Before For Good - Songfic - Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon AU - COMPLETED 11/15

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  1. Jedi-Gon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2007
    star 1
    Title: For Good
    Author: Jedi-Gon
    Timeframe: JA Obi-Wan is 13 (Right after Melida/Daan)
    Genre: MAJOR angst, mush, drama.
    Summary: After Melida/Daan, Obi-Wan is found guilty for the death of Bruck Chun. Qui-Gon has to say goodbye, and Obi-Wan has to deal with a prison life. Inspired by and songfic to 'For Good' from the musical, 'Wicked'.

    A/N: Another story. What if Obi-Wan was found guilty of murder?! *gaspeth!* How would he handle it? How would Qui-Gon handle it? And how would he get cleared of something he didn't do? Read to find out!

    Note: This is very, very, very AU. Yes, in the JA books, Obi-Wan wasn't found guilty of murder. But, this is a very fun, angsty what-if story in which he was. :) So, if something really weird and/or different happens, that's why. ;)

    ---------------------------

    The color drained from Obi-Wan?s features as the judge gave the verdict.

    He was guilty of manslaughter. He was to blame for the death of Jedi initiate Bruck Chun.

    That moment played over and over in his mind like a faulty holo message. That one, fateful moment when a fellow initiate, a fellow Jedi, a fellow human being fell to his death inside the very place he once called home. The feel of cool, humid air in his palm as the hand of that initiate slipped through his grasp. The silhouette of a malformed teen lying on the water-covered rocks. The glazed, half-closed eyes of the pulseless body. The heavy, dead-weight knowledge that he,Obi-Wan Kenobi, could have saved him. Everything about that moment haunted him, tortured him, and ripped out his heart in a way that he could have never imagined.

    He had told them everything. All of them. He told them every speck of truthful information he could wrack from his mind. And yet, none of them believed him. The very assemble of people who brought him into the Jedi Order were now banishing him out of it.

    Obi-Wan?s eyes met with Master Yoda?s. His dark green eyes held sadness, and bitter disappointment. Obi-Wan?s stormy green-blue eyes shone with unshed tears. Turning his head only slightly, he locked gazes with his former master, Qui-Gon Jinn. Sapphire eyes turned to meet his, and the sheer sadness, regret, and disappointment was enough to make him want to scream and rip his heart out.

    Bowing his head, Obi-Wan choked back a sob as tears streamed down his cheeks.

    ---------------------------

    Qui-Gon?s eyes subconsciously unfocused themselves as the judge gave his verdict conclusively. Obi-Wan was guilty of manslaughter. Qui-Gon?s former padawan was guilty of the death of another initiate.

    Qui-Gon didn?t know what he should feel. Deep inside he felt utter torture and despair, knowing that his former apprentice and partner was being sent away from him. Another part of him was distraught that that bright young soul wouldn?t be able to fulfill his dream of becoming a Jedi knight. Yet another part of him was surprised that such a light-filled person was capable of such an act. And, yet another part of him was silently swearing, once and for all, that he would never become close to another soul as long as he lived. It was much too high a risk.

    This solemn oath was set in stone when Obi-Wan?s eyes of a greenish blue met his own gaze. Those once bright, eager eyes were now glazed over, robbed of all joy, of all enthusiasm, and of all hope.

    Qui-Gon clenched his jaw as his stoic mask automatically slipped in place to hide his emotion. His will clashed with his body in an attempt to dam the tears threatening to fall. Beseechingly, he cast a padawan?s glance towards Master Yoda. His former master?s eyes were closed, but they opened slowly when Qui-Gon brushed up against his mind. Yoda did not reply mentally or otherwise, but let out a nearly un-detectable sigh. Once most all the room?s occupants had left, Yoda tapped his gimmer stick on the floor, gaining the judge?s attention.

    ?A request, I have, your honor.? The small green troll muttered. The judge nodded, waiting for Yoda to continue. ?One more day with
  2. bek Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    You've got my interest! :)

    Sucking in another good breath, Obi-Wan did his best to keep from sobbing loudly. He did not want Qui-Gon to hear?

    ?Obi-Wan??

    Obi-Wan froze, his breath hitching in his throat. Oh Force, no!

    ?Obi-Wan?? Qui-Gon asked again, softly. When Obi-Wan did not respond, and continued to sit stone still, holding his breath, the Jedi master slowly reached out and gently put a hand on his shoulder. Obi-Wan pulled away from the touch, hiding his head in his knees as he turned away.

