Archive: master_apprentice, OKEB, and my homepage only. Anyone else,
Category: A/U, H/C, Drama
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Notes: Thanks to Marnee the super beta!
Series: Vaartuslik #8
Summary: Obi-Wan's first few weeks in the Medi-Corps
Warnings: Giant amounts of Angst!
Gilawrtin had over five hundred words for hot. Obi-Wan thought that none of them could do this planet justice. Today it was sdkjfk, so hot that Obi-Wan thought he would melt.
What boggled the Padawan's mind was that on his last trip to Gilawrtin, the weather had been cold. He couldn't believe a planet could have such a extreme change in weather. What was worse, the natives on this planet believed the heat was a gift from the gods, so they had banned all climate controls.
The Jedi temple had been turned into a medical clinic. The cooler parts had become exam rooms, the less hospitable rooms, living quarters. Without the coolers it was always burning up.
They had been on this planet for two long months, very long months. Even the days on this planet were long -- thirty-six hours, to be exact. So Obi-Wan was always tired and hot. His Master was always away on 'road trips' bringing healing to those who couldn't get to the temple.
He glanced at the receptionist, a young Jedi, only just turned thirteen. She had long red hair, plaited into several braids, and green eyes. Her Master was there as well, to keep an eye on Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. She was eating a large salad, and Obi-Wan couldn't help but look at it longingly. His breakfast of three pieces of bread was over ten hours ago. It would be over ten more hours before he would be allowed more bread.
"Stop lusting after my food," the girl said. "Do you really want me to tell Master Shadier?"
Obi-Wan tried to hide his panic. The last time she told on him, his food ration had been cut in half. "When is my next appointment?"
"In an hour, Ben," the Padawan had little respect in her voice. She knew why Obi-Wan was there -- for punishment.
"Master Shadier wants you to clean the temple," the girl ordered. This place was always dirty, since Shadier insisted on leaving the doors open. Cleaning was part of Obi-Wan's daily chores.
"Of course, Padawan Kirika."
"You'll find cleaning supplies in the closet," she told him.
I know. Obi-Wan went to the closet and got out the supplies. He began cleaning, trying to ignore the icy stare of Kirika. It wouldn't do to slack off in front of her.
I did the right thing. Why does this happen to me? He cleaned silently, trying to do the best job he could, ignoring the dizziness that he felt. He had been afraid to tell Qui-Gon about his lack of food because Shadier might overhear. If the bond had been there, his Master would have known he was starving.
But he had told his Master that he would behave, that he wouldn't go against Master Shadier's orders. He hated himself now for making the promise.
I'm only going along with Shadier's orders because I want to get out of this place, he told himself. I want to be a Knight. Besides, he doesn't know I'm gathering evidence against him. He touched the recorder at his belt. He's evil, as evil as Speilban. He must be stopped.
Obi-Wan thought of his Master, who was so unlike Speilban. He knew that Qui-Gon still felt guilty for what his father had done to Obi-Wan; he wanted to tell his Master that he understood, though he wished desperately that they still had the Vaar. There was still a great gulf in his mind. He had hoped it would be filled, but instead the void had gown larger as every day passed.
Obi-Wan, where are you? He heard the voice of Xanatos in his mind.
It's none of your business where I am! he telepathed.
I am a part of you, the voice crooned. No matter how much you think you can be rid of me. I will be there!
No! It took all of Obi-Wan's efforts to close his mind.
The dizziness continued, until everything went black.
Obi-Wan woke to the feel of something cold being thrown on his face. Knight Shadier looked down at him. He was a good looking man, with his dark hair tied into one braid. "You're being lazy again."
"The heat got to me." Obi-Wan looked around.
Kirika looked at him from across the room and smirked. "See, Master, he doesn't want to work!"
"It's hot, very hot!" Obi-Wan insisted.
"Nonsense, it isn't that warm," Shadier scoffed. "Get up and get back to work."
"Yes, Knight Shadier." Obi-Wan struggled to his feet and went back to work.
Obi-Wan looked at his crono. It was the middle of the night and he couldn't sleep. The room was hot, very hot, and there wasn't even a window.
He'd had sleeping problems since he had arrived at this planet. He lay on the cot, his sheet damp with sweat. It was looking like another sleepless night. His hunger didn't help any; Shadier had cut his evening ration when Obi-Wan had fainted.
His com link beeped, and he reached over and took it out of his hiding place. He hoped beyond hope that it wasn't Shadier. "Kenobi."
"I had a feeling that you couldn't sleep." It was the rich tones of his Master.
"I haven't been able to," he confessed. His penis hardened at the sound of his Master's voice.
"It's the heat."
"Knight Shadier says the heat is in my head."
"No, it's in the air. Shadier still working you hard?" There was concern in his voice.
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan didn't say more about his problems. He wanted to prove to his Master that he could handle things on his own.
"I've missed you."
"Oh, Master, you don't know how I've missed you." He tried to keep the emotion out of his voice, tried to make the swelling in his penis go down.
"What's wrong, my beloved?"
"Nothing," he lied.
Obi-Wan could feel the force moving around him, and something brushed his lips. Light touches moved over his body, making small circles on his chest.
"How does that feel?" The voice said over the com link. His Master had always had better control of long range use of the Force.
He could briefly see his Master's face smiling. Then the touches got firmer as they moved down his nude body. He split his legs, and he felt the touches caress the inside of his thigh.
Obi-Wan reached out with the force, but couldn't find his lover. "Master...I can't touch you."
Just lean back and enjoy, beloved. Obi-Wan was shocked to feel his Master's voice in his head. The Vaar was gone, yet Qui-Gon was able to read him. A firmness kissed his lips. You need to be loved, let me love you.
Yes, Master. He gave into the feelings.
Something warm enclosed his hardness. He arched back, his fingers going to his nipples, pinching them. This felt so good, as if his lover was with him.
The sucking grew harder, driving him almost to the brink. Obi-Wan concentrated his mind, trying to will himself not to come.
Quit holding back!
Obi-Wan could feel several spirit-fingers nudge his legs apart. He let his legs open wide, then the fingers entered him and caressed his prostate.
It was all Obi-Wan needed to go over the edge, crying his Master's name. Obi-Wan felt Qui-Gon's spirit kisses on his forehead. Sleep, beloved, you can sleep now.
Obi-Wan couldn't help it, and found himself falling asleep.
Qui-Gon had been away from the temple for two months. He was tired of being ordered around by someone who had just passed the knighthood tests.
Qui-Gon was especially bothered about Shadier's insistence on his not seeing Obi-Wan. Again and again Shadier insisted on extending the road trip. I didn't come to Gilawrtin to be apart from my lover.
He had contacted Windu as soon as the situation became clear. Sometimes he knew it was better to ask for help. He was surprised when Windu insisted on coming to Gilawrtin.
He walked up the mountain. Qui-Gon had returned to the temple two weeks before Shadier's schedule. He knew he should have contacted the Knight, but he wanted to be there when Windu arrived.
It was the height of the afternoon sun, and he could see Obi-Wan, his tunic sleeves rolled up to the elbow, scrubbing the outside of the temple. Obi-Wan was literally weaving as he bent down to the water bucket, then walked back to the wall.
He began to wipe the building again.
Obi-Wan! Qui-Gon tried to call out telepathically, but his Padawan's mind was sealed shut.
Obi-Wan swayed and reached out, balancing himself against the wall with one hand.
Qui-Gon bounded up the steps and caught Obi-Wan, helping the younger man stand back up. Obi-Wan was lighter than he had ever been before and his cheekbones stuck out.
