Archive: m_a, my homepage
Series: yes, this follows "Meditations" and "The Bond"...
I'm still working on a title for the series as a whole.
Summary: Obi-Wan & Qui-Gon return to Coruscant with
Anakin in the next installment of this AU series.
Warnings: Explicit smutty bits, and some "off-screen"
Feedback: yes, please. This little AU just keeps
rolling along on its merry way...I'm hoping y'all enjoy it.
The ancient Jedi Master struck the ground solidly with
his cane. "Wrong it was for Qui-Gon to do this. Put
your training in question he has."
"Master Yoda, I was the one who insisted upon the
Bonding. If blame is to be taken, then I take it
fully upon myself."
"But fully you are not, are you, hmm? Bonded, you are-
-part you, part Qui-Gon now. While still apprentice!
Against the Code it is."
Obi-Wan bowed his head in deference, and tried once
more to explain, "I did this to save my Master's
life--perhaps both of our lives, and the lives of
many others if the Sith Lord had not been defeated. I
believed that the severity of the situation justified
our actions...though I will concede to whatever
decision the Council has made on our perceived
offense. If the decision is that I cannot now become a
full Jedi..." He paused to remove his lightsaber from
his belt and lay it upon the ground. As painful as it
was to say the words, he continued calmly, "...Then I
will accept my failure."
Yoda stood before Obi-Wan, his large eyes fixed upon
the young man. Then he let out a deep sigh.
"Difficult, this is. Impulse rules Qui-Gon's actions-
-impulse and defiance. Too much, you are the
same...but deny your potential, I will not. Fought
without fear, or anger towards the Sith you did, this
we see. Put others before yourself. Pass the trials
of becoming a Jedi Knight, you have. So agrees the
Council. So it will be."
Obi-Wan's eyes widened with surprise. "I...I thank
you, Master Yoda."
"Hmph! Yes, Council agrees, but without concern, it
does not. Careful you must be. Careful with Qui-Gon's
strong will, careful with the boy."
"Anakin? ...Then the Council has decided he is to be
trained after all?"
"Too dangerous, now, to train him not. One Sith gone,
seeking a new student the other will be. Necessary to
quiet Skywalker's fear, or fall to the Dark Side he
will. See this I do. Padawan to Qui-Gon he will be--
if promise you can, to assist. Provide reason against
"I promise. We will train Anakin together, and we will
not fail the Council in this matter." He bowed his
head once more and picked up his lightsaber, sensing
that the meeting was over.
"Yes. Fail, you must not. Too great is the danger. Far
too great, it is." With that, Master Yoda turned and
left. Obi-Wan stayed and did not rise until the
senior Jedi had departed--at which point he was swift to
the exit where he knew Qui-Gon waited for him.
His Master's attention turned quickly from the window
looking over the city toward Obi-Wan, who did not
need to tell Qui-Gon what had happened. He had
felt Qui-Gon's presence in the back of his mind the
whole time he'd been in the Council chambers. They
shared a smile, and Qui-Gon rested his hand upon his
Padawan's shoulder. It was a restrained gesture, all
that was proper to share in open corridors of the
temple, but nothing further was necessary to
I would have fought for you, had it been necessary.
As I would have stubbornly resisted your
intervention, Master. But it seems that once again
the Council has overlooked our more... unorthodox
And once again you have made me most proud, my
Padawan. Qui-Gon starting leading them towards the
lifts and spoke, "I suspect the ceremony will be
tonight, then, as tradition would dictate. You should
begin the preparations now if you wish to be ready in
"Yes, I know," Obi-Wan agreed, with just a slight
"Patience, Obi-Wan," was the understanding if slightly
teasing response. "All of this is necessary, and you
should meet your day of passage with great joy."
"I know, Master," he answered as he stepped into the
lift and it began its descent to the lower levels of
the Temple. "It's just the past days have been
overflowing in ceremonies and passages and meetings
and every other sort of affair." I simply look
forward the time when it is all past and we can
conduct our own ceremonies--in private.
There will be time for that later. Until then, we
will do what we must, and that is to honor the
traditional ways. "Now," he said as the lift stopped
on the level where the young children were housed,
"I have matters of my own to take care of--
including giving Anakin the good news about his
training. I will see you tonight."
