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Drowning in Imperfection

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The fallout after we ended is what demolished me. - Unknown

The door hissed shut, effectively cutting off the sounds from Jedi conversing as they traveled the hallway to their destinations. The common room was quiet. No one was there aside from Obi-Wan. Not that there should have been anyone else there, because for the first time, Obi-Wan had quarters of his own like a proper knight. Even so, he was used to sharing rooms with Qui-Gon, and he knew it would be a few weeks before he stopped expecting someone else to be there. He reminded himself that this was normal now; even if he wasn’t somewhere in the Temple with his new Padawan, Qui-Gon wouldn’t have been here anyway.

Obi-Wan leaned against the door, glancing about the room as he took everything in. His right hand twitched upwards, reaching for a braid that was no longer there. He clenched his hand, anger and betrayal flooding through him - again - before he inhaled and exhaled slowly, allowing the emotions to flow into the Force. He would have to wait until later to truly examine how he felt. Right now, he set his mind to finding his few belongings a place in his quarters, despite having lived in them for a few weeks.

It took a few minutes before he actually moved, though, having been too absorbed in deflecting his emotions. Slowly, he made his way to his room and stood in the middle as he tried to figure out where to begin. Not that he had many possessions, since the Jedi Code forbade having them.

Most of his belongings were clothing, save for some bathroom necessities, so it wouldn’t take long to unpack and hopefully take his mind off of the unsettling thoughts clouding his mind. Grabbing a bag, he carefully began to hang his clothing in the simple closet, counting each item and taking care so they wouldn’t wrinkle. When his bag was empty, he frowned. He was short one cloak, having been too distracted while hurriedly packing to realize he was missing one. Obi-Wan sighed and closed his eyes upon realizing where it most likely was.

Qui-Gon’s room, in the quarters Obi-Wan used to share with him. Obi-Wan had left it there after the first time he had slept with Qui-Gon the night before they’d been sent to Naboo to negotiate with the Trade Federation during the blockade, and now it was likely that it would be the only time.

He flopped backwards onto the bed and stared blankly up at the ceiling. It had only been a short few months ago that he and Qui-Gon had begun a romantic relationship, despite hesitancy on both of their parts, and Obi-Wan had been looking forward to exploring that relationship for his remaining time as a Padawan.

Unfortunately, that time had been shorter than he’d thought. There wouldn’t even be the time to acclimate to not having their training bond. Obi-Wan was newly Knighted and entirely on his own. Despair crawled through him, clogging his throat and making it difficult to breathe. He was drowning in it, feelings of worthlessness and betrayal sweeping over him. Obi-Wan lurched upright and gasped for air. His hands clutched desperately at his throat, and tears sprang to his eyes.

Why had Qui-Gon tossed him aside? Hadn’t Qui-Gon initially refused to train Obi-Wan because the Master had thought Obi-Wan too dangerous? And now, he had taken Anakin as a Padawan even though everyone else proclaimed him to be a danger. Was it because Anakin was supposedly the Chosen One? Did that make the difference?

With a heavy groan, Obi-Wan sat up, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed, and buried his face in his hands. Whatever the case, there was no way that he was going to be able to make himself go back to his former quarters to retrieve his cloak, not with all of the memories there. However, Obi-Wan knew that Qui-Gon would soon realize the cloak didn’t belong to him, and what if Qui-Gon brought it back? What should Obi-Wan do then? Try to play it off as though nothing had happened, or use the opportunity to talk to Qui-Gon to get some damn answers. A bitter laugh echoed in his empty room at the fleeting thought that perhaps Qui-Gon would give the cloak to Anakin, just like he’d given everything else that belonged to Obi-Wan to the boy. Obi-Wan laughed derisively until there were tears in his eyes and his stomach and sides hurt, eventually sobering as he realized that he was at a crossroads and needed to make a decision.

As much as it pained him, Obi-Wan knew that it would be better for himself in the long run if he cut off all contact with Qui-Gon. Not that it mattered since he’d seen his former master once in the two weeks they’d been back to Coruscant, and that one time was Obi-Wan’s knighting ceremony, just a few short moments earlier. Qui-Gon was simply too busy with his new padawan. It also didn’t help that Obi-Wan had immediately moved to his own quarters upon his return. It had been under the pretense of allowing Anakin the chance to settle in quickly, but in reality, Obi-Wan couldn’t stand the thought of seeing Qui-Gon any more than was necessary.

Betrayal and anger still simmered below the surface of Obi-Wan’s supposed calm, and he knew that Qui-Gon would be able to see right through him. As it was, Obi-Wan had heavily shielded himself after the battle with Maul on Theed when it became apparent that Qui-Gon was still determined to have Anakin as his padawan. But Obi-Wan had rarely shielded himself during his years as Qui-Gon’s padawan, and Qui-Gon had to have noticed the difference, yet he’d said nothing. Even when Obi-Wan had been trembling after his master had nearly been impaled by Maul, Qui-Gon had remained tight-lipped. Yes, Obi-Wan knew they were Jedi and sometimes risks were taken that led to death, but he’d never fought an opponent as strong and as skilled as the Sith, and having to stand and watch as Qui-Gon fought him alone was torture. Just one word or a simple touch would have been enough to settle Obi-Wan’s nerves after the fight, but he’d been given nothing.

Qui-Gon didn’t care. Perhaps he’d never cared, and he’d only agreed to take Obi-Wan as a Padawan out of honor or duty since Obi-Wan had helped him on Bandomeer. And now Qui-Gon could train the Chosen One.

Oh, what an honor that must be, especially after training someone like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Qui-Gon apparently couldn’t get rid of Obi-Wan fast enough, as he’d not even been Knighted and Qui-Gon had already been thinking of his next Padawan.

Obi-Wan gave himself a quick shake. This train of thought was not doing him any favors. Slowly, he opened himself to the Force and let the emotions go, but the peace that should have come stayed away. All he was left with was a persistent ache and a hole where the bond used to be.