    What Obi-Wan missed by doing this, however, were the salty tears that fell from Qui-Gon?s eyes. The master fought to keep his shoulders from shaking at the sight before him. It was a hard battle, and his voice shook a little when he finally spoke again, his voice soft and gentle, and thick with emotion.

    ?Padawan??



    :_| All right, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan need to high tail it out of Coruscant so he won't be sent to prison. Maybe that was Yoda's hopeful plan? [face_praying]

    If you keep a PM list, please add me to it.
  3. KELIA Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2005
    star 6
    :_| :_| :_| :_|

    Poor Obi!

    As if he hasn't been through enough.

    Please add me to the PM list.

    I'm looking forward to more

    =D= =D= =D= =D=
  4. Blue_Lightsaber42 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2007
    star 4
    Noooooo, poor Obi-Wan!!!
    :_| :_| :_|
    Please keep writing this, It's got me glued to the screen.[face_hypnotized]
    Can you add me to the PM list?[face_batting]
  5. Jedi-Gon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2007
    star 1
    I'm glad you all like it! I'll put y'all on the PM list.

    Hmm... I'm sorry, but I don't think that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan will hightail out of Coruscant... That would have been interesting, though... However, they would both be wanted criminals, then. :D

    I'll post the next chapter up a few days!
  6. -Nessa- Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Oh you've got me crying here! :_| It's just so sad... Obi-Wan needs a big hug![:D]
    He's just too cute... [face_love]


    Loved this:

    But his thoughts were stopped unexpectedly when a sound from the other room caught his attention. A soft, human sound drew his eyes to the door of his study. Getting up, he left his and Obi-Wan?s lightsabers on his desk, and walked slowly and silently out into the main living area. The sight that met him there tore out his already shattered heart.

    There, hidden at the far end of his sofa, curled into a tight ball, was a sobbing teen ? Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon?s composure could have collapsed then and there, but instead, it held. But it was destined to only hold a few minutes more, as it crumpled completely when he studied the boy closer.

    Obi-Wan?s right hand was encircled protectively around his padawan braid, which still hung from his head, its intricate weaving ragged from months of ill care. His Jedi cloak was still on his shoulders, but the most heart-wrenching thing of all was set in a left-handed death grip. It was a rock. The rock. The rock that Qui-Gon had given Obi-Wan for his thirteenth birthday. Qui-Gon?s mask fell as his brow came together, a lone tear trailing down his cheek. Come to think of it, it was the only thing he had given Obi-Wan. The boy gave up everything ? he gave up himself, his life, his mind, his body, all of his dreams, hopes, and fears, for this relationship, this link of Master and padawan. He listened to everything Qui-Gon had ever said, he had always done as told, and he had willingly chosen the path of certain death for Qui-Gon more than once. He had given life and limb for him.

    And yet, Qui-Gon realized, all Obi-Wan?s stubborn, stoic, sith of a master had ever given him was a rock.




    Keep up the good work! And... please, add me to your PM list. [face_praying]
    I'm waiting for your update! :D
  7. dimyavie Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2006
    star 1
    I've read this fic on ff.net too, and I love it! Please update soon! Thanks for writing :D
  8. Bastet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 1999
    star 4
    Wow, another great start to a wonderful story, Jedi-Gon! [face_love]

    Poor Obi-Wan! :_| :(

    How could they say he had killed Bruck?! :_|

    I wonder what Yoda had in mind having Qui be Obi's guard for the day. [face_thinking] Because even if Qui takes him back, he's still going to prison, isn't he?! :_|

    Please add me to your PM list, I can't wait to read more! [face_love]
  9. Jedi-Gon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2007
    star 1
    Thanks, all you guys! Nice to see some of my reviewers from FF.net, too. ;) Here's the update!

    ---------------------------------

    ?Padawan?? Qui-Gon asked softly, his voice very gentle and hushed, but thick with emotion.

    Obi-Wan froze, unsure. Why did Qui-Gon just call him that? He wasn?t his padawan. Not anymore. And just that one word, that one title that he once bore to the master, it hurt. It twisted the knife embedded in his soul with tear-jerking pain. And yet, it was strangely gentle. Calming. Soothing, even. Hesitantly, Obi-Wan lifted his head up, his puffy red eyes and tear-tracked face barely showing above his knees.

    ?W-What did you call me?? He inquired. His astonished voice was below a soft whisper, and was hard to make out. Qui-Gon leaned in closer so that he could hear. Tears running down his face, he smiled sadly.

    ?Padawan.?