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan bit back another sigh, sending
a mental embrace after Qui-Gon as the lift doors
closed again and longing for the time when they
would have the opportunity for more than that.
It seemed as if an eternity had passed between the
journey from Coruscant to Naboo, before the battle with
the Sith, yet it had only been a few days--a few
maddeningly intense, hectic days, admittedly.
The situation on Naboo had been swiftly resolved, but
Qui-Gon had required medical attention and rest
because of the injury to his arm. Obi-Wan, in turn,
had needed time to meditate and heal his mind in the
aftermath of the battle. Although he accepted his
actions as being necessary, the killing of the Sith
still tainted his spirit as any killing always did
for a Jedi.
Beyond that, there had been residual business to
settle between the Queen, the Trade Federation and
the Senate, and then the Council had demanded their
swift return to Coruscant to report on what had
happened. A whirlwind of confusion and barely-
contained chaos is how it had felt to Obi-Wan, and on
top of it all both Jedi still needed to adjust to the
changes they were both going through as a result of
The Council will be most displeased with this, Qui-
Gon had told him on their way back to Coruscant.
Sharing sleeping quarters on a small transport with
Anakin, they had refrained from any intimacy beyond
embracing and silent communication. Our relationship
has always been frowned upon as improperly intense for a
Master and a Padawan. To Life Bond with one who has
not yet been freed from apprenticeship...we will
cause quite a stir, I can assure you that, Padawan.
I do not care what they think, Master. It was
necessary, and I have no regrets. I wonder more how
the Council will react to our confirmation that the
enemy we faced was indeed a Sith.
That news is not good...yet it confirms, to my mind,
that I am right about Anakin. The Chosen One is
foretold to bring balance to the Force. For there to
be balance, there must be Dark as well as Light. Sith
And what precisely will this 'bringing balance'
entail? That is what I have always pondered regarding
A reintegration of the two orders? The creation of a
new one in its place? It is difficult to say. ...You
understand why I must train him, don't you?
Yes, I understand now, though I still have my
concerns, and you'll have to forgive me if they will
not pass so quickly.
There is nothing to forgive. I would do well, no
doubt, to listen to your cautions more often...
So now, the Council had agreed to Anakin's training
after all; it was unusual for them to revoke a
decision such as this one, but then again Anakin's
case was unusual in many ways. Obi-Wan felt relieved
that on this matter, at least, Qui-Gon would not have
to act in defiance to their wishes.
Nevertheless, he would be more relieved when they
could be done with all of these rituals and meetings
and just get on with things in a more "normal"
fashion once again.
So, if I might ask, how much longer must we sit here
before it will not be considered terribly rude of
us to leave?
Obi-Wan glanced across to Qui-Gon, catching the hint
of a smile on his former Master's face at the
question. We stay until Master Windu retires for the
night. It would not be proper to leave the table
before the Council's representative leaves.
Very well. But you'll have to pardon me if my
attention wanders slightly until then.
That feels more like your hand wandering, Obi-Wan,
unless your attention has developed very agile
Obi-Wan put on his best, most innocent face and did
not answer Qui-Gon, pretending instead to find the
conversation between Master Kawi and Apprentice H'mal
to his left exceedingly interesting. The truth,
however, was that he felt ready to scream if the
evening wasn't finished soon.
He'd spent most of the afternoon leading up to the
ceremony in meditation, although he had found it
difficult to reach the deep, spiritual-cleansing
trance that was supposed to precede this passage into
status as a full Jedi. Too many stray thoughts kept
chasing around the edges of his mind, too much
longing to simply spend time with Qui-Gon exploring
the depths of their new-formed union.
Eventually sundown had arrived, the time for the
ceremony to begin. It was a simple ritual, on the
surface at least. After entering the Council chambers,
Obi-Wan had presented himself in turn to each of the twelve
Jedi Masters, showing his respect, allowing them each
one final chance to object and challenge his passage.