"Thank you, Master," the Padawan murmured.
"You shouldn't be outside at this time of day."
Obi-Wan stood up on his own. He looked shocked. "Master?"
"You're not supposed to be here! Master Shadier...." Obi-Wan had the same terrified look that he had when they first met. When he was being abused? Is that why he lost so much weight?
"I had a feeling you needed me." Qui-Gon gave a half-smile.
"I need to get back to work." Obi-Wan tried to pull away from Qui-Gon.
Qui-Gon didn't release his Padawan. "Don't worry, I'll talk to him."
'I hate this place."
"Hate leads to the dark side." Qui-Gon let go of Obi-Wan. "But it isn't the most comfortable spot in the galaxy."
Qui-Gon looked at him. "Let's go inside and get you a cold drink."
Obi-Wan followed his Master into the temple. Kirika let out a yelp as she saw Qui-Gon. The Master met the girl's eye and smiled. "Kirika, it's been too long."
The girl flushed red. "Thank you, Master Qui-Gon."
"My Padawan needs a cold drink. Can you go get one?" He smiled slowly.
"Will you watch the desk for me?"
"Of course." Qui-Gon's voice was silky.
The girl got up and left the room.
Obi-Wan looked up at his Master. "How do you do that?"
Qui-Gon shrugged. "It's a gift."
"She's got a crush on you," Obi-Wan said very softly.
"Oh, does she?" He seemed pleased by the remark.
Obi-Wan fought down jealousy. "You're mine, Qui-Gon Jinn!"
"So you own me?" Qui-Gon raised an eyebrow.
It suddenly dawned on Obi-Wan that, in the time apart, their relationship had changed. He looked away from Qui-Gon. "Of course not."
Kirika returned with two cups of water. She handed one to Obi-Wan, then turned to Qui-Gon.
"Thanks." Qui-Gon looked her in the eyes again. The teen blushed.
"I better get back to work," the girl murmured.
"Of course." Qui-Gon smiled.
A few moments later Shadier came into the waiting room. He was wearing a new set of robes; for a Jedi, the Knight had a lot of money to spend on a wardrobe. His eyes narrowed when he saw Qui-Gon. "What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to visit my Padawan." He put an hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder.
"Get back to work, Ben." Shaider knocked the glass of water out of the Padawan's hand; it shattered on the ground. "You know the rule! You can only have liquids during a break! This is not your break."
Obi-Wan looked at the floor. "I'm sorry, Knight Shaider."
The fingers tightened on Obi-Wan's shoulder. "Obi-Wan needs to rest."
"I'll be the one that decides that," Shaider told the Master.
"It's all right, Master. I don't mind working," Obi-Wan said softly.
"You are resting!" Qui-Gon shoved him into a chair and Obi-Wan landed with a thump.
"Fine, let the Padawan rest!" Shaider yelled. "You will do his job!"
"I am not a service droid!" Qui-Gon countered. "Neither is Obi-Wan!"
Shaider looked down to Obi-Wan. "Ben can have the rest of the day off. Tomorrow, Ben will work twice as hard! Do you really want the consequences Ben?"
"No, Master Shaider," Obi-Wan whispered.
Obi-Wan, tell me where you are! The voice echoed in his head.
Leave me alone! he told Xanatos.
Obi-Wan sat on the edge of a cliff, staring out into the old city. It was a nice cool place, heavily shaded. The tree was an ejau that gave orange-like fruit. The fruit was a temptation to him, but it was too dangerous to eat now. Shaider might find out. The Knight seemed to always know where the younger man was. Perhaps tonight Obi-Wan could slip out, and eat some of the fruit.
He tried not to sulk. His Master was here, but things had changed between them. He wanted to tell his Master about the evidence he had gathered against Shaider. Now, he wasn't sure his Master would believe him.
Qui-Gon came out onto the ledge. He sat down beside Obi-Wan. "It's beautiful here."
"Yes, Master," Obi-Wan agreed.
"If I knew how you were treated. I would have come back sooner."
Qui-Gon reached out, touching Obi-Wan's shoulder. "Yes, I would have. Are you hungry?"
"No, Master," he lied. The Padawan could feel his Master touch his mind. Obi-Wan closed it quickly. His Master used the Force to take a fruit off the tree. He caught it in his long fingers, then broke the fruit into sections and handed one to Obi-Wan.
"Yes, you are! Eat!" was the command.
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan slowly began to eat the fruit. It took all his will not to gobble the food down. If he did that, his stomach would hurt. But he was so hungry. Soon the fruit was gone.
"How often do you eat?" Qui-Gon got another fruit and opened it.
Obi-wan took the fruit. "I eat breakfast, and an evening meal."
"What do you eat?"
"Usually bread, sometimes some broth."
"What's on the bread?"
"No fruit? No vegetables?" Qui-Gon asked. "Not even butter or jam?"
"Why are you asking me this?" Obi-Wan countered. "What does it matter to you if I eat at all? You've been gone!"
"I was curious. That's all."
"I am hungry. But I can live with it."
"I didn't know." Qui-Gon's voice was soft. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"There was nothing you could do about it." Obi-Wan stared out into the city. "I have tried to obey Master Shadier. You told me to before you left."
"I would have come back sooner and made sure you had enough to eat," Qui-Gon vowed. "You're starving to death."
"The lack of food is teaching me control. I won't die." He tried to keep the hopelessness out of his voice. "It's all right. I am being punished."
"Things will change," Qui-Gon promised.
"I don't believe you." Obi-Wan looked away from his Master. "In a few days, you will be gone. Then everything will go back to what it was like before."
What happened to Obi-Wan? Why is he like this? Qui-Gon thought.
Qui-Gon went back into the temple, worried about his Padawan. He had lost so much weight since he had left. Not only that, but the Padawan had lost faith in his Master. It bothered him. Even the gentle teasing that would have been laughed at before their arrival was taken as a personal attack. He hoped that he could prove to his lover that he could be trusted.
Kirika blushed when she saw Qui-Gon. "How was your walk?"
"Very restful." He smiled at her. He wasn't really attracted to the teenager, but he knew if he could get her on his side, it would help Obi-Wan in the long run. His lover would realize that, once his health returned.
"Master Shadier has come up with a work schedule for you."
"Thank you." He took the flimsy and looked it over. "Can I see Obi-Wan's schedule?"
The girl handed it to him. He read it over. The Padawan was scheduled to work 28 hours out of a 36 hour day, with only three fifteen-minute breaks. No wonder he's exhausted.
"I'm hungry, is there any food?"
"Of course, there's some in the kitchen. Take what ever you need." The girl gave him directions, though the Master knew where the kitchens were from his previous stay.
The kitchen was filled with food that had been given by the local community. There was even a bin of food that had gone bad. It angered the Master. There was more than enough to share with Obi-Wan. There was no real reason for his Padawan to starve. Except for Shaider. Qui-Gon fixed a small hamper of high-calorie food, most of his Padawan's favorites. Then he went outside.
He found Obi-Wan sitting in the same place he left him. "I brought a picnic, would you like some?"
"I'm not hungry," he said stubbornly.
Qui-Gon sat down, opened the basket, and took out some food. "Why are you being this way?"
"I don't understand."
"Why are you lying about being hungry?"
"Do you really want to know?" Obi-Wan asked.
"I wouldn't ask you if I didn't."
"Right after you left, Shaider started me on my new diet. After four days, I was hungry, very hungry. I got caught sneaking food from the kitchen. Shaider took my food from me for a week." The Padawan sounded ashamed.
