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Lending a Hand

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“You know, I really should be preparing for my Council report tomorrow.”

“Can’t you just admit you’d rather have some fun, for once?” Quinlan chuckled, slapping his friend on the shoulder. “Besides, don’t you think you deserve a little relaxation? Since I last saw you prevented a war on Zann and stopped two assassination attempts - “

“Three, technically,” Obi-Wan corrected.

“Anyway I could use some company tonight. I need to get my mind off Aayla - her transport left tonight. This is her first assignment on her own, and I think I’m more nervous than she is.”

“You know, some Jedi relieve their stress with meditation,” Obi-Wan said, throwing Quinlan a wry smile.

“You can meditate and drink,” Quinlan shot back. “If you’re skilled, you can do both at once.”

“Well, I’m looking forward to trying the new concoction you’ve been bragging about,” Obi-Wan said as they neared the front door of the distillery. It was an unassuming, squat building wedged between several of the Temple rooftop greenhouses. Obi-Wan wondered how many Jedi even knew it existed. As far as he knew it had been around for at least a hundred years, overseen by one or two Jedi at a time as something of a pet project. As Quinlan’s work on Coruscant kept him tied to the Temple most of the time, it made sense for him to be the current overseer.

That, and he wouldn’t deny that he loved a quality libation.

The distillery building was one of the few facilities in the Temple to be kept locked, but even this was more of an unspoken warning than a real deterrent to any Jedi, even the Padawans. Quinlan produced a key fob from his belt pouch and pressed it into a panel on the side of the door, releasing the magnetic lock. The door slid open, but Quinlan stood rooted in place, frowning into the darkness.

“What is it?” Obi-Wan asked.

“I think we’ve had some visitors. Sense it?”

Quinlan had always been more attuned to the Living Force than Obi-Wan, which meant he tended to pick up on certain disturbances faster, and with more certainty. But Obi-Wan felt it surely enough after a moment of concentration.

“It feels like -”

Quinlan flashed him a grin. “Oh, it’s Anakin all right. Unmistakable Force signature. But he’s not alone. They might still be here - guard the door will you?” He turned around, heading back out. The intruders hadn’t come in through the front door, and they wouldn’t be trying to escape that way.

 


“This was a bad idea,” Anakin remarked, his voice low. If he could sense Obi-Wan nearby, his master might be able to sense him as well, if they didn’t move quickly.

“No kidding,” Jal huffed as they scurried toward the trap door that would take them into the lower passageways, and hopefully, safety. “I should have put the bottles back..” He looked ruefully at his satchel in which he had placed two full bottles of liquor.

“Too late, let’s just go,” Anakin urged impatiently as his friend dropped down beside him. These passageways connected the rooftop buildings and were largely unused these days, like many of the rooftop buildings themselves. But the turbolift down to the main part of the Temple was still in service, and now all Anakin needed to focus on was getting to that, and hoping for the best.

“I thought you said it was safe,” Jal hissed. 

“Aayla said she was leaving tonight,” Anakin shot back. Both boys came to a halt. The turbolift was in sight, but a figure had stepped out of the shadows in front of them, blocking their path.

“She did,” the figure said. “Her master didn’t go with her this time.”

“Hello, Master Vos,” Anakin said, bowing his head deferentially. 

“Boys,” Quinlan said. “I think we’d better head upstairs for a little chat.” He put one arm around each Padawan, guiding them back toward the entrance to the main level.

“I seem to remember there being a door here,” Quinlan remarked.

“There was,” Anakin said. “It was magnetically sealed, so I had to use a charge to loosen it.”

“I’d say you did a little more than ‘loosen,’” Quinlan said casually.

“We were going to come back to fix it,” Jal offered.

“Mmhmm,” Quinlan hummed, hiding a smile behind his hand as he watched them climb the ladder up through the hole in the floor. Some nerve these kids had.

No sooner had they all reached the main floor when Obi-Wan came storming into the backroom to confront his wayward apprentice. “Anakin, you’ve got some explaining to do. For one thing, I told you to be in bed three hours ago.”

“Two and a half” Anakin shrugged. “But Master I’m still on Zannish time.”

“You’re still on Zannish time, so that's an acceptable reason to break into Master Vos’ distillery?”

“They blew the door clear off,” Quinlan said, folding his arms and leaning against the wall.