None of them had, although he was certain he'd sensed
at least some degree of reservation and concern from
nearly all of them, even if they had not spoken their
Qui-Gon had assured him once, "The Jedi need a few
renegades, and the Council knows it, whether they
like it or not. A few who will challenge the accepted
ways and sometimes question the decisions of the
Council. Follow the Code, Padawan, but not blindly.
Understand when to follow your heart instead, because
only you can truly know the truths which lie there."
Master Yoda had been the last, and Obi-Wan had kneeled
before the elder Jedi and waited for his words of
approval. "Obi-Wan Kenobi, grant you the title of
Jedi Knight, we do. Earned it you have, in the eyes
of the Council."
Upon these words, Qui-Gon had stepped forward; Obi-Wan
had felt his presence at his back and he rose from
his knees to face his Master. It was a solemn moment,
one that was not supposed to be met with any levity.
Yet he'd been unable to suppress a small smile as he
met Qui-Gon's gaze, and the Jedi Master had reached
out and grasped his braid with one hand, lifting a
blade to it with his other. Obi-Wan had felt a keen
sense of loss as the hair was cut, the braid falling
to the ground to show the severance of their Master/
apprentice relationship. So many years, so many
memories...yet he'd known it was foolish to feel this
way, considering this was far from the end of their
relationship. It was simply the beginning of
something new...just one more change to accept in
these days filled with so many other changes.
He'd required a moment to draw his attention away from
Qui-Gon's eyes and remember how to complete the last
part of the ritual. He'd bowed before his now-former
Master, and then turned to bow before the Council. "I
vow to live by the Code, and the will of the Force.
There is no emotion; there is peace. There is no
ignorance; there is knowledge. There is no
passion...there is serenity. There is no death; there
is the Force."
Afterwards, he'd thought he would be finished with
ceremonies for the night. But as soon as they'd left
the chambers, Qui-Gon had informed him that they were
invited--and expected to attend, of course--dinner
with teachers at the Academy and many of the current
students. Anakin sat with them at their table,
sporting his new shorter haircut, the tiny start of a
braid behind his right ear. He was keeping busy
talking with the other students, who were all quite
curious about this new boy who had one day appeared
in their midst and now already had a Master--a pair
of Masters, no less.
Obi-Wan could sense their curiosity, suspicion, and
in some more than a touch of jealousy over Anakin's
fate. He could sympathize with the older children,
for whom these feelings were the strongest. He
knew how difficult it was to be that age, when you
hoped for one of the older Jedi to come and take
you as Padawan--what you'd spent all your
childhood hoping for. To be passed over for a boy who
had not gone through the rigors of training was going
to leave many curious, and no doubt resentful. Still,
Anakin was a bright and engaging child, and he seemed
to be making at least a few fast friends in his time
here with the children.
Obi-Wan, pleasantly full after the dinner but
increasingly restless to be done with it all,
continued to caress Qui-Gon's thigh under the table,
relishing the tempting feeling of hard muscle covered
by the soft fabric of his pant. His hand continued its
explorations until it brushed over the other man's
Obi-Wan... came a warning voice in his head. He
ignored it, sensing that despite the protests, Qui-
Gon was enjoying his torturous touch. The hardness
he felt with his fingertips certainly indicated
as much to him.
Thankfully, Master Windu soon got up from his seat and
passed by to say his good nights and offer his best
wishes. "Master Qui-Gon, sir?" Obi-Wan then heard Anakin
"Would it be all right if I stayed with F'yar and the
other kids tonight? She's working on building a droid
and I'd like to see it, maybe help her finish it."
"All right, just don't stay up too late. Tomorrow you
start your training," Qui-Gon reminded him.
"Thanks!" The boy was out of his chair in a flash,
running off with the young, dark-haired girl who was
apparently his newfound friend.
"Are you certain that's a good idea?" Obi-Wan asked
softly, noticing a few of the others glancing after
them. "I sense some hostility toward Anakin among the
"As do I, but I don't believe it should be a problem.
He misses his friends from Tatooine; it would be good
for him to spend a little time with children his own
age." Besides, now we do not have to worry about
Sleeping? I don't think you will be getting much of
that tonight if I have any say in the matter...