"Why would he do that?" Qui-Gon asked.
"He has the right to."
"Eat! I'll take care of him."
"For now, yes. What will happen after you leave?" His eyes met Qui-Gon's, "It's just a matter of time until he sends you back on another road trip."
"I'm not going to leave you again," he promised.
"You said that before we got here, and you lied."
Qui-Gon realized this wasn't the time for them to fight. "If I keep a lookout, will you eat?"
"He won't see me?"
"I will make sure of it." Qui-Gon got up and walked to the edge of the hiding place. He kept his back towards Obi-Wan.
He could hear the sound of the Padawan getting into the food. Then there was noise as Obi-Wan began to eat. Qui-Gon tried to control his anger. Because he had gone along with Shaider, Obi-Wan had been hurt. From the look in Obi-Wan's eyes, he feared he would never be trusted again.
Qui-Gon had ordered Obi-Wan to move into his room. The Padawan carried his cot down the hallway. He was grateful that he would now be sleeping with his Master-until he saw Shadier.
"What are you doing?" Shadier took the cot away from him and threw it on the floor. Then he slapped Obi-Wan hard across the face.
"Master Qui-Gon ordered me to sleep in his room." Every bone in his body cried for him to fight back. The last time he had tried, Obi-Wan had beaten up Shadier. He thought everything would be all right, until Shaider had beaten Kirika so badly that it took her three days to recover. He could still see the young Padawan bruised, bleeding, begging him to do anything her Master told him to.
"Oh, he did, did he?"
Shadier punched Obi-Wan, and the Padawan felt himself falling. He lay still on the floor, hoping that the Knight would leave him alone. "Yes, Master Shadier,"
"You no longer have a Vaar with that man! Tomorrow you will have no breaks." Shadier took the strap off his belt.
The first blow stung his shoulders and he bit his lip. Don't scream, don't scream, he chanted as the blows rained down on his back. It hurt, damn it! It hurt! He heard his voice yelling as he could feel skin tear from the blows, could feel the blood soak his back. His fingers clenched and unclenched as he lay still on the floor.
Finally Shadier kicked him hard in the face; he could feel the bone in his nose break. "Get back to your room! No breaks for the next four days!"
Obi-Wan nodded. He struggled to his feet and went back to his room. No breaks meant he wouldn't be allowed water. No water meant that he would faint again.
Obi-Wan lay down on the cool floor. The beating had been worse this time. He felt so humiliated. He needed to tell his Master. He reached out with the Force, trying to feel Qui-Gon. Finally he spoke. Master....
Several hours passed, and still no Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon decided to go looking for his Padawan. In the hallway, he could see a trail of blood. He followed it to Obi-Wan's quarters. He tapped softly at the door. There was no answer, though he could feel Obi-Wan's life presence inside.
He opened the door. The first thing that hit him was the tangy smell of blood. He went inside and shut the door. On the floor lay his apprentice. He was curled up, his shoulders shaking, tunic soaked in blood.
"Obi-Wan," he said in horror
Obi-Wan quickly got off the floor, then held the wall as he got dizzy from standing up too quickly. His nose was swollen, and he held a sheet up to it. "Master."
"Who did this to you?" He tried to hold his temper in.
"I am being punished." The Padawan swayed, then fainted.
Qui-Gon reached out and caught Obi-Wan. He laid him down gently on the floor, thenunfastened Obi-Wan's belt and took it off, then took off his cloth belt. He used a small knife to rip open his lover's tunic and expose his back.
There were large open welts on the younger man's back as well as new scars. It suddenly came to Qui-Gon who had beaten his Padawan -- Shadier. He took out his small recorder and took holos of the battered Padawan. If Qui-Gon was going to get justice for Obi-Wan, he had to have evidence.
By the Force, what did he do to you?
Qui-Gon closed his eyes as he concentrated healing forces around Obi-Wan. Slowly, the Padawan's wounds began to close. When they were healed, he concentrated the Force on the broken nose.
Obi-Wan's eyes flickered open. "Master?"
"How are you feeling?" He reached out and smoothed the apprentice's hair.
"You know, I didn't want you to know about this."
"Why do you let him hit you? Why didn't you fight back?" Qui-Gon demanded.
"Because last time I did, he hurt Kirika very badly." For a brief instant, Qui-Gon could see in his mind the battered teenage girl.
So, Obi-Wan did have a good reason to go along with a beating; he couldn't see someone else get hurt. Finally Qui-Gon asked, "What made him beat you this time?"
"Master Shaider caught me coming to your room."
"Why do you always do what he tells you to?" Qui-Gon asked exasperated.
"Because I promised you that I would." He looked away from Qui-Gon. "I want to go back to being a Padawan learner. If I don't do as I am told, I will never be forgiven by the Council."
"Becoming a Knight means a lot to you, doesn't it?"
"It means everything to me,"
"I'll stay in here with you tonight." Qui-Gon's fingers rubbed his shoulder. "That way, you won't go against your orders."
"Thank you, Master."
Qui-Gon kissed him gently on the lips, then he stroked his Padawan's hair. "You need to sleep, you're exhausted."
Qui-Gon stretched his long frame beside him and gathered Obi-Wan into his arms. He tried to ignore the shaking of the younger man. If only I had been here, I could have prevented this!
Qui-Gon was trying to meditate. The only problem was that he could now feel the Obi-Wan's presence and the pain that his Padawan felt. It wasn't a Vaar, but it was more then they had before.
Obi-Wan's eyes popped open. I can feel you, Master!
Qui-Gon smiled inwardly; he hadn't just imagined it. His eyes opened. "How was your sleep?"
"It was the best that I've had since I've been on Gilawrtin." Obi-Wan confessed.
Qui-Gon smiled. "I'll talk to Shadier. Tonight you'll sleep in my bed."
Obi-Wan's hand went to his nose. "Thanks for healing me."
"You would have done the same for me."
Obi-Wan glanced to his tunic; it was caked in blood. "What am I going to wear today?"
Qui-Gon took off his outer tunic and handed it to Obi-Wan. "Wear this."
"Thank you, Master." He slipped the tunic on. It was large on him, even larger then his other tunic. He didn't have a cloth belt, so he put his leather belt on top of his Master's tunic. It seemed too large without the cloth belt.
Without saying anything, Qui-Gon took off his own cloth belt, and tore it in half. "Use this."
"Yes, Master." He took the leather belt off and put the cloth belt on, then refastened his leather belt.
"How does that feel?"
"Cooler then the other one." He smoothed the cloth down.
There was a loud pounding at the door. The door opened, and Shadier came in. "You slept through breakfast. Perhaps if you go a couple of days without food, you'll remember your schedule." The color drained from the Padawan's face. Qui-Gon could feel terror emanating from the man. "Yes, Master Shadier." Obi-Wan quickly put on his boots, and left.
Qui-Gon was enraged by Shadier's smirk. Center, he told himself.
"Shadier, do you really think you're helping to rehabilitate Obi-Wan?"
"Yes, I do." The Knight oozed confidence.
"Starving a person isn't teaching him anything. It's simply cruel."
"Ben isn't starving! He eats!"
"Lets see, three pieces of bread for breakfast, the same for the evening meal."
"Xiaodians live on 800 calories a day. If he would just behave, he would have enough calories to survive on."
"What if I told you that he wasn't Xiaodanian?" Qui-Gon asked.
"That's ridiculous! I checked his records before he was assigned to me." This one's arrogance reminded him of Xanatos. "Your first patient comes here in about thirty minutes, you better grab yourself some breakfast."