Obi-Wan glared at his Padawan. “What in the worlds is all this about?”

“Okay, I did go overboard with the charge,” Anakin confessed, at least having the decency to look a little contrite.

Obi-Wan appeared at a complete loss for words, so Quinlan decided to jump in, turning his gaze to Anakin’s short Chalactan friend. “Jal, please hand over what you have in your bag.”

Wincing, Jal opened his satchel and produced two bottles of Kiffar style whiskey. Quinlan shook his head, clicking his tongue in disapproval. “Well, you boys have good taste. This is the best I have. You’re lucky I caught you now - I would have tracked you down for these, and Force help you if I’d found you’d already drunk it…” he smiled warmly, setting the bottles down on a nearby table before turning back to the miscreants.

“We weren’t going to drink it,” Anakin said, the color rising in his cheeks.

Obi-Wan snorted. “Interesting.”

“Seems like a waste,” Quinlan quipped.

“It was my idea, Masters,” Jal said, his voice trembling slightly. “Ret Elias bet us we wouldn’t be able to break in here and take anything. The Padawans were saying it was booby trapped.”

Quinlan hid another smile behind his hand briefly before willing himself back into Stern Jedi Master mode.

“Booby traps might not be such a bad idea. But so far I guess we haven’t needed ‘em, hmm?”

Anakin pouted down at the floor and Jal looked stricken.

“And what exactly did you boys hope to gain from this?” Obi-Wan asked quietly. “Just clout?”

Anakin shrugged. “I guess so.  Evvie Moon said she’d take over Jal’s Archive hours if he brought him a bottle.”

This admission earned him a quelling look and a swift elbow to the ribs from his friend, and he grinned sheepishly.

Obi-Wan exhaled a long breath. “This is completely unacceptable. To think I was planning on singing your praises during the Council report tomorrow for your help on Zann.”

“You’ll still tell them, won’t you, Master?” Anakin asked, wide eyed.

“That’s hardly what you should be concerned with now, my disobedient young apprentice,” Obi-Wan said.

Anakin bristled. “It’s not fair. It was just a little fun. I’ve heard the stories, Master - you and Master Vos got up to plenty of trouble when you were my age. I heard you even broke into this same distillery.”

Quinlan nodded thoughtfully. “Sure did. And we got our butts tanned for it. Did you hear that part of the story? My master, Tholme, caught us. Then I believe Qui-Gon gave Obi-Wan another set later for good measure.” He gave his friend a fond smile that Obi-Wan didn’t return.

Anakin stiffened, the Force vibrations around him practically smoldering. Jal was looking at the hole in the floor as if contemplating making a break for it. Obi-Wan sighed heavily.

“All right. Let’s all get back to our quarters. Anakin, you and I will discuss this matter thoroughly tonight.”

“I thought you wanted me to be in bed,” Anakin grumbled.

“Hey, don’t talk to your master like that,” Quinlan said. He might have been overstepping his bounds, but everyone could use some backup now and again. Anakin looked startled at the rebuke, and even a little humbled.

Obi-Wan started to head back to the front of the building, gesturing at the boys to follow him. Quinlan followed too, but not before picking up the two bottles of whiskey that had been left on the table. The night wasn’t going as planned, but the Force seemed to be suggesting he’d want these later.

 


 

After delivering a remorseful and apprehensive-looking Jal to his quarters and a rather displeased master, Obi-Wan made his way back to his own apartments with a silent and sulky Padawan in tow. He didn’t bother to shield his disappointment in the Force. With no small amount of shame he had to admit that a part of him wished he hadn’t gone anywhere near the distillery tonight, had not caught Anakin red-handed in the act of theft. Anakin, who barely seemed to comprehend the wrongness of his actions, or if he did, would not admit it until after a long and painful session of persuasion .

You’ll laugh about this later with him , Quinlan sometimes remarked when Obi-Wan vented his troubles with his apprentice. Rather than growing out of boyish mischief, Anakin seemed to be finding more serious ways to find it. As his powers grew stronger, the more he tested boundaries and the patience of those around him. Anakin was a brilliant student, and more and more attracting the attention of the Council these days. But increasingly Obi-Wan doubted his ability to reign the boy in and make sure the Council’s attention stayed positive.

Perhaps Quin was right and he would laugh someday, but for now his focus had to stay on not letting the boy get kicked out of the Order.

