Before Happy Anniversary - - Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan - - one-post

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ardavenport, Jul 19, 2008.

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  1. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Title: Happy Anniversary
    Author: ardavenport
    Timeframe: pre-Episode I, pre-TPM
    Genre: drama
    Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, OC
    Keywords: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Jedi, anniversary, master, padawan
    Summary: Qui-Gon notices that Obi-Wan is more eager to learn lately, and why.
    Notes: I suppose this is inspired by the 10th anniversary stuff on the forums. Which was all last week, but I write a little slow. And typo is my middle name, with missing words and errors that spell checkers do not catch being my speciality - if you see any, just post a reply or send a PM with the what and where and I will kill them with no mercy.



    "Focus, Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon instructed.

    They stepped forward together. One, two, three. Lightsabers whirling. Stop. Turn. Side. Lunge.

    Obi-Wan moved with his Master. Linked together through the Force, the two men moved as one across the blue, red and brown patterned floor. Bright sunlight poured down around them from the skylights in the upper hall of the Temple. Other Jedi in groups of twos and threes, spaced well away from each other, exercised around them.

    Twirling around and bringing his saber straight up, Qui-Gon pivoted. Obi-Wan turned, his motions following, momentarily falling behind the older man's. Now face to face, their moves realligned, mirrored each other, the hum of their sabers rising and falling with each crisp stroke and precise step. They followed no form or pattern, their strikes random, moving only with the flow of the Force.

    Again, Qui-Gon swung his saber up, holding it vertical for a fractional pause, the signal to change. Again, Obi-Wan momentarily lagged before correcting himself. They moved again as a matched pair. Step. Jump. Turn. Sabers in motion all the time. Defending. Attacking.

    Qui-Gon's saber went up again and stayed there.

    He inhaled deeply, releasing the Force while his younger Padawan caught his breath.

    This was not Obi-Wan's worst performance with this exercise. But he had also done better.

    "You are distracted, my Padawan," Qui-Gon said.

    "Yes, Master," Obi-Wan agreed, taking deeper, more controlled breaths, releasing the Force properly. "I will do better next time."

    He straightened earnestly, obviously willing to continue, but Qui-Gon held his hand up. He was not tired, but Qui-Gon did not see any benefit to more practice. Obi-Wan would just continue to do it wrong which would be counter-productive. The random actions demanded that both Master and Padawan rely on the Force without the ordinary sensory cues that they would normally use when fighting as a team. But only if both participants kept their focus narrowly on the task.

    Obi-Wan's focus was always over-broad in his saber practice, covering the whole terrain far beyond his opponent. Qui-Gon had long ago ceased to try to correct this flaw. It was the way Obi-Wan fought naturally and to suppress it would diminish him as a fighter in other ways. Though he would never be as powerful a fighter as he might be without his attention so divided, Qui-Gon encouraged Obi-Wan to use this tendency to his best advantage.

    But it was still annoying when Obi-Wan did not properly control it. And Qui-Gon sensed that more than the other people around them distracted his apprentice now.

    Next to him, Obi-Wan's eagerness wilted. Sighing, Qui-Gon almost relented. When faced with a student eager to learn, a Jedi Master did not lightly let the opportunity slip by. But a different opportunity approached instead.

    Qui-Gon recognized the short blue hair and dark brown tunic of Vaax Miti, a fellow Padawan and age-mate of Obi-Wan, approaching. He did not know her or her Master, Plamoff Misso, very well, but Obi-Wan thought well of both of them.

    "Perhaps you should practice with someone else to change your perspective," Qui-Gon suggested as Vaax joined them.

    Obi-Wan looked back at him with trepidation.

    "A change of situation can be an excellent way of renewing one's focus," Qui-Gon said encouragingly, not understanding Obi-Wa
  2. Lolly_Tolly Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2008
    star 4
    Am I the first?