"Just one more thing." Qui-Gon used the Force to pick Shadier up and throw him against the wall. "If you lay another hand on Obi-Wan, you will have to deal with me!"
Shadier's eyes flashed defiantly. "Ben needs discipline!"
"I am his Master, any discipline he gets comes from me!" Qui-Gon thundered. "Is that understood?"
Shadier stood up. "I need to get to work."
Qui-Gon went and got himself some breakfast, then his mind went to Obi-Wan. He could see his lover cleaning one of the examining rooms. He could feel his Padawan's mind concentrate on trying to end the pain he felt.
Qui-Gon quickly found the room, then went in and shut the door. Obi-Wan looked up at him, panic in his eyes. "Please, Master, open the door."
"Master Shadier says I'll drink water if the door's shut." Obi-Wan looked away from him, ashamed.
"Have you done that before?"
"I was thirsty...but the water's being rationed." Obi-Wan suddenly grew pale. He reached out, grabbing the cabinet for balance. Qui-Gon could feel waves of hunger emanate from his Padawan.
Qui-Gon put the food on the exam table, then he went to Obi-Wan, steadying him. The Padawan clung to him. "I'll clean, you eat."
"I can't...Shadier will find out." Obi-Wan shook under Qui-Gon's fingers. "He'll take you away from me again!"
"No, he won't," he said firmly. Eat, beloved.
Obi-Wan began to shake harder, and he looked into Qui-Gon's eyes. I could hear you!
Trust me. I won't leave you again.
Obi-Wan looked down, tears in his eyes. The Padawan let Qui-Gon guide him to the exam table. He sat down, and began to eat.
Qui-Gon began to busy himself doing Obi-Wan's chores. He promised himself that things would change. If he had anything to do with it, his lover would no longer be abused.
Obi-Wan had found a nice cool spot: the temple's large walk-in refrigerator. A little break, he told himself. It was exhausting trying to control the pain. He didn't seem to hurt as much when he wasn't hot. Only problem was that he found himself falling asleep.
Obi-Wan was woken by the feel of something touching his face and the voice of his Master saying, "Break time is over. You need to wake up."
Obi-Wan opened his eyes. "I'm sorry, Master. It won't happen again."
Qui-Gon reached out, stroking Obi-Wan's face. "It's all right, just tell me next time before you leave. I'll cover for you."
"Yes, Master." He began to get up, and his Master helped him to his feet.
"I found out there is another Atawakee living on this planet. She was able to get a air conditioner."
"Unfortunately that would involve my telling the government that I am an Atawakee," Obi-Wan pointed out. "They would probably ask me for my male permit."
"They might not."
"Atawakee is only a few systems away. The government might think it was their duty," Obi-Wan pointed out. "Remember the bounty on an undocumented Atawakee male is 50,000 republic credits. That's a lot of money for some people."
"You're right." Qui-Gon looked around the empty storage space, then kissed his apprentice gently. "Come, let's get to work."
Obi-Wan followed his Master into the waiting room. It seemed to be always full of people of various species wanting to be healed. That was the drawback of being the only healers in this sector.
It was late afternoon, the hottest part of the day, so there wasn't anyone in the waiting room. It was their break time, they called it.
Obi-Wan walked to the open door, and went outside. He looked around the old city. It was already filling with new people. They had even reopened the spaceport. The people believed the prophecy had been fulfilled.
The grain that he saw in the far distance loved this weather, but he hated it. Hated the fact that he could never sleep in it. He really hated that water was rationed to the point that humans were allowed only a shower once a week to save water for the crops.
Most of all, he hated that he no longer had a Vaar. It was way too hot to try and reform it. Qui-Gon hadn't touched him since they arrived on planet -- not that they had much time together.
Hate leads to the dark side, he could remember Qui-Gon telling him. I must learn to love this place. I'm going to be here for a very long time.
He could feel overwhelming darkness surrounding him. Xanatos, he felt Xanatos. He was on this planet. He wanted to go and tell his Master, but Shadier was here. He would have to be careful around him.
Qui-Gon was being crossed examined by Shadier. The Knight disapproved of Obi-Wan and wanted him out of the Jedi. Again, he was being told how much of a bad healer Obi-Wan was.
He would be a much better healer if you didn't abuse him!
Kirika came into the room. "Master Shaider, Ben has passed out."
"Again!" Shadier signed.
"What do you mean, again?" Qui-Gon demanded.
"If you must know, he's passed out several times," Shaider explained.
"Where is Ben?" Qui-Gon demanded.
"He's still outside." Kirika looked terrified.
"Leave him there, he deserves it," Shaider ordered.
Qui-Gon ran outside. Obi-Wan was lying beside the temple, cleaning materials around him. His skin was deathly pale. The Master could feel Obi-Wan's life-force fading.
Qui-Gon knelt down and touched his Padawan's forehead. He was hot, very hot, his skin clammy.
He picked up his Padawan in his arms and carried him into the building. Obi-Wan was even lighter then Qui-Gon imagined.
"You have to take him back outside!" Kirika tried to block his way. Waves of terror came from the girl.
"Master Shadier said...."
Qui-Gon walked around the child and took Obi-Wan to the walk-in refrigerator. He laid his lover on the floor and checked Obi-Wan's temperature. It was high, too high. He took off his cloak and found a jug of water. He poured the water over the cloak, then put the wet cloak on top of Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon gathered healing forces around him, trying to will his Padawan's temperature to lower.
"How dare you go around my orders!" Shadier yelled as he came into the room.
"Obi-Wan is suffering heat stroke."
"Ben is just being lazy!" He went to Obi-Wan, kicking the Padawan in the side. "Wake up, Ben! Get up and get back to work!"
Qui-Gon stood to his full height. He shoved Shadier away from his lover. "Obi-Wan is going nowhere!"
"He's faking it!" There was fire in Shadier's eyes. "Your Padawan is Xiaodonan. The weather outside falls into normal means for Xiaodan!"
"Obi-Wan was born on Xiaodan, but his parents are from Atawakee. Their planet's normal mean temperatures are over sixty degrees cooler than outside." It took all of Qui-Gon's will control his temper. "His daily caloric intake should be 3,500 calories. That is considered the bare minimum for a Atawakee to survive."
"Ben is an Atawakee?" Shaider demanded. "Where is his permit tattoo?"
"He doesn't have one."
"But all Atawakee males must have a tattoo."
Qui-Gon tried to control his temper. "Obi-Wan could be dying now, and all you care about is his permits! You as a healer should worry about his health!"
"Fine, heal him! I'll take care of the patients he should be working on." Shadier left the room.
A few minutes passed, and Kirika came into the room. "Qui-Gon, Master Shadier wants you to get back to work."
"I am working." He rubbed ice on Obi-Wan's forehead.
"Qui-Gon, you must do as my Master orders."
Qui-Gon stood up to his full height. "You, young Padawan, have no right to give me orders!"
"Master Shadier must be obeyed." The girl's voice quivered, and, for the first time, the Master noticed the bruise on Kirika's cheek.
"He will hit you if I don't obey," Qui-Gon guessed. Kirika looked embarrassed and nodded. Qui-Gon reached out, touching her shoulder. "Obi-Wan needs medical help. I can't deny him. Tell Shadier that if he wants to hit anyone, he should hit me."
"Yes, Master Qui-Gon." The girl turned and left.
Qui-Gon took his communicator off and brought it to his lips. "Mace, are you there?"
"What is it, Yun-Yan?"
