments. That was excruciating” Obi-Wan covered his face with his hands.
Qui-Gon snorted, it was so typical Obi-Wan. He would guess every other Padawan (his own padawan self, included) would have been elated, possibly even cocky, with such praise from the Jedi High Council. But not his contrary and, dare he say it, secretly maverick apprentice. He hoped at least some of the praise would stick with Obi-Wan. He doubted it though. Obi-Wan’s overabundance of humility would likely never leave him, but that was alright. He could see clearly in his mind’s eye exactly the confident, brave and capable Jedi Master his young student would eventually become. It was inevitable, but thankfully that was some way off.
“Master?” Qui-Gon shook himself back in to the present.
“Ah apologies Padawan. Now, about that light exercise…”
Welp, that's it. Thanks for reading folks, this is the first story I've ever written. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be!