    Obi-Wan didn?t know what to say. Qui-Gon was disappointed, wasn?t he? He didn?t want Obi-Wan anymore, did he? He hadn?t cared when Obi-Wan stayed behind on Melida/Daan, had he? It wasn?t like Qui-Gon actually likedhim, was it?

    Well, was it?

    Obi-Wan?s brow furrowed in confusion as he tried to take in the image of this unusual display of emotion from his former master. And, at the same time, he was doing his best to supply an answer for the title that had just slipped through Qui-Gon?s lips.

    ?But? But I?m not your padawan?? As Obi-Wan spoke, he became choked up in tears once again. ?Not anymore. Didn?t you hear them, I?m a-?

    ?Obi-Wan.? Qui-Gon cut him off. ?Look at me, Obi-Wan.? When Obi-Wan hesitated, Qui-Gon gently directed his former padawan?s face towards his with a gentle grasp to the chin. ?You are many, many things, Obi-Wan Kenobi. But a vengeful murderer is definitely not one of them.? Qui-Gon said this very slowly and steadily, willing it engraved onto Obi-Wan?s mind. He was not a killer. That he knew.

    Obi-Wan paused for a moment, considering this possibility, but then he remembered with a ice-cold burst of reality that he was being sent to a prison the next day. He slowly shook his head.

    ?No? Didn?t you hear them? I killed a person ? a Jedi! I pushed him off and? And??

    ?Obi-Wan.? Qui-Gon said again, this time a little louder, more stern. ?You did not kill anyone. I know that, you know that, Master Yoda knows that-?

    ?Well then why didn?t he say something?!? Obi-Wan yelled, cutting Qui-Gon off as tears flowed freely, his exhaustion and despair took over. ?Why didn?t you say something?! Why didn?t either of you say anything?!? Obi-Wan paused, the small remainder of his Jedi conscious mortified at his own words. But, even as Qui-Gon stared at him, astonished, the flood of tears flowing freely down his cheeks only produced more pleas for deliverance. ?Why is this happening?! Why am I going to spend my life rotting away in prison?!? Obi-Wan begged in vain for answers. ?Why am I loosing my home, my dreams, my life ? everything and everyone I ever even once held dear?!? Obi-Wan knew deep inside that he was screaming and fussing like a crèche youngling, but he didn?t care anymore. He didn?t care if he was acting like a yearling. He wanted nothing more than to go to sleep and never wake to see the light of day. His screams cut off quickly, and were replaced shortly by desperate sobs as the teen pulled himself back into a shaking, sobbing ball.

    Qui-Gon was probably glad that Obi-Wan wasn?t a Jedi by now. Dear Force, with that display, who wouldn?t be? Obi-Wan wouldn?t be surprised if Mace Windu was throwing a party right now. And he couldn?t imagine the joy of all the initiates. They would probably celebrate tomorrow as well. Old Oafy-Wan would be gone for good. Obi-Wan held his breath, failing an attempt to keep back a sob. Force, Qui-Gon must think him such a weakling, sitting here, crying like a baby. Yes, he was going to prison, but he had been raised on teachings of composure, calm, peace, acceptance?

    Then, something happened that Obi-Wan wouldn?t have ever expected, in or out of these circumstances. Two strong arms wrappe
  10. Cole_Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2005
    star 2
    Oh, I love this story! Glad you're posting. Update soon.:)
  11. Bastet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 1999
    star 4
    That was so beautiful!! :_| [face_love]

    Why in the galaxy would Qui-Gon take such pity on him? He didn?t want Obi-Wan, he didn?t like Obi-Wan? Did he? As he worked over this puzzle, the other half of his mind was relishing in the comfort and security that came from this embrace. He felt so comforted. So safe. There was a durasteel wall built firmly around him and nothing could harm him. And, here in this fortress, it was okay to let Jedi composure fall to the back of his mind, it was okay to let out his feelings. It was okay to cry. :( Poor Obi-Wan, but I'm so glad Qui-Gon is being there for him.


    Qui-Gon briefly wondered if it was possible to die from a broken heart - because he was watching his break to pieces in his arms. :_|


    I pushed you away, Obi-Wan. As the master, it was my duty to help you onto the right path, to show you the way. To be there for you. To help you, to comfort you.? He shook his head sadly. ?But I did none of those things. I pushed you away and watched from the sidelines with stubborn eyes, and I refused to be there for you, or even get anywhere near you.? As Qui-Gon explained, Obi-Wan?s eyes grew wide, glistening with tears. ?And you ended up paying the price, young one. You paid the debt that Xanatos owes.? Pausing, Qui-Gon reached over to wrap his large hand over Obi-Wan?s slender, sweaty one.