The door to their chambers slid open, and they were greeted by a warm light. Curious. The lights were automatic and didn’t come on unless someone was present. He’d have to have Anakin take a look…

“Hey,” Quinlan’s voice greeted them, and Obi-Wan immediately saw him sitting in one of the dining chairs. On the table beside him were the two bottles of unopened liquor Anakin and his friend had attempted to lift earlier. “Thought I’d bring these by, so you can try it at your leisure.”

“Very thoughtful, thank you,” Obi-Wan said dryly. Surely Quin knew what a serious situation this was. He sensed something greater afoot. “Anakin, go to your room and stay there. Get changed into your pajamas. I’ll be in shortly.”

Wordlessly, the Padawan obeyed and Obi-Wan waited til the boy’s door closed before turning to address his friend. “Why are you really here, Quin?”

Quinlan pulled out another chair and patted the seat meaningfully. When Obi-Wan had sat down, he leaned in a little closer. “Are you sure you’re going to take care of this tonight? Your anxiety is off the charts. I think I’m getting a headache from it.”

Obi-Wan blinked at him. Quin had always been something of a meddler, even more so now that he’d become something of a mentor to Anakin, even taking him out on a few missions, just them.  He had a real fondness for the boy, seeing something of his own rebellious streak in him, and Obi-Wan was grateful for it. Anakin needed so much attention, care and guidance; sometimes more than he felt he could give.

He let a breath go. “You’re right. I do need a few moments of meditation.”

A couple moments of silence passed between them. Quinlan seemed uncharacteristically pensieve.  “You know,” he said. “His offense is technically under my jurisdiction.”

Obi-Wan stared at him. “Are you suggesting what I think you are?”

Quinlan shrugged. “I’m open to it. It might shake him up a bit. Sometimes the influence of one master is not enough to make an impression.”

It was true, but of all the masters he might have handed Anakin over to for punishment, he had to admit Quinlan Vos was not the top of the list. For one thing, it was Quinlan , and for another thing, as far as he knew, Quinlan’s own Padawan had never even needed much of a firm hand.  “But have you ever…?”

Quinlan nodded, not offended by his friend’s skepticism. “Oh, sure. The kids I take out on training missions need a little hands-on treatment at times. I hate to do it, but I can’t deny I’ve had some good results.”

Obi-Wan contemplated that. Quinlan’s offer did make a certain amount of sense. Anakin hadn’t been listening to him so well lately, but perhaps he might listen to someone else.

He sighed. “All right.”

 


Anakin pressed his ear to the door but heard only muffled mutterings followed by long moments of silence. What was Master Vos doing in their quarters? It seemed strange that Obi-Wan hadn’t kicked him out by now. A flash of brief hope made him smile to himself. Perhaps Quinlan was talking Obi-Wan out of punishing him. After all, Master Vos had a good sense of humor, and he’d always been a sympathetic figure in Anakin’s life. He always had a kind word for him, always some advice or encouragement. He wasn’t Anakin’s master, so he wasn’t obliged to be as hard on him as Obi-Wan, which Anakin greatly appreciated.

And yet, as he reached out with his senses, Anakin couldn’t deny that something didn’t feel right, and his optimism began to fade. Maybe, just maybe, he could hope for a mitigated sentence, but somehow he could already tell no one would be laughing about this.

He knew he shouldn’t have done it. It was just that he’d been excited to see Jal after a long time away on a mission, and Jal had been excited to see him, and they’d gotten a little carried away with their plans. Anakin had resented Obi-Wan sending him to bed like a creche baby even though Anakin had proved himself to be anything but during their mission to Zann, where he’d incapaciated two bounty hunters and saved the life of the prime minister and his family, all by himself. It seemed unfair that after all that he had to return to the boring old Temple routine of bedtimes and homework.

The discipline of routine strengthens inner stability, Obi-Wan told him when he mentioned this. 

But Anakin felt stable enough, thanks.

Footsteps were approaching the door. Anakin backed away, sitting down on his bed just as the door slid open.

“Come into the sitting room, please,” Obi-Wan said. “Master Vos and I want to have a discussion with you.”

Anakin nodded. Vos was still here. What exactly that meant for him, he wasn’t sure. Regardless of what the outcome would be, having two Jedi Masters scrutinizing his behavior was much worse than one.

