Fire and Ice: Tainted (fourth in a series) Authors: Durhelediel and Layren Rating: PG Disclaimer: As usual, Georgie boy owns Star Wars and we just play and hurt the characters when we feel bad. Note: All OCs belong to the authors. Please ask before you use them! Summary: It has been a very long month as both Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan have been tested time and again. Both have come through their tests closer to each other and stronger in the Force?but this time, not even Qui-Gon can save Obi-Wan from Z'aherin's revenge. Chapter One Obi-Wan Kenobi smiled at his friends sitting scattered throughout the cafeteria of the Jedi Temple and deftly steered his way through the throng of people to get to them. Bant had been recalled by the Council, along with her master, to be a support for Obi-Wan as he watched his master slowly heal. Now, two weeks later after Qui-Gon had been found nearly dead, things were finally starting to come back to normal again. He sank down into a chair gratefully. A few pieces of skin on his back still protested when he moved around too much, but other than that, he was doing much better. "You must be feeling better, Obi-Wan," Bant said, sitting across the table from him. She stared at the large amount of food piled on his tray and one of her large eyes rolled around in her expression of a lifting eyebrow. Obi-Wan grinned at her as he started shoving food into his mouth. This was the first day in weeks that his full appetite had returned and not even the caf food could spoil it. After he swallowed a large bite of food, he responded, "Yes, and what's even better is that Qui-Gon is going to be released later on today." "That is very good news," Bant said in sincerity, picking up a piece of fruit and sampling it. She had been extremely concerned when she'd learned from Obi-Wan that Master Windu had had to rescue Master Qui-Gon when his ship had crashed in the middle of an asteroid belt. Obi-Wan picked up a muja fruit, his favorite, and regarded it a moment. "I almost lost him," he said quietly, then bit into the fruit, taking a large chunk and swallowing quickly to avoid the lump in his throat that had appeared. He suddenly made a face and stared at the fruit, his brows knitting together. "Something the matter?" Bant asked curiously as she noticed her companion's odd expression. "It's just a muja fruit." Obi-Wan wished he hadn't swallowed it. There was a lingering taste in the back of his throat that was threatening to overturn his stomach. "I think it wasn't ripe enough, or something," he said putting it back on his plate. "It didn't taste right." Bant shrugged a little. "Maybe your palate isn't back to normal or something. Just 'cause you're hungry doesn't mean your taste buds are up to par." That was probably right. Bant usually knew more about such things than he did. "You're probably right," he conceded. He glanced at the rest of his food, but suddenly he wasn't hungry anymore. He stood. "I'm going to check to see if Qui-Gon's awake yet." "Good idea." Bant smiled a little. "Be sure and tell Master Qui-Gon to get well soon for me." Obi-Wan nodded at her and quickly dropped off his tray. He thought he saw someone familiar in the back of the kitchens, but when he turned to get a closer look there was no one there besides the regular cookers. Shrugging, he hurriedly made his way over to the turbolift that would take him to the healer's wing. He stabbed the button to take him to the floor where his master was recovering. As the turbolift jerked upward, Obi-Wan nearly fell over, his balance extremely off. Catching himself against the wall, he shook his head slightly. What was that? Turbolifts never affected him like this before...Before he really had a chance to explore the problem, the turbolift doors were opening and he quickly made his way to Qui-Gon's recovery room, his equilibrium back to normal again so he shrugged it off. "Master?" he called into the darkened room softly. Qui-Gon's eyes fluttered open. "Obi-Wan? How are you feeling, young one?"