    ?But,? Qui-Gon started again,?Somehow, someway, you found your way in here,? Qui-Gon pressed Obi-Wan?s palm against his chest, Qui-Gon?s hand completely covering it. ?And the padawan taught the master something that he refused to learn from anyone else. He taught him how to live. How to overcome. How to move on after catastrophe. And how to love.? Qui-Gon locked gazes with the teen. ?I didn?t want to learn, Obi-Wan. I didn?t want to get close to you. And yet?? Qui-Gon paused, studying Obi-Wan?s face, finding a few stray tears that mirrored the ones tricking down his own cheeks. ?And yet, now that you?re being torn away from me, I finally realize how much you mean to me. You changed me Obi-Wan, And?? Qui-Gon felt a lump form in his throat as a hesitant curiosity rose on Obi-Wan?s face.

    ?I love you, Obi-Wan.?
    :_| :_| So very beautiful!! I'm so glad Qui finally told Obi how much he meant to him. [face_love]


    If I quoted all my favorite passages, I'd end up reposting the whole story! [face_love]

    Thanks so much for the PM, Jedi-Gon! I love this story, and I can't wait for more! [face_love]

  12. bek Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    It is a shame that Qui-Gon learns his lesson now that Obi-Wan is being ripped away from him. At least Obi-Wan knows that his master does care for him. This new found knowledge may be all that gets him through in the days ahead. :(

    Another wonderful addition! :)
  13. KELIA Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2005
    star 6
    Force that was more heartbreaking than the first post

    I loved Qui-Gon going to Obi and admitting his mistakes as well as telling Obi he loved him.

    Sith, he had been such a blind fool

    :_| :_| :_| :_|

    Great update

    =D= =D= =D= =D=
  14. Blue_Lightsaber42 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2007
    star 4
    :_| [face_love] :_| [face_love]
    I absolutely loved that, now Qui-Gon is realizing how much Obi-Wan means to him and I love that he told him, but it might be to much if he went into shock! Thank you for the PM, I love it when there;s a great story to read.:) =D=
  15. slow_dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2006
    star 2
    ?And the padawan taught the master something that he refused to learn from anyone else. He taught him how to live. How to overcome. How to move on after catastrophe. And how to love.?

    Loved this bit.

    This is prolly one of the best fics I've read in a good while on these boards. Qui-Gon's emotions are written perfectly.

    Can you please put me on the PM list?



  16. Gkilkenny Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 4
    Very interesting. It has all the ingredients I love.
    Angst, mush, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon.=D=

    Can you please PM me when you update:D
  17. Jedi-Gon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2007
    star 1
    Here's the third chapter! I know this may sound a little pathetic, but I was crying while I typed this one up! :_|

    ------------------------

    Obi-Wan physically shook as he clutched Qui-Gon?s robed tunic. Force, please let this be happening. Please, oh please let this be real. Obi-Wan pressed his eyes shut tightly as he tried to assure himself that this was indeed real. Everything ? from the comforting embrace, to the grant of sorrow, to the title of Padawan. Everything. He carefully engraved this feeling into his mind. He also impressed it upon the force-sensitivity of his river stone. He would tuck it away, to keep as a light in the darkness when he needed it most. Obi-Wan shook harder. Force only knew how much he would need it tomorrow.

    ------------------------

    Master Yoda?s dark features were crossed in a deep frown as he sat upon the meditation seat in his quarters. He was meditating ? well, he had been, anyway. He slowly opened his dark emerald eyes, their depths filled with sorrow and deep thought.

    ?The will of the Force, this is not.? He whispered to himself quietly. He had been meditating for hours now, trying to figure out the puzzle concerning young Kenobi. He had sensed years ago that this promising young Jedi would become a great knight by the training of Qui-Gon Jinn. He had had no doubt in his mind that Obi-Wan was meant to be a Jedi, just as much as Qui-Gon was meant to be his master. Yoda pressed his lips together to form a fine line. And then this had happened. Now, even he, the most revered Master in the Jedi order, wasn?t sure what was happening.