Quinlan was sitting on the sofa when Anakin came in, and gave the Padawan a small nod when he approached, but didn’t smile, and didn’t gesture for him to sit, so Anakin stood where he was, trying to appear politely curious. 

“Remember what we all talked about?” Quinlan asked leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees. “As your mentor, part of my job can involve taking part in your discipline, if necessary. I’d hoped it wouldn’t be, but here we are.” 

“I thought that was just when I was with him on assignments,” Anakin said.

He glanced over at Obi-Wan who had sat down on a meditation seat next to the sofa. He was shielding his feelings, which he normally did when Anakin was in trouble.

“Master Vos is here because you need to understand that you are not just accountable to me when you misbehave, Anakin,” Obi-Wan said. “Your actions tonight were incredibly disrespectful toward Master Vos; it’s only fair that he be involved in your discipline.”

Anakin’s insides twisted. He definitely planned on sleeping on his stomach tonight, it would be silly not to expect that, but was Quinlan going to witness his punishment?

“I’m sorry,” he blurted out. “I’m sorry, Master Quinlan. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful, I just - we just weren’t thinking.”

“You weren’t,” Quinlan said with a rueful smile. “I understand. I did silly stuff when I was your age too. And I’m grateful someone took me to task for it. A few ‘someones’ actually. Sometimes, for us more stubborn types it takes more than one master to drive home a lesson.”

Anakin swallowed. “So does that mean…are you going to…?” He let the question hang in the air between them.

“I’m afraid you have it coming, kid.” Quinlan patted his leg. “I believe you know the drill.”

Anakin shot Obi-Wan a worried glance, searching his master’s face for any signs of leniency.

“Do as he says, Anakin.”

“Are you going to spank me too, Master?”

“Only if you don’t behave for Master Vos,” Obi-Wan said.

Things weren’t looking good for Anakin. And when things didn’t look good, there was only one thing to do - get through it as best he could. With a sigh of remorse, Anakin laid himself across Quinlan’s legs and rested his upper body on the sofa, burying his face in his arms as the Jedi adjusted him, presumably so that his butt was a better target.

“I think we should be thorough,” Quinlan said, and Anakin felt the master’s hands on his hips, and a second later his sleep pants and underwear had been pushed down almost to his knees.

“Get your face up,” Quinlan said. “We’re gonna need to talk.” He moved the back of Anakin’s long sleep shirt out of the way, fully exposing his butt, and the boy shifted a bit in discomfort. 

Anakin rested his chin on his forearms, trying not to squirm too much as he felt Obi-Wan’s eyes on him. There was no way he was going to look over at his master now, but he reached out through their bond in the Force, trying to get a sense of what he was feeling. But, it was still like touching a wall. It figured Obi-Wan would be shielding, as he usually did when punishing Ankain, to keep Anakin’s focus on himself. But that was different - at least Obi-Wan was engaging with him during those times. The thought crossed Anakin’s mind that Obi-Wan had passed him off to Quinlan because he was too angry and disappointed to even bear to deal with him.

“Don’t worry, kid.” Quinlan said, resting his hand on the boy’s back. “Your master’s here for you. We’ll get through this.”

Anakin felt a lump growing in his throat. He couldn’t imagine what Quinlan meant by saying that Obi-Wan was here for him. He’d done nothing but disappoint his master tonight.

“Well, young man. Why don’t we start with you explaining to me why you’re here?” Quinlan said.

“Broke into the distillery,” Anakinn muttered.

“You’re getting ahead of yourself. Let’s start at the beginning. Didn’t your master tell you to go to bed?”

“Yes, Master Vos.”

“What time were you supposed to be in bed and what time were you caught?” Quinlan prodded.

Anakin winced. “He told me to go to bed at ten. And you found us after midnight.”

“That’s right.” Quinlan brought his hand down sharply, without any more preamble.

“Ouch!” Anakin gritted his teeth as three more hard swats followed the first. Quinlan wasn’t holding back, and his hand was large and his arm was strong.

“What do you even care what time I go to bed?” Anakin demanded, a sudden anger rising up in him.

“Master Quinlan is your mentor, Anakin,” Obi-Wan said sternly. “He cares very much about your disobedience.” There it was - the “now you’re in for it” voice. Sure enough, Obi-Wan wasn’t done with him. “Get up and come here,” he commanded. “We need to sort out a few things.”