A short time later, they finally managed to make their
own escape from the dinner party and retreat to their
quarters for the night. Few personal items decorated
the small but not cramped rooms, for Jedi tended to
live a spartan lifestyle and share whatever they had
with others. Nevertheless, this place was home during
those times when the two of them were not away on
missions all across the Republic, and it felt good to
be here again. It was one thing, one place that did
not change, one place which was comfortingly familiar.
"Alone at last," Obi-Wan sighed, as the door slid
softly shut behind them. Turning to face Qui-Gon, he
slipped his arms around the taller man's waist and
tilted his head up for a kiss, which Qui-Gon wasted
little time granting him.
The young Jedi's need, which had been building for
days, reached critical the moment their lips met,
as he drank in the taste of Qui-Gon's own intense
desire. The kiss quickly deepened and became almost
violent in its intensity, Obi-Wan pulling upon
Qui-Gon's bottom lip, biting it, rolling his tongue
over it and into the other man's mouth. The hunger
for union was like nothing he'd known before, the
Life Bond seeming to amplify every sensation,
reflect it back at him a hundred-fold. Need you...
love you...want you so badly... he cried silently,
clutching at Qui-Gon's body for support when his
legs seemed incapable of keeping him upright.
Suddenly he felt as if he were floating on air--in
truth, he realized, he had been swept up into Qui-
Gon's arms, to be guided over to the bed. Gently laid
down on the soft mattress, he sighed as Qui-Gon
settled over him, covering him with the heavy warmth of
his body. His blue eyes sparkled with love and
hunger, and he teased Obi-Wan with light kisses all
across his face and neck.
No longer, Obi-Wan. You are my Master as much as I am
yours now. Master of my heart... Qui-Gon flicked his
tongue along Obi-Wan's earlobe, a touch which sent
shivers through him, all the way down to his toes.
...Master of my flesh. Tonight is for you, my love.
All for you. No longer my apprentice...tonight you are
Qui-Gon's words were nearly enough to make Obi-Wan
come right then and there. He rallied what was left
of his control as Qui-Gon's mouth explored his jaw,
his neck, his chest, as his robes were swiftly slipped
from his body. Obi-Wan squirmed under the blissful
attention, gasping as the cool air fell upon his
exposed stomach, then his thighs. Silky hair teased
his bare skin, and moist lips descended over one
nipple, bringing it to immediate attention. Qui-Gon
brushed the taut nub lightly with his tongue, over and
over, until Obi-Wan was panting, begging for some
"Please...oh, Qui-Gon! I can't...OH!" Qui-Gon's hand
had glided down to his cock, the direct stimulation
too much to bear.
Don't fight it, let it go, my love. Let yourself go.
"Qui-Gon..." he groaned, thrusting hard into the hand
and letting the convulsions of pleasure rip through
his body. As they began to pass, leaving him feeling
utterly boneless and spent, he groaned, "Oh, fuck,"
in a most un-Jedi-like fashion, not believing how fast
he'd been driven over the edge by his lover's touch.
His reaction elicited a chuckle from Qui-Gon, who
waited until the tremors subsided before pulling Obi-
Wan against him. "You were as tightly strung as a
Methacylian harp, my love. It's not good to carry so
much pent up energy within your body."
"I told you I was going mad with need for this..."
He slipped his hands under his Master's still only
partially undone tunic. His chest was warm and damp
with sweat, and he could feel how Qui-Gon's desire
was only marginally more under control than his own
had been. Even if our minds are linked now, I still
can't get enough of your body...
He worked the maddening layers of clothing free, until
the Jedi Master was bare to the waist. They touched
and caressed, exploring, sharing thought and emotion
as freely as they shared their bodies. After a time,
Obi-Wan straddled his lover's thighs and sat up to
enjoy one of his favorite views: Qui-Gon lying beneath
him, his long hair tousled about his head, his chest
rising and falling with his heavy, quickening
breaths. Obi-Wan ran his hands over that tempting
chest, so very aware at that moment of the
preciousness of what they had...what he knew had
"Never leave me...I couldn't bear it to lose you now,"
he asked Qui-Gon to promise.
"Never, my love. Never."