    For good reason, though. His meditation resulted in answers, yes, but they contradicted each other. From what could tell, Obi-Wan being sent to prison as a wrongly convicted murderer was defiantly not the will of the Force. And yet, at the same time, this was. What was happening now was the will of the Force. And though Yoda could not see any possible way that the verdict of Obi-Wan?s trial could be seen as anymore the will of the Force than his prison sentence was, Yoda had learned centuries ago to trust the Force. Nothing more, nothing less. And, even in these circumstances, he would do just that.

    Slowly, the small master rose to his feet and used his cane to aid him as he hobbled over to the small window at the far side of the room. With small effort, the small green master opened the window, a late night breeze meeting him. This particular window was set to his height, and was one of the very few windows from which another part of the temple could be viewed. The part of it that could be viewed was very dark, the only light coming from one or two of the salles, and from the large room the master knew to be the kitchens.

    With a sigh, Yoda closed his eyes to focus once more, this time on his grand-padawan, Qui-Gon. He knew that he would play a part in this ? the Force had led Yoda to give Qui-Gon as Obi-Wan?s guardian, but he just didn?t know what that part would be. Something told him that this wasn?t just about Obi-Wan. It was about Qui-Gon as well. Yoda carefully and non-obtrusively concentrated on what was happening now concerning Obi-Wan.

    Yoda sat there in silence for many minutes, a frown creased deep into his brow, his eyes closed. When he finally did open his eyes, he sighed deeply.

    ?Harsh, the lesson is, Qui-Gon.? He said, even though Qui-Gon couldn?t hear him. ?But learn it, you must.?

    ------------------------

    Qui-Gon hugged Obi-Wan closer to himself as he felt Obi-Wan?s lingering despair. For the first time in a long while now, he didn?t know what he should say. They had stayed like this for several minutes now, even though it seemed timeless, and Qui-Gon knew with a heavy heart that each minute lost was a minute closer to tomorrow, when Obi-Wan would have to leave. Taking a shaky breath, he gently brushed his mind up against the training bond between Obi-Wan and himself. It was small, yes, but it was still there.

    He felt Obi-Wan stiffen slightly, but he soon relaxed again, and Qui-Gon cou
  18. Bastet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 1999
    star 4
    Wonderful update, Jedi-Gon! [face_love]

    Love the Qui-Obi mush, just beautiful! :_| Taking a shaky breath, he gently brushed his mind up against the training bond between Obi-Wan and himself. It was small, yes, but it was still there.

    He felt Obi-Wan stiffen slightly, but he soon relaxed again, and Qui-Gon could sense Obi-Wan returning the mental gesture. As a reassuring nudge, Qui-Gon gave him a gentle squeeze. Obi-Wan, in response, wrapped his arms around Qui-Gon midsection, buring his face into the big Jedi?s chest.
    [face_love] Awww!


    Qui-Gon seemed to sense Obi-Wan?s thoughts, and he picked out a small green bead from the pile of threads and beads. ?This,? He said, holding the small, jade bead out in his hand, ?is what marks you as my padawan.? Gently, he took Obi-Wan?s slender hand and placed the bead inside it. He folded the boy?s fingers over it and held them there. ?And now it marks my promise. I will prove your innocence. And I will see you knighted, Obi-Wan Kenobi.? Qui-Gon took a deep breath, and the fierce determination softened slightly as he whispered. ?You are my padawan, Obi-Wan. I will not abandon you for dead, even when others do.? :_| I hope Qui-Gon can keep his promise!


    I love this story, and I'm looking forward to more! :D
  19. Gkilkenny Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 4


    Oh my.:_| This post was so sad but at least Obi-Wan knows his master will not abandon him.

    Such a heart wrenching chapter.=D=
  20. slow_dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2006
    star 2
    ?But that is it?s only purpose.? The master said. His voice was determined and solemn. He reached up a hand to Obi-Wan?s braid again, still looking Obi-Wan in the eye. ?I haven?t yet gotten the chance to use it.? This statement made Obi-Wan feel ashamed. He had failed his master. The heavy, sad feeling lingered as Qui-Gon slowly unwove the braid, collecting the beads and colored threads in a small pile. ?But,? Qui-Gon said, only after Obi-Wan had lifted his chin up, ?I intend to use it in the future. I will use it.? He said, with a hardened determination in his eyes, ?Because I swear to you, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are innocent, you are a Jedi, and you will be knighted.? He paused, and his voice unexpectedly cracked. ?And I will be right there beside you.?


    Great stuff. I'm really enjoying your portrayal of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan's relationship. I can't wait to see how Qui-Gon will help Obi-Wan!