With Quinlan’s help, Anakin rose to his feet and reluctantly shuffled over to where Obi-Wan still sat.

“I see you need some help adjusting your attitude,” Obi-Wan said. “Come over my knee.”

Sniffling, Anakin positioned himself over his master’s lap. Arguing would get him nowhere. “Sorry, Master,” he muttered.

“You should be apologizing to Master Vos,” Obi-Wan said, pulling up his sleep shirt. “And you will. I will not have you speaking rudely to him.”

Anakin sensed his master raise his hand and shortly after felt a hard, stinging swat, followed quickly by several more.

“Oww! Master, not so hard!” Anakin protested. Obi-Wan only responded by aiming his swats lower, at Anakin’s sit spots, where it really stung. 

Finally, the smacks stopped, and Obi-Wan rested his hand on Anakin’s back. “This was not meant to be a particularly severe punishment, but keep up the disrespect and you will make it so. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Master.”

“All right. Get up and go back to Master Vos. And if I have to take you back over my knee you will bring me the brush first.”

Wiping his eyes, Anakin got to his feet and shuffled back to Quinlan. “I’m sorry for my disrespect, Master Vos.”

Quinlan nodded. “Okay, kid. Let’s get this over with and not draw it out. You know we could have been halfway done by now.”

“Yes, sir.” Anakin put himself back over the Jedi’s lap.

Quinlan gave him an encouraging pat on the back. He was starting to feel tired, and probably almost as ready for this to be over as Anakin, though it had barely begun.  “Okay, let’s start over. Tell me why you’re here.”

“I was out past my bedtime and curfew,” Anakin replied dutifully.

“Let’s start there,” Quinlan said. “You didn’t listen to your master’s wishes.”

“No.” 

Quinlan could feel the boy’s body tense with the anticipation of his punishment. Quinlan decided not to drag it out with more scolding. Questioning he could do, but scolding and lectures didn’t come easy to him. He raised his hand, cracking it down firmly on the kid’s very vulnerable backside, once on one cheek and then the other. Anakin squirmed a little from the sting, but made no sound. Quinlan gave him a few more solid smacks before stopping. A little bedtime disobedience didn’t concern him too much. There were more important things to address.

“What else?” he asked.

“Broke into the distillery.”

“You had no business being there, did you?” Quinlan asked, making sure he sounded stern.

“No, Master.”

“You blew the back door off. You think that’s cute?”

Anakin swallowed audibly. “No, Master.”

“I don’t either.” Quinlan raised his hand and brought it down swiftly, proceeding to give Anakin’s choices a very stern critique.

“Ow! Ow! We only meant to loosen the seal!”

“You think that’s better?” Maybe a little scolding was called for.  “You do not set off any kind of charge in the Temple except in a training exercise,” Quinlan said, not halting the spanking. “And around alcohol? That’s just stupid.” He smacked harder, making sure his disapproval was fully felt. Anakin began to kick his feet, breathing hard and ragged.

“Ouch! Shouldn’t have done it!”

“No, you shouldn’t have.” Quinlan continued to spank hard, ignoring the yelps and whimpers coming from the boy. “What else?”

Anakin suddenly burst into tears, and it took all of Quinlan’s resolve not to stop the spanking completely. For the moment he paused it, resting his hand on the boy’s back, but they still had ground to cover.

“What else, Anakin?” he asked, more gently. “It’s an easy one, I promise.”

Anakin sniffed loudly. “We stole. Bottles of liquor. It was dishonorable.”

“Good. Almost done,” Quinlan answered, relieved this would all be over soon. He wrapped his left arm around the Padawan’s waist, lifting him slightly, so that the lower area of his butt was a better target. Anakin had stopped crying (for now), but Quinlan could feel his dread and resolve to get through the rest of his punishment.

But the flow of tears started up again as Quinlan brought his hand down hard on the undercurve of his butt and thighs, making sure the area was well-covered several times. Anakin struggled futilely, almost trying to crawl over Quinlan’s lap to escape the smacks, but of course got nowhere.

“I’m sorry kid, but you’ve earned this,” Quinlan sighed.

Anakin whimpered something in response; probably an apology. It didn’t matter much. Clearly he was a very sorry boy at this point.