"How far away from this planet are you?"
"Don't worry, I'll be there soon."
"I think I'm going to turn to the dark side if some things don't change," he confessed.
There was a hint of a smile in Windu's voice. "What is it this time?"
"Shadier has decided that his Padawan can give me orders." He paused. "He also thinks he has the right to beat Padawans."
"Obi-Wan?" Windu guessed.
"Yes, I found him bleeding last night from a beating. Not only that, but I think that Kirika is being abused, too."
"Did you tell him to quit?" Windu suggested.
"Of course I did! I don't think it will work," Qui-Gon said. "Obi-Wan's in a lot of danger right now."
"Try not to hurt Shadier, but try to gather evidence against him. He can't be removed from his Knighthood without evidence," Windu said.
"I will be there soon," Windu promised.
Qui-Gon turned off his communicator. "Not soon enough for me."
"I want to talk to you about Kirika," Qui-Gon said.
Shadier didn't look up from the records he was working on. "What about her?"
"She will no longer address me as just Qui-Gon. I am a Master; your apprentice needs to be taught respect."
"You have lost the right to be called Master," Shadier pointed out. "As someone without titles, she has the right to order you."
"I still have my titles." Qui-Gon tried to control his temper. Mace Windu would be here soon to straighten the Knight out.
"The verdict in the trial...."
"I was allowed to come to the Medi-Corps with Obi-Wan because I am his Master, not because I am being punished." Qui-Gon said slowly. "My job is to make sure he is rehabilitated correctly. This means that I will no longer go out on road trips."
"You cannot defy my orders! If I say you're going on a road trip, you're going!"
Qui-Gon took the communicator off his belt and touched the button for instant contact with Mace Windu.
"This is Windu," the voice of his old friend said.
"Mace, this is Qui-Gon. We have a problem on this planet," he began.
Shadier took the communicator away from Qui-Gon. "Master Windu, this is Knight Shadier. I am having troubles with the people you sent me."
"What kind of troubles?"
"Qui-Gon Jinn is being insubordinate, he refuses to do what he is ordered!"
"Why are you ordering him to do anything?"
"That is my duty!"
There was a long pause. "I am at the spaceport right now. The Council thought it best to drop in on you for a visit. Expect me in twenty minutes."
Qui-Gon watched a smug-looking Shadier telling Kirika about Windu's visit. Qui-Gon smiled inwardly.
The cab carrying Windu arrived, dropping him off, then leaving. They watched as Windu walked up the steps to the temple. Shadier bowed. "We are honored by your presence, Master Windu."
"Thank you for being welcoming." He glanced at Qui-Gon. "How do you like the weather?"
"Nice and sunny, Mace." Qui-Gon gave a half-smile.
"How dare you call Master Windu by his given name?" Shadier said, outraged. "You will use proper titles, Qui-Gon!"
This one is worse then you told me, Yun-Yan. Windu cocked an eyebrow. "Where is Ben Kenobi?"
"He's in the cooler, Master Windu."
"Good, you're respecting his heritage." Windu looked at the young Padawan. "Kirika, please go get Kenobi."
The girl looked at Qui-Gon, a panicked look in her eyes. He nodded. "Tell the truth."
"Master Windu, Ben fainted while doing the chores that Master Shadier assigned to him," the girl finally said.
"What kind of tasks did he have to do?" Windu asked.
"I assigned Ben to clean the outside of the building," Shaider explained. "He was to scrub it by hand."
"When did he do this scrubbing?"
"He fainted about an hour ago."
Windu's eyes narrowed. "Why did you have him do menial chores in the height of Gilawrtin's heat?"
"He is being punished, so he must do more work then normal."
"Kenobi's punishment is to work in the Medi-Corps, not to do work that is more suited for a service droid!" Windu was trying hard to control his anger. "Let me see him!"
Obi-Wan Kenobi woke to the touch of Mace Windu. He couldn't remember how he had arrived here. He must have passed out again. It took him a couple of seconds to realize he was in the cooler.
Oh, Force, if Shadier finds out I fainted....
"Master Windu! I'm sorry, I'll get back to work." Obi-Wan tried to get up, but the older man held him down. He was too weak to fight.
"You've worked too hard lately. Why don't you rest?" Windu suggested.
Obi-Wan felt confused. "Master, where is my Master?"
"I'm here," Qui-Gon knelt beside his Padawan and began wiping his face with ice. It felt cool against his hot skin.
"I must work!" Obi-Wan insisted, though his body told him that he couldn't get up.
"You will work later."
"He's malnourished," Windu said.
"Master Shadier likes to take my food away from me, as punishment," Obi-Wan explained.
"You deserved not being allowed to eat!" Shadier said. "You've been too lazy!"
"If I had known about Shadier taking his food away, I would have returned much earlier," Qui-Gon told Windu.
"It wasn't your fault," his old friend said. "How could you know that Obi-Wan would be mistreated if you went on a road trip?"
"Master Windu, who will take his cases?" Shadier asked.
"You're not doing anything, you take them!" Windu ordered.
"Yes, Master." Shaider bowed stiffly and left the cooler.
"It's a wonder he ever passed the trials." Windu sighed. "You've showed a remarkable amount of restraint to him."
"He just refuses to consider other's advice," Qui-Gon said. "What are we going to do with him?"
"I arranged to be here for several weeks. Just to make sure that Obi-Wan's rehab is going well." His mind brushed Qui-Gon's I need to be here to gather evidence against him.
So you believe me?
Seeing Obi-Wan makes me want to seek justice against him.
"Thank you." Qui-Gon went back to wiping Obi-Wan's head.
Suddenly Obi-Wan felt darkness touching his mind, and a voice said, You're not getting away from me this time!
Leave me alone! Obi-Wan closed his mind to the invasion.
Obi-Wan looked at Qui-Gon. "Master, he's here."
"Who is here?" Windu asked.
"Are you sure?" Qui-Gon asked. Obi-Wan nodded. The Master looked at Windu. "We need our lightsabers."
"Don't you have them?" After a glare from Qui-Gon, Windu said. "Let me guess, Shadier has them. But who is it?"
"Xanatos, my former Padawan."
"Obi-Wan can feel him?"
"Xanatos mind-raped him."
Windu got to his feet. "Don't worry, I'll get your sabers back."
Obi-Wan watched his Master carry his cot into the cooler. The older man set the cot down. He went over to the Padawan. "How are you feeling?"
"Much better, Master."
"I brought your bed. Do you think you can walk?"
"Yes, Master." It took all of Obi-Wan's effort to get to his feet. Without saying anything, Qui-Gon put his arm around Obi-Wan's waist and helped him walk to the bed.
"I've raised the temperature in here to Atawakee normal. You should be in comfort as you heal."
As Obi-Wan settled down on the cot, Shadier came into the room, followed by Mace Windu. Obi-Wan tried to get to his feet. "I'm sorry, Master Shadier, Master Windu"
"Stay where you are," Windu commanded.
"Why didn't you tell me you where an Atawakee?" Shaider asked.
"What does it matter where my parents came from?" Obi-Wan asked.
"I was under the mistaken impression that your caloric needs were much less then they actually are. Xiaodonain and Atawakee metabolisms are vastly different." Shaider told him. "If I had known the truth, I would have allowed you to eat more and to work less."
"The problem was, you didn't listen to me!" Obi-Wan was exhausted, but Shadier needed to know the truth. "You are supposed to be a healer, and you allowed me to faint all the time. Every symptom of heat exhaustion was considered laziness on my part!"
Qui-Gon put a hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder. Control your temper, beloved.