The living Force was so strong around them, pulsing,
awakening Obi-Wan's every nerve ending. He shuddered
at the sensation and confessed, "The Code tells us
there is no passion, but there is...passion
consumes me when I am with you...I cannot get enough
of you...and I cannot see how it could be wrong to
want this, to want your love."
He leaned down to claim Qui-Gon's lips, kissing him,
opening his mind fully to savor Qui-Gon's desire as
his own returned with great haste. It was as dizzying
as those first moments after the Bonding, where he'd
been unable to keep track of who he was any longer,
whose body was his, which arms, which legs, which
sweet, delicious lips. This time he didn't fight it;
he let himself go, lost himself in the wondrous
sensations of love and the sensual demands of the
flesh--his, Qui-Gon's...it didn't matter. In that
moment it was all the same.
Qui-Gon's mental voice filled his ears, rough with
hunger. The younger Jedi knew what his lover needed.
He relaxed and only let out an expectant sigh as Qui-
Gon urged him over onto his back, covering his
smaller frame once more with the heat and weight of
his body. Obi-Wan moaned, almost in pain, when their
kiss was broken; he was desperate not to lose the
intimate contact--even when he knew what would follow
and could barely stand the anticipation.
He watched Qui-Gon finish undressing, getting up from
the bed for a moment to retrieve a small vial of oil
from their belongings. When he returned, Obi-Wan
whimpered at the brush of Qui-Gon's lips against his
inner thighs, teasing him, filling him with need,
making him hard again and craving a more satisfying
release than before.
His legs raised upward, Qui-Gon ran a slick, oil-
coated hand against his backside. Please, now, I
can't wait...Qui-Gon... He cried out mentally and
vocally when his lover finally took him, as they were
joined and heat filled and then consumed him. The
Force rippled and surged all around them, the
pleasure greater than he could stand. Qui-Gon,
I could lose myself in you...drown and never find my
No, Obi-Wan. I am here to catch you, always. Always,
Words faded into nothingness, for words required
thought, and now there was only feeling. Sharing.
Emotion that could not be restrained. Just the Force,
and the light, their love, and Obi-Wan never wanted
it to stop. Yet their bodies eventually demanded an
end even as they fought to hold on to the pleasure as
long as possible; even a Jedi's endurance had limits.
When the climax came over them both, Obi-Wan held on
to his lover's body with all of his strength, feeling
himself nearly slipping into unconsciousness as his
mind could barely handle the intensity of the
sensations coursing through him, through Qui-Gon,
though the Force all around them.
In the hazy, lightheaded minutes that followed, not
fully conscious, lost somewhere in the dream-plane, a
vision filled Obi-Wan's mind. He saw scenes,
impressions of the future--the one they had changed,
the one that would have been had they not acted upon
what he had seen before as a warning. The path
of Time had been altered, reshaped, yet echoes of
what could have been remained, and he saw these now,
rushing through his mind, almost too quickly to
He saw himself, weeping over Qui-Gon's body, the enemy
defeated but at the most terrible price he could
...struggling to train Anakin on his own, never able
to lay to rest the ghosts of the past...
...failures, betrayal, deaths...so many dead,
scattered, hiding, lost...
...desperate actions to save the only hope for a
....lonely, empty years, waiting only for the time to
die and hope for his Master's forgiveness...
He shivered as the visions slipped away, Qui-Gon
pulling him tighter and offering his warmth against
the chill visions.
"I know," Qui-Gon answered him. "I saw as well. But it
is not our future, not now."
Obi-Wan nodded, letting the comfort of his lover's
embrace soothe him, the last echoes of passion still
shuddering through his body. He could sense Qui-Gon's
thoughts remaining on the vision, analyzing it,
and after a few minutes the elder Jedi continued,
"This vision should not be ignored, however. Some of
what we have seen in it may yet come to pass, if we
do not heed the warnings the Force has granted us.
"We must never let Anakin fall to the Dark Side, Obi-
Wan, yet if he is to bring balance to the Force, he
must know it, and not reject it entirely... The risk
to all is great in this. Perhaps the greatest risk the
Jedi--the entire galaxy--has faced for millennia."