It took Anakin a moment to realize the spanking had stopped. He had stopped fighting and had gone almost limp, sobbing into the couch. Quinlan was rubbing his back, soothing him in the same way Obi-Wan did after his spankings. Obi-Wan . How could he look his master in the face? The fact that Obi-Wan had just witnessed him get punished like that filled him with a burning shame, much more so somehow than if Obi-Wan had done it himself.

“Come on, let’s get you up.” Quinlan pulled Anakin up gently and the boy realized vaguely he had lost his pants, had likely kicked them off during the last part of his punishment. He pulled up his underwear quickly, grateful to at least have a little modesty restored.

Quinlan pulled him into a tight hug which Anakin gratefully returned, burying his wet face into the master’s shoulder. “It’s all right now. It’s over.”

“I’m sorry, Master Vos!” Anakin sobbed.

“I know. It’s all right. Take some breaths.”

“Force, that really hurt,” Anakin said after he had calmed down a bit.

“I know. Believe me it wasn’t fun for me either. You know I’d much rather we be friends.” He ruffled the boy’s hair.

“I know,” Anakin said quietly.

“Are you all right, Padawan?” Obi-Wan had taken a seat beside Anakin on the sofa and placed a hand on his shoulder.

Anakin nodded, keeping his eyes downcast. “I’m sorry, Master.”

Quinlan felt himself release a breath as Obi-Wan pulled his well-punished apprentice into his arms. It was obvious enough to him that Anakin wouldn’t feel better again until he felt sure of his master’s forgiveness. Sure enough, Anakin melted into the embrace, seemingly at peace as his master slowly rubbed his back.

“Let’s get you to bed,” Obi-Wan said, pulling out of the hug but still looking at the boy with an unmistakable fondness in his eyes. Quinlan watched the two of them go into Anakin’s room together, watched as Obi-Wan left and returned to the room a few moments later with a cup of water. However much Obi-Wan complained about Anakin, it was clear he thought the world of the boy. Quinlan smiled to himself as he unsealed one of the bottles he had brought and poured some into two glasses for he and his friend. They had both earned it, he thought.

 


 

Epilogue:

Anakin found Jal in the training galley where Padawans practiced their defense drills, using his lightsaber blade to block a volley of laser blasts currently being aimed at him from a canon affixed to the wall.

“You’ve got it on the easy setting,” Anakin remarked, still keeping a safe distance.

Jal waved a hand at the control panel on the wall, and the canon stopped firing. “Yeah, well, I’m getting thoroughly warmed up before I try anything harder. I’ve felt enough sting for one day.” 

Anakin gave him a knowing smile. The zaps from training lasers used in many Temple exercises didn’t feel so different from the chastisement of a stern master, which he didn’t doubt Jal had experienced this morning.  “You don’t even want to know what I’ve been through.”

“Now, it wasn’t that bad was it? I’d say justice was adequately served.” 

Anakin turned to see Quinlan approaching, smiling at them in his usual friendly manner, and it was hard to believe he’d been over the master’s knee crying piteously just some hours before. He put that thought quickly out of his mind.

“Hi, Master Vos.”

“Anakin, I’m glad I found you here,” Quinlan went on. “Do you have time to drop by the distillery today? One of my transfer pumps is malfunctioning. I was hoping you could take a look.”

Anakin smiled. Fixing something for someone was his favorite way of making up for something he’d done wrong. No doubt Quinlan could fix the pump himself. Maybe asking Anakin to do it was his way of showing forgiveness. Real forgiveness, not just saying it. “Of course. I’ll fix the backdoor too, Master.”

Quinlan shook his head. “Maintenance droids fixed that last night. They tend to get a little antsy about things like holes blasted into the Temple.” He smirked as he tossed Anakin a key fob. “Use the front door this time.”

“Thanks, Master!”

Quinlan winked at him. “I’ll let you get back to your training. Behave yourselves, both of you.” Anakin nodded. It was good that, in spite of everything, Quinlan still trusted him. It felt like a weight had been lifted off him - a weight he hadn’t even known he’d been carrying.

Quinlan left the galley and Anakin flashed a grin at Jal, waving his own hand at the control panel to reset the canon. “Come on, let’s see what you’re really made of.”

Jal winced. “You put it on the highest setting!”

Anakin ignited his blade, hopping up onto the training platform. “Come on, I’ll help you out. Besides, what are you so afraid of? A little sting never hurt anyone.”