"Are you going to press charges against Shadier?" Windu asked.
"I don't know," Obi-Wan admitted. "Would taking Shaider to the Jedi Council help the people of this planet?"
"What has your exhaustion have anything to do with the people on this planet?" Windu asked.
"Simple, Master Shaider is the healer the Council sent to Gilawrtin." Obi-Wan's anger faded. "If he leaves, the Gilawrtins will believe that the Jedi have yet again deserted the temple."
"Then you are more worried for the Jedi then your own vengeance?" Shadier asked.
"The Jedi are the guardians of peace. If we turn on each other, it hurts the Jedi in the long run."
"Then we will leave you to rest." Windu left, followed by Shadier.
Obi-Wan thought for a moment. He took the recording unit off his belt. "I couldn't let Shadier know I have this."
"What is that?"
""I've made recordings of things I've overheard."
"Obi-Wan...." Qui-Gon was about ready to remind the Padawan about the wrongness of taping others.
"Shadier's been in contact with your father. He has been plotting to help overthrow the Jedi Council." Obi-Wan looked down. "I shouldn't have made the recordings."
"No, you did the right thing." Qui-Gon smiled. "Give me your communicator, I'll make a copy of what you recorded. Then I will approach Windu about it."
"How can you believe me without hearing the evidence?"
"I trust you." Qui-Gon leaned down and kissed his apprentice.
Mace, I need to talk to you alone, Qui-Gon telepathed. He went into the waiting room. Windu was looking over records.
Where? Windu glanced up at him.
I'll show you. Qui-Gon took Windu to a out-of-the-way prayer room, then shut and locked the door.
"Why the secrecy?" Windu asked.
Qui-Gon took Obi-Wan's recorder off his belt. He hit the play button.
"How long will it be until we take over the Council?" Shadier asked.
"Patience, Shadier, we must wait till the right time," The unmistakable voice of Speilban said. "When the time comes, you will rise to the Council."
They listened to the entire recording silently. The recordings detailed their plans to murder Obi-Wan.
"Should we arrest him now?" Qui-Gon asked.
"No, we shouldn't." Before the other Master could say anything. Windu raised his hand. "If we reveal what we know now, we could endanger your Padawan. He is still recovering."
"Shadier might go after him," Qui-Gon guessed.
"Tell me, is Obi-Wan capable of defending himself?"
"Not right now, no," Qui-Gon admitted.
"You are his Master, it is your job to guard him until he is capable. Then, when the time is right, we will arrest Shadier." Windu paused. "Don't talk about this aloud with Obi-Wan. Your quarters might be bugged."
Obi-Wan lay in bed. The air was cool. For the first time in a long time he didn't feel like fainting.
He looked at the sleeping form beside the bed. His Master was sleeping on his tunic, with no pillow. Obi-Wan hadn't realized how much he loved him, until they had been apart for two months.
He felt so lonely. He missed having a warm body against him. Obi-Wan got out of bed. He picked up his pillow, knelt down, and placed it under Qui-Gon's head. Then he stretched out beside his Master, putting his arms around him, his clothed body against the nude body of his lover. He didn't feel comfortable letting the older man see him nude again yet.
Obi-Wan moved as close as he could to Qui-Gon, feeling the warmth of the older man's body. He lay there, just enjoying the touch of his Master. Qui-Gon moaned and turned over in his sleep. He put his arms around Obi-Wan, tucking the younger man's head under his chin.
Then Obi-Wan heard Qui-Gon say, "You should be in bed."
"I couldn't sleep, Master."
"So you thought you would wake me up?"
"I'm sorry, I was being selfish." Obi-Wan tried to pull away from Qui-Gon, but was held firm by the older man's arms. He didn't struggle against the touch.
Qui-Gon began to stroke Obi-Wan's hair, his fingers getting tangled in the Padawan's too-long hair. "If you get off of this floor, I'll crawl into your bed."
Obi-Wan couldn't help but smile. "There would be plenty of room. I've lost so much weight."
"Do you have any idea how much?"
"Last time I weighed myself, I had lost twenty kilos."
"When was that?"
"A few days ago." He felt embarrassed.
He could feel Qui-Gon smile. "Then we will have to work to put it back on you,"
Ten days had passed and Qui-Gon concentrated on getting Obi-Wan better. Slowly but surely, Obi-Wan was regaining his health. The Padawan had made remarkable strides towards getting better, and they were now able to practice fighting outside the cooler. This practice session had only been forty-five minutes long, but it was the longest session yet.
They arrived at their quarters. Qui-Gon had been able to turn it into a real room, with a shower, instead of just a cooler. "Don't look at me." Obi-Wan turned his back to his Master. He took off his tunic; his shoulder blades still sharp under the still-fresh scars that crossed his back. "Please, Master."
He thinks I feel sorry for him. Qui-Gon turned his back to the Padawan. "I won't look."
"Thank you." His voice was soft. The Master could hear his Padawan move around the room, then there was the sound of a sonic shower being run.
Obi-Wan had improved greatly in the days that Qui-Gon had been there. So much so, that he would go back to work in the morning. He had already gained four kilos back. Still, the younger man was ashamed of his body. No matter what Qui-Gon said to him, Obi-Wan thought he was worthless.
He doesn't need me to tell him he's needed. He needs me to show him.
"You can turn around," Obi-Wan finally said.
Qui-Gon turned. "How was the shower?"
"Good. I feel well enough to work now."
It's now or never. Qui-Gon moved closer to his Padawan. He reached his hand out, touching his lover's cheek. "I'm glad you're feeling better. Do you want me to talk to Shadier about reducing your workload?"
"No! You don't have to do that!" The Padawan shivered under his touch.
"I just thought you wanted to spend some time with me." He leaned forward, kissing Obi-Wan gently on the lips.
Obi-Wan pulled away from his Master, turning his back to him. "How can you stand to touch me? I'm ugly."
Qui-Gon reached out, touching Obi-Wan's shoulder, then began to caress it. "I admire your determination. You didn't ask me for help because you wanted to prove your worth."
"I wanted to make you proud of me," Obi-Wan confessed.
"I'm very proud of you. I love you."
Obi-Wan turned to Qui-Gon. "Still?"
"Always," he vowed. He lowered his lips to Obi-Wan's. This time, the Padawan opened his mouth to his Master with a sigh.
Obi-Wan's mind raced as his Master kissed him. He reached his arms up, holding Qui-Gon close to him. He could feel the Master's hardness against his stomach. For him, it was for him. He still wants me, he really wants me.
Obi-Wan waited for his Master to start undressing him. It was a routine to their lovemaking: as his Master's desires mounted, his clothes would be taken off. Instead, Qui-Gon pulled away from him. He took off his belt and tossed it in a corner. Then he took off the long layer of cloth belt slowly. Obi-Wan felt himself growing hard at the sight. The man was seductive, very seductive.
The entire time Qui-Gon was undressing, he looked into his lover's eyes. Desire was etched in the older man's gaze. The Master took off his tunics, then gave a half-smile. "How am I going to take off these boots?"
Obi-Wan couldn't help but smile back. "The same way you always do."
Qui-Gon sat down on the cot. He unfastened his boots, then took them off. He slowly peeled off his socks. Then he stopped, picking up his clothes. "This isn't working is it?"
Obi-Wan gulped, thinking of his hardness. "Finish, please."
"Are you sure?" Another half-smile. The man was teasing him!