"Are we strong enough to meet such a challenge?" Obi-
"I have to believe we are. We cannot fear failure. We
have to have faith that we can succeed."
Silence then settled over the room, as desires had
momentarily at least been sated, and they could
simply enjoy the comfort of each other's presence.
Yet their heartbeats had barely slowed to near their
regular, steady rhythms when a strong disturbance in
the Force hit them both, causing Obi-Wan to sit up
abruptly, immediately alert and on guard.
"What was that?" he asked.
After a moment, Qui-Gon tensed and answered: "Anakin."
Nothing more needed to be said. Within seconds they
were off the bed, clothing retrieved in haste and no
time wasted before they were out the door. There was
no doubting Qui-Gon's certainty, even if Obi-Wan
could not tell so clearly it was the boy who was in
trouble; he trusted Qui-Gon's senses and the urgency
with which they needed to act. His bare feet seemed to
barely touch the ground of the temple corridors, and
the lift doors opened to meet them just as they
Qui-Gon barked out the floor number for the young
Jedis' sleeping chambers. They said nothing during
the ascent, both readying themselves for whatever
would be waiting for them.
// QUI-GON!! //
The boy's shout was so strong Obi-Wan nearly lost his
balance. Qui-Gon flinched and tensed his muscles, and
Obi-Wan heard the mental call his companion sent
Coming, Ani. We're coming...just hold on...
The door slid open and the two Jedi flew forward down
the corridor. Reaching out, Obi-Wan could feel the boy's
presence, as he could sense others--but they were
fleeing quickly, aware, no doubt, that someone was
coming. As they turned the corner and burst into the
room at the end of the hall, they found only two
children huddled in the middle of the workshop room.
One was the girl F'yar, who was hovering Anakin and
There was blood on the carpet all around them.
"Ani..." Qui-Gon rushed over and picked up the boy.
Obi-Wan saw that he had been beaten and cut badly in
several places, blood dampening the hair on his head
and staining the front of his shirt.
F'yar fought to stop crying and tell them, "The other
kids...I don't know why...I was just playing with Ani
and they just came in here...I tried to stop them..."
Obi-Wan placed his hands on the young girl's
shoulders, attempting to calm her while Qui-Gon tried
to rouse Anakin.
The young boy mumbled something incoherent--his bottom
lip was cut and the words he tried to speak were
muddled. "I'll bring him to medics," Qui-Gon called
to Obi-Wan as he rushed out of the room.
Obi-Wan said to the girl, "It's going to be okay,
F'yar. Did you see who it was, who did this to him?"
"No...I don't know...I think someone wiped it from my
head before they left, because I can't remember! I
can barely remember anything, and I feel...dizzy."
"Don't worry about remembering right now. Are you
hurt? Do you want to go to the medics too?"
"I think I'm okay, but could I go anyway? I want to
make sure Ani is all right."
"Come, then. We can talk and perhaps you'll remember
something more in a little while." As they left,
they ran into several teachers in the hallway--no
doubt they too had felt the disturbance in the Force
from Anakin and had been stirred to investigate.
Obi-Wan explained what happened--what he had seen and
felt, at least. Master Grudel, the eldest of
teachers, told him, "We will find out who is
responsible for this incident. Such behavior is
intolerable! Please, extend my apologies to Master
Jinn and my wishes that your Padawan is not seriously
"I will," Obi-Wan said, brushing past them, holding
F'yar's hand in his for reassurance as they headed
off to the medics' chambers.
Obi-Wan spent some time with F'yar privately, trying
to help her calm down and restore the memories of the
assault, but he had only marginal success. It was clear
that the children who had attacked Anakin were mostly
older, and that at least three had been involved, but
he could only get vague impressions of what they
looked like from the girl's mind. He didn't want to
push too hard anyway, not when F'yar was still so
upset and shaken from watching what had happened and
being unable to help.
"I don't understand why they did this! We were only
talking and playing. He didn't do anything to them to
make them angry, did he?"
"Fear, F'yar. Many people fear Anakin because they
know he has the potential to become a very powerful
Jedi. Perhaps the most powerful Jedi to ever live."