  21. Blue_Lightsaber42 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2007
    star 4
    :_| Nooo, Obi can't leave! I won't let him! NEVER!:_|
    That was an awesome update Jedi-Gon, thanks so much![:D]
  22. JediKaren Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2007
    star 3
    ack! You MUST update!
  23. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    By the Force how have I missed this one?!? Break my heart, will you - such nicely drawn characterization.

    Please add me to your PM list if you have one.
  24. KELIA Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2005
    star 6
    I loved Qui and Obi having the time and not being uncomfortable with talking openly and honestly with each other.

    Perhaps that is how they will both get through this.

    ?Harsh, the lesson is, Qui-Gon.? He said, even though Qui-Gon couldn?t hear him. ?But learn it, you must.?

    Very interesting.

    Great update

    =D= =D= =D= =D=
  25. Jedi-Gon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2007
    star 1
    Time to update, it is! (Yoda's syntax is rubbing off. Silly little troll! [face_alien_1] )

    --------------

    Outside, an official escorted a hand-cuffed Obi-Wan to a police vehicle, several guards present. The boy wore a mask of peace and acceptance, though the emotions could hardly be recognized through his blank, empty gaze.

    As the quiet exchange went on just off the steps of the temple, a tall, quiet Jedi master stood in the shadows behind the company.

    It had taken Qui-Gon a lot to get out here unnoticed. Officially, he wasn?t supposed to be here. And if anyone saw him, he wouldn?t be here for much longer. But here he stood, with watered eyes, watching as a by-stander as his padawan was driven away from him, to the other side of Coruscant.

    As they loaded his apprentice into the car, Obi-Wan?s gaze locked with his. Qui-Gon would have expected such a thing to last a lifetime, but it was over just as quickly as it had began. ?I?ll make you proud.? Obi-Wan?s eyes seemed to say. Qui-Gon wished he could tell Obi-Wan how proud of him he already was. I made a promise, Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon thought, wondering whether by some miracle Obi-Wan could hear him. I know I?ve never given you a reason to trust me before, but trust me to this ? you will be free.

    The event was so heart wrenching, and so painful. But it was over in an instant. Qui-Gon quietly lowered his head as the car flew away. A single tear tracked down his face.

    Face still down, he walked back into the temple, ignoring the whispers that seemed to follow him. When he reached his quarters, he sank into the couch.

    Obi-Wan. He was all he could think about. How would he prove his innocence? How would he do it quickly? Up until now, Qui-Gon hadn?t really thought about how important time was. But, as they say, time is of the essence. He had to do this quickly.

    Suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, a slender hand came to rest on his elbow. He looked up.

    It was Tahl.

    --------------

    Obi-Wan sniffed quietly. His heart was torn apart, but in these last moments outside of confinement, in these last moments in the sight of his peers and masters, he would not only be dignified, but he would be a Jedi.

    But, as the large police sky-car drove further away from the Temple that had been his only home, the figures faded into the distance. And as the figures faded, so did his already weak composure. Suddenly, he had a torrent of salty tears raining down his blushing cheeks. He sunk down into his seat. Slowly, he pulled out his river stone. He grasped it with both hands and pulled his knees up to his chest. He pulled his hands up and held his stone at his knees. With a sniff, he leaned his mouth and chin up against it, to hide his face from any police officer that might see him.

    But that didn't help him. Within a few minutes, an officer came back into the small 'room' that Obi-Wan was seated in.

    "Hey, boy."

    Obi-Wan looked up.

    "We gotta? stop for a pick- up, and I don?t want any noise- Hey, what is that?" The man took a step forward, his eyes on Obi-Wan's stone.

    No, Obi-Wan thought, Force, no! He clutched it tighter.

    "Don't you know the rule, boy? No personal possessions!" The guard took another step forward. Obi-Wan panicked.

    "No. No!" He tried to keep a hold on the rock as the man grabbed for it. "Please, sir, it's..." The man tugged on the rock. "No!" Obi-Wan, with so many years of respecting others, could hardly listen to himself. "Let go! Stop!" The former Jedi tried to use the Force to stop the man, but it was to no avail - he had forgotten about the Force inhibitor chip embedded in his neck.

    Obi-Wan suddenly realized how weak he was without the Force. He hadn?t a chance against this man, if he wanted to stay out of trouble. But, then again, the padawan thought, he didn?t care. This was the last little thread of the rope that connected him to the Jedi. To Qui-Gon. He would not let it go.

    "Please!" Obi-Wan was begging now, and his vision was fogging. "Don't take it!" But, to Obi-Wan?s
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