There was only one way that Qui-Gon would realize that his show was turning on the Padawan. Obi-Wan felt for his pants; he put his hand in, pulling out his cock. He began to stroke the demanding hardness. "Please, Master, please."
"As you wish." Qui-Gon stood up and slowly took off his pants then his undershorts. His lover's hardness stretched to his belly. It twitched slightly as he looked at Obi-Wan.
Qui-Gon sank to his knees. Then he reached out and slowly licked the length of the cock. Obi-Wan closed his eyes, concentrating on his Master's tongue. Small flicks across the base, then his Master's fingers began a slow caress of the inside of Obi-Wan's thighs. He was amazed that his lover's hands were so large, but so gentle.
"You're beautiful, beloved." Qui-Gon took the younger man's cock full in his mouth.
As the warmth enveloped him, Obi-Wan sighed. "Master." Obi-Wan put his hand on his Master's head, trying hard not to rock. It would be so easy to simply let his lover make love to him with his mouth. "Stop, Master!"
Qui-Gon rested back on his heels, his cock making a gentle arch against his belly. "You don't want me?"
"I do." He looked away from his Master. "I want to be inside you."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Qui-Gon took his hand and pulled him to the floor.
As he sank to his knees, his lover kissed him gently. He could feel his Master was holding back, trying not to hurt him.
Obi-Wan wanted one thing, and he wasn't going to get it by gentleness. He shoved Qui-Gon onto his back. "The time for playing around is past."
Qui-Gon split his legs, letting Obi-Wan settle between them. "Is it, beloved?"
"Yes, Master. It is." His cock brushed his lover's scrotum. Qui-Gon moved his hips up, and Obi-Wan found the target. The Padawan bit his lip, as he entered his lover slowly. His Master opened himself like a flower, moaning as the apprentice filled him.
Qui-Gon arched his back and began to make groaning sounds with each thrust of his lover. "Yes, beloved, yes."
He could feel his lover's mind brush his. With a feeling of joy, Obi-wan opened his thoughts, feeling their two minds blending into one.
Our Vaar! Obi-Wan wasn't sure who made the thought as the Vaar spurred him on. The thrusts into his lover became more powerful. He could feel his Master give in to the feelings. But it wasn't enough for Qui-Gon. His lover wanted more. What do you want?
My wants don't matter. This is for you.
Lovemaking is for both of us, he pointed out. What do you want? There was a brief flash of Obi-Wan on his back, Qui-Gon moving on top of him. Do it!
Then his lover grabbed him by his shoulders and shoved Obi-Wan onto his back. Qui-Gon straddled Obi-Wan's body and slowly lowered himself on to his lover's hardness. Obi-Wan grabbed his lover's hips and pushed him even further down. Now he was deep inside his lover. It felt so good. He couldn't help but moan.
"Obi-Wan." Qui-Gon's moans where loud as he began to move on top of his lover. "Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan."
The apprentice wrapped his fingers around his Master's cock, making Qui-Gon lose control. The thrusting became frenetic, until it drove Obi-Wan over the edge.
Master! he shouted mentally as their souls blended into one.
Afterwards, Qui-Gon held Obi-Wan close. The wall that separated them slowly returned, until their minds no longer touched. The Padawan's heart broke as he realized that their Vaar hadn't reformed.
Tears poured down Obi-Wan's face onto his Master's chest. They might be lovers, but they were still not bonded.
Qui-Gon reached up and wiped the tears from his lover's face. "What's wrong?"
"Do nothings make you cry?"
"Our Vaar. I thought it had returned," Obi-wan finally admitted.
"I thought so, too, beloved."
Obi-Wan sat up and straightened his clothes, trying to ignore the tears that continued to fall. But it hurt knowing that they would never be bonded. "I should stop dreaming. What we had is never coming back."
"What we had this time making love gave us hope of things to come." Qui-Gon sat up and touched Obi-Wan's cheek. "We must believe. If we take away the hope, then Metze will have won."
"I can't let her win," Obi-Wan admitted. "It's just it felt so good to have a Vaar with you. I've felt as if half of my soul is gone."
"So have I." The large fingers traced the outline of his face. "Our Vaar returned for a few minutes. Perhaps if we made love more, it can stretch to hours, then days. Until it is back permanently."
"More lovemaking?" He looked into his lover's eyes and smiled. "I could get used to that."
"Call it Master's orders." Qui-Gon pulled him back down to the ground. The larger man took him into his arms, tucking his chin under his head.
"I always do what my Master tells me to." He felt himself being lulled to sleep by his Master's heartbeat. For the first time in a long time, Obi-Wan Kenobi felt truly safe.
"Master Qui-Gon?" Kirika almost squeaked.
Qui-Gon opened his eyes and looked up at the Padawan, trying to pretend that he wasn't nude. "Can I help you?"
"There is an official here from both the Gilawrtin government and the Atawakee government. They want to speak to you about Ben."
"What about him?"
"They want his documentation. They know he isn't registered!"
"I'll be there in a few minutes."
"Master Shadier says you're to come now!" Kirika seemed panicked; she reached a hand up, brushing a hair from her forehead. There was a newly forming bruise on her arm, in the shape of a handprint.
Qui-Gon touched the Padawan's mind. "Tell them to wait a few minutes."
"I'll tell them to wait a few minutes," she repeated, then left.
Qui-Gon quickly dressed, then turned and touched the still-dressed Obi-Wan. He touched his lover gently on the cheek. The Padawan's eyes opened. "What is it, Master?"
"There are officials here, from the Atawakee government."
"They are here for me." Obi-Wan sat up. "I had a dream about it."
"What happened in the dream?"
"You must hide me." Obi-wan looked at his Master. "You know what you must do!"
"This is the other Jedi," Windu said as Qui-Gon came into the waiting room. The officials were deep in conversation with Windu. Qui-Gon could see that Shadier wasn't there and wondered where he had gone.
Windu glanced up to him. I need your mind-sway abilities!
You couldn't do it? Qui-Gon telepathed.
You're better at it, Windu pointed out.
"I am Qui-Gon Jinn. Can I help you?" he said.
An official nodded towards her aide. The aide walked towards him. She waved the scanner at Qui-Gon. "This one isn't Atawakee."
The other official looked at Qui-Gon. "Bring us the unregistered male."
Qui-Gon reached out with his mind. He touched the official's mind and waved his hand. "All males are registered here."
"All males are registered," the officials repeated.
He waved his hand. "The report that was turned in was false."
"Someone must have given us a false report." The woman looked embarrassed. "We are sorry to have taken your time."
"We understand that you must follow procedures," Windu said.
"We will no longer trouble you." The officials bowed and left.
"Someone must have called them," Kirika said.
Qui-Gon began to look for the most obvious person. "Where is Shadier?"
"He left to meditate," the girl said. "But Master Shadier wouldn't betray Ben!"
Windu's eyes narrowed. Do you think it was him?
He has a grudge against Obi-Wan. He would be the most obvious suspect.
They found Shadier meditating at his secret shrine, kneeling in front of it. His hand went to his lightsaber as they approached. "What do you want?"
"Did you call the authorities on Obi-Wan?" Qui-Gon asked.
"Of course I didn't." He stood up.
"You have a grudge against him," Windu pointed out.
"Giving Ben to the Atawakee would be giving him a death sentence. No grudge is that severe."
Qui-Gon took out the recorder. He held it up, and pushed the button. The unmistakable voice of Shadier said, ""It won't be long until Kenobi starves to death."
"How long?" Speilban said.
"The way he is going, not even a week."
"When you are finished with him, kill Qui-Gon."
"It will be my pleasure."