"More powerful than Master Yoda? I saw Yoda lift every
child in the playroom once, right off the ground! And
he barely raised a finger to do it!"
Obi-Wan smiled a little, remembering the time Yoda had
pulled a similar trick once when he was a child. It
was a fast way to teach the youngsters not to judge a
Jedi's--or anyone's--strength by his size or
appearance. "Yes, F'yar, possibly, though it is very
hard to tell now. But the older children felt fear
because they could sense that possibility...and
perhaps they do not like losing a chance to become
Master Jinn's new Padawan to a boy who has only
arrived at the temple now."
"It's not Ani's fault he wasn't found so late...that
he wasn't trained here like the rest of us."
"No, it isn't. And you are very astute to see that.
I think you'll be a very wise Jedi some day."
The girl beamed at the complement, less upset now than
before. "Can I see Ani?"
"Let me check on him first. I'll be back in a few
minutes," he assured her, leaving the waiting area
of the medic's chambers to go to the treatment
room where Qui-Gon and one of the healers was with
Qui-Gon looked up immediately as Obi-Wan stood in the
doorway and nodded for him to come in. The healer was
busy tending to what looked like a nasty cut on
Anakin's arm, but now that he was cleaned up a bit
the boy didn't look as bad as he had at first. His
bottom lip was swelling badly, and it looked as if
he would have a black eye, but Qui-Gon had his hand
on Anakin's cheek and Obi-Wan could sense the Jedi
trying to speed the boy's recovery. Anakin appeared
fast asleep, or at least lulled into a restful state
under Qui-Gon's application of the Force.
"He will be all right?" Obi-Wan asked the healer.
"Yes, nothing serious," the man answered him.
"There...that should take care of his arm, and the
medication should help dull the pain and let him get
some sleep. If you need anything else, please let me
"Thank you," Qui-Gon told him. "I will stay here with
him in case he wakes up and needs anything." After
the healer had left, Qui-Gon added to his former
apprentice, "I should have taken your warning more
"Do not blame yourself for this. It has not been as
long for me since my days here at the Academy. I
remember the occasional cruelty of youth much more
clearly, perhaps, than you. Anakin is different, they
can sense that as clearly as the adults can, and they
resent that he is the focus of so much attention. They
sense his power, too, and it frightens them." It
seems to frighten everyone, except for you.
I am trying, Qui-Gon. Because I know fear will not
help him, and I will believe in him if you do.
Sensing his lover's continued concern, he placed a
gentle hand on Qui-Gon's shoulder, sending him a
strong wave of support.
Master Yoda's words are very true: 'Fear leads to
anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.'
And now Anakin has tasted all three firsthand. We
must make sure he never turns those emotions back
onto those who would feel that way towards him.
After a pause, he asked aloud, "Do we have a better
idea what happened yet?"
"Not really," Obi-Wan answered him, opening his mind
then to show Qui-Gon what he had learned from F'yar.
"I suppose it would be best to leave here as soon as
Anakin is well, then. I would prefer to begin his
training somewhere that he will not be exposed to
further incidents such as this--at least not until
he is stronger in his control of the Force. I had
hoped he might spend some time here with the other
students, learning the basic skills...but I can see
now this will not be the proper environment for that."
"A thought, Qui-Gon..."
"Queen Amidala did extend her hospitality to us, and
expressed hope that the Jedi would leave some
presence on Naboo while recovering from the invasion
and working on a lasting peace with the Gungun.
Unless the Council needs us elsewhere, perhaps we
could return there for a time. I'm certain Anakin
would be pleased with the possibility of spending
more time near the Queen...even that Jar Jar creature
he was rather fond of," Obi-Wan added with a touch of
"I was thinking the same thing, and I believe it would
be a wise course of action. I will contact the Queen
in the morning and let the Council know of our plans
"Amidala?" came a sleepy response from Anakin,
suddenly tuning in to their conversation.
"Shh, you get some rest, Ani," Qui-Gon soothed him,
stroking his short hair and lulling the boy back
asleep. Obi-Wan felt the affection between them both
and did not react with jealousy as he had before.
Instead he smiled a little, appreciating his former
Master's skill with children in general, and Anakin
in particular. If there was anyone who could teach
the child love and how to conquer fear and hatred,
Obi-Wan could think of no one better to do it than
Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan turned at a slight noise and spotted
F'yar standing sheepishly in the doorway.
"He's going to be okay," Obi-Wan assured her. "And now
you should get some rest, too. Come by tomorrow
morning and I'm sure Anakin with be glad to see you."
"Yes, let's get you to bed," Qui-Gon agreed, getting
up from the side of the bed and leaving Anakin alone
for a moment. Obi-Wan knew Qui-Gon would return to
spend the night at Anakin's side as soon as F'yar
was taken back to her bed and they had talked to
the other Jedi about the incident. He felt a
moment's dismay at that, but he let it pass. They'd
had at least a short time together and that would
have to be enough for now.
Still, he suspected it would be a lonely night ahead
for them both, thoughts lost in the warnings of their
shared, bleak vision--and this first evidence of the
trials that lay before them in the training of Anakin
The small transport ship rose quickly above the
skyline of the city-planet of Coruscant, the tall
buildings glimmering brightly in the late-afternoon
Anakin watched it all from his place in the co-pilot's
seat, his eyes showing nothing except wonderment at
the sight, so different from his barren homeworld,
and excitement over the prospect of seeing Amidala
again. He had not been able to provide any further
information on his attackers in the morning, nothing
more than vague impressions which agreed with F'yar's
and indicated someone had wiped both of their minds
of who was responsible. His reaction to the incident
overall had been surprisingly emotionless; he'd
merely shrugged when Obi-Wan had asked him if he felt
angry toward his attackers.
"Not really, I guess. Not many people have ever really
liked me. Before it was because I was a slave, and
everyone picks on slaves. I guess now people will
pick on me because of the powers I have, even if I
don't understand them yet."
Master Grudel had told Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in the
morning, "I have my suspicious as to who might have
been responsible for this terrible event, but the
other children are all feigning ignorance, not
wanting to get their friends in trouble. When we find
out, though--and we will, I promise that--the persons
involved will be dealt with accordingly."
F'yar had not been happy to see Anakin leave, but two
children promised to stay in touch. Qui-Gon had
assured them both that Anakin would come back to the
Academy in the future to complete some of his
studies, once the situation was calmer and hopefully
the other students would be more accepting of him.
Obi-Wan turned his head to look at his former Master,
seated next to him behind the pilot. Qui-Gon looked
tired, obviously not having slept much while sitting
at Anakin's bedside, and using much of his strength
to help speed the boy's recovery. Sometimes as now the
weight of his years showed heavily upon his face, in
the lines about his eyes and the gray that lightened
his hair. Yet when he turned to meet Obi-Wan's gaze
and gave him a reassuring smile, the years seemed to
slip away. To the young Jedi's eyes, he appeared as
vibrant and strong as he could ever remember in their
How do you feel, on your first day as a full Knight,
Older...but truthfully no wiser. Too many changes of
late to feel anything, perhaps, but rather
Once we get to Naboo, I think we will find plenty of
time to work through these changes. These are
challenging times. I look forward to meeting
them with you at my side.
It is where I will always be, Obi-Wan
promised, reaching across to take his love's hand in
his own just as the starship cleared orbit and shot
forward into hyperspace.
Senator Palapatine sat in his office, idly tapping his
fingers on his desk as he pondered the most
interesting events of the recent past. He flicked on
the vidscreen and once more replayed the intercepted
transmission between Queen Amidala and the Jedi Qui-
"We will gladly welcome you, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and
of course Anakin. Whatever accommodations you require
are yours, for whatever the length of your stay."
"We will not require much, your highness. Somewhere
quiet, where we will not be in your way, and where we
can begin Anakin's training in a peaceful
"That you have considered my world suitable for your
needs is an honor, Master Jinn. Arrangements will be
made in anticipation of your arrival--and tell Anakin
I look forward to seeing him again."
"I will, and thank you again, your highness."
"Yes, thank you, my Queen," Palpatine echoed, smiling
to himself. "I look forward to seeing young Skywalker
again very soon indeed..."