"When I am in power, your loyalty will be rewarded."
The color drained from Shadier's face. "Where did you get that recording?"
"It doesn't matter where we got the information," Qui-Gon said.
"I've heard the entire recording. You have a lot to answer for!" Windu told him.
"My actions aren't any of your concern!" Shaider thundered. "As soon as Metze regains power, people like you will be punished!"
"So when you couldn't starve Obi-Wan to death, you decided to turn him in," Qui-Gon said.
"I told you before, I didn't turn him in."
"Then who did?" Windu asked.
"I did." Xanatos came into the room from a hidden entrance.
"You're working with Speilban," Qui-Gon guessed.
"How else could I always know where your Padawan was?" Xanatos smiled evily.
Using the Force, Xanatos began to throw things at Windu and Qui-Gon. Chairs, lights, anything that wasn't fastened down. Qui-Gon used the Force to counter them.
Suddenly, the items dropped to the ground. Shadier and Xanatos were gone.
"They must have gotten out through that door," Windu guessed.
Qui-Gon went to the wall. He tried to find the hidden latch for the door, but couldn't feel one. "The latch must be on the other side of the door."
"Use the Force to find the latch," Windu suggested.
"I was planning on doing that." He closed his eyes and, using the Force, felt along the inside of the wall. He found the lock and opened it.
Obi-Wan could feel Xanatos' presence. He put a hand on his lightsaber. If Xanatos had been there ten days before, Obi-Wan would have been defeated, but he had been practicing with Qui-Gon. He could now fight for almost an hour outside the cooler. The weakness had lifted; he felt ready.
If Xanatos could use their link against him, Obi-Wan decided that he, too, could use it against the enemy. He closed his eyes and concentrated. He could see Xanatos with Shadier. He should have realized that they were working together. They were planning to trap Qui-Gon and Windu.
I must stop them. His mind went to his Master's unti finally he could see his Master in his mind's eye. Master.
Obi-Wan? He could feel Qui-Gon's surprise.
Master, you're walking into a trap!
How can you be so sure?
My mind-bond with Xanatos.
There was a long pause. Are you well enough to help us?
Of course I am, Master.
Find Kirika. You must protect her. She's in a lot of danger right now. Xanatos wouldn't hesitate in killing her.
Another pause. We can talk telepathically again. We are one step closer to having our Vaar reformed.
Be careful, Master. I don't want to lose you.
Watch yourself, beloved.
I will, he promised.
Obi-Wan went towards Kirika's quarters. From the Force he could read that he would have to be very careful. The younger Padawan wasn't in her quarters. He reached his mind out to her, finding her in the waiting area.
Obi-Wan drew his lightsaber and went to the waiting area. Kirika was standing in a corner, lightsaber in hand. "So Master Shadier was right, you want to kill him."
Obi-Wan put his lightsaber up. "I have no argument with you."
"You are evil!" she accused. "You want the downfall of the Jedi."
"I love the Jedi as much as you."
"You are dangerous! You must be taken care of!" Kirika turned on her lightsaber and came towards Obi-Wan.
"Don't do this," Obi-Wan tried to reason.
Kirika came towards him, yelling "Hai!"
Obi-Wan turned on his lightsaber. This one was a child, but had won awards at the academy for her saber techniques. As he battled the Padawan, his mind raced. She was misguided, he kept reminding himself.
There was a statue behind her. Using the Force, Obi-Wan picked it up and sent it hurtling towards her. Just as Kirika turned and slashed at the statue, Obi-Wan smashed the girl in the head with his lightsaber handle. She fell to the ground unconscious. He could smell flesh burning.
He turned her over and turned off her lightsaber. He attached it to his belt, then found some cord and tied her up.
"We're walking into a trap," Qui-Gon told Windu.
"How do you know?" Windu didn't look at him.
"Obi-Wan told me."
"Then we need to get out of here." Windu began to look for an opening in the wall. His fingers found a switch, pressed it. The door swung open, leading to an exam room.
They carefully went down the hallway. The first thing Qui-Gon saw in the waiting room was Kirika tied up on the floor. He checked her; she was still alive. Obi-Wan was nowhere to be found, though the Master recognized the knots on the bindings as Obi-Wan's work.
Qui-Gon opened his mind to his apprentice. The young man was on the ledge. Qui-Gon turned on his lightsaber and went outside.
Obi-Wan was fighting both Xanatos and Shadier. The Padawan looked exhausted. With one stroke, Xanatos brought Obi-Wan to the ground, then moved in for a killing blow.
Qui-Gon moved quickly, throwing his former apprentice off balance. He could see Windu going around him, fighting Shadier with a savagery that surprised the other man, actually beating Shadier with his fists.
Qui-Gon concentrated on his own battle, knowing that Windu could take care of himself. Xanatos moved close to the edge of the cliff. Qui-Gon moved towards him and hit him hard in the face. Xanatos fell off the cliff.
The former Padawan used the Force to catch his fall, then lower himself to the ground. Next time, Master! Xanatos got on a speeder, and flew off.
Qui-Gon turned to Windu, who was tying up a bruised and battered Shaider. "You know, both you and your Padawan must come to Coruscant to be witnesses in his trial."
"What about Obi-Wan's sentence?"
"I still have connections in the Council. I'll make sure his sentence is commuted, for good behavior," Windu promised.
Qui-Gon went to Obi-Wan. The Padawan had been cut across the stomach and he could see the inside of Obi-Wan's belly. The wound was bad, very bad, blood pooling on the ground, and Qui-Gon could feel that Obi-Wan's life force was very weak.
He tried to gather the Force to heal Obi-Wan, but there wasn't enough to heal the younger man. He looked up to Windu. "Mace, can you help me heal him?"
"Of course." Windu punched Shaider hard one last time, then went to Obi-Wan's side. He put his hands over the wound and closed his eyes. Together the two men healed Obi-Wan's wound.
Obi-Wan Kenobi woke. The first thing he realized was that the ground was moving, which meant he was on a space ship. He was in a cool room, and he was on a bed. The pain in his stomach was only a dull ache. He felt alive again, whole, although there were tubes attached to his wrists and sensors attached to his forehead.
He could feel Qui-Gon's presence as he opened his eyes. His Master was yet again meditating.
How did I get here?
Qui-Gon's eyes opened. In one fluid motion he got to his feet, then he sat beside Obi-Wan on the bed. "How are you feeling?"
"Good." The apprentice looked up at his Master. "How did I get here?"
"Special Council transport."
"Let me guess, we're in trouble again."
"We're going to be witnesses in the trial. Shadier's trial." Obi-Wan sat up, and Qui-Gon helped him. "Take it easy." "I feel good," he lied. Truth be told, he still felt awful.
Qui-Gon smiled. "You might feel good, but you're still recovering."
"So you're going to sleep somewhere else," he guessed.
"No, I'll sleep here, in a trundle bed." Qui-Gon brushed the hair off of Obi-Wan's face. "But that's all I will do, sleep. You need to get better for the trial."
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan sighed.
"Let me get you something to eat. Want some stew?" Qui-Gon half-smiled.
"No, that's okay. I think I'll go back to sleep." Obi-Wan lay down and closed his eyes. He could hear his Master chuckle, then felt his Master's lips brush his.
"You'll get better, then we will make up for lost time."
"I'll hold you to that." Obi-Wan smiled and found sleep overcoming him.
Note: Thank you so much for reading my story. I feel as if I should thank the reader, because without you, where would a writer be? As always, I am grateful that you took the time to read my story. If you like it, please drop me a line!
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