    Awesome one-post! I love that Obi-Wan knows he's not ready and why, but is also looking for other ways to improve himself. :) Well done!
  3. ratna Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2007
    star 4
    This is so well done. I loved this part the best:

    "What is Master Zumlot's lecture about?" Qui-Gon asked as they strolled together off the floor. The beams of sunlight streaming down onto the patterned floor angled lower in the late afternoon. Many of the other Jedi, also aware of the approaching mealtime were leaving or had already left.

    "Controlling water with the Force," he said.

    "And Vaax will be participating?"

    "Yes. She expects to get wet." Obi-Wan grinned.

    "I would expect so; it is a difficult skill to master. I would be happy to attend as well."

    "It will be the day after tomorrow. I planned on going, unless we leave for Malestare before then." Obi-Wan spoke of their next mission.

    "That will not be decided until tomorrow," Qui-Gon answered.


    So much has been said (both pro and con) about the ideal of 'not attaching'. But somehow this little exchange brought forward for me the sense that non-attachment actually frees one to feel fully, and to form intentions wholeheartedly, precisely because one is able to let them go if the conditions change. Qui-Gon does not hold himself back from wholeheartedly planning to go to the lecture. He does not qualify or conditionalize his intention with an 'if', or an 'unless'. He just feels and does. He does not hold his breath.

    And so beautifully and subtly shown in the dialogue. @};-

    *** *** ***

    Speaking of feeling ...

    "Your diplomatic skills promise to be much greater than my own. but do not use them to disguise your own feelings with me," he admonished gently. "We have been together for ten years now. Has that been so long?"

    ... ...

    "It will be your time soon enough." Qui-Gon looked forward, down the great hall.

    "But for now. . . . it is still our time."


    Yeah, just stomp on my heart, why don't you.
    :_|
  4. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    I thought you did a great job of explaining attachment and how the Jedi perceives it.

    As a Master, Qui-Gon was privileged to have access to the records of all records of Jedi Trials in the Archives. But none of the histories he had accessed felt right at all to him, though a few resonated with possibilities. One eager Padawan had been subjected to the shock of being told that he would never attain the status of Knight and was invited to leave the Order, testing her willingness to let go of her ambition. Another was put in a life-and-death situation where he thought he had to sacrifice his Master's life for another's. Another had to demonstrate her willingness to sacrifice her own and her Master's life. All of those Padawans had gone on to become wise and remarkable Knights in the Order.

    This both makes sense and makes me feel that I could never understand the Jedi in a million years. Very good description of their ways.

    Typo = gender change
    One eager Padawan had been subjected to the shock of being told that he would never attain the status of Knight and was invited to leave the Order, testing her willingness to let go of her ambition.
  5. Gkilkenny Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 4
    Very good.:cool:
    I felt a tinge of sadness in Qui-Gons response, he doesn't want to lose Obi-Wan
    yet. [face_love]
  6. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Lovely interaction between those two and an interesting OC.

    Great writing as always.=D==D=
  7. Glenstorm Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2006
    star 1
    Loved this. All the interactions were just beautifully done. And the descriptions... the light falling through the windows, just brought it to life.

    But I think the last lines just did it for me, a kick to the heart at the very end.

    "You will do better. When it is your time." Qui-Gon felt Obi-Wan's shoulder drop with equal parts of frustration and resignation.

    "It will be your time soon enough." Qui-Gon looked forward, down the great hall.

    "But for now. . . . it is still our time."


    :_|

    Brings to mind the scene in 'Mulan' when her father looks at the last bud on the blossom tree and says: "What beatiful blossoms we have this year. But look! This one's late. But I'll bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all..."

    And we all know that Obi-Wan is the very best.

    Well done =D=

  8. Seremela Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2008
    star 3
    Wow, again you make me feel as if I'm truly in the temple, ardavenport. The light saber training feel so true.

    As does Qui-Gon thinking about the trials for Obi-Wan.

    Love how Obi-Wan found such a unique solution to the problem of the exercise, even if it might be suggested by Vaax Miti. Heh, and it worked :D

    And so very real for him to feel unsure about not being knighted yet, when others around him already are, but he also understands why, even if he finds it a bit difficult.

    The ten year marking is wonderfully subtle, which for me is in line with what we know of the Jedi.


    "You will do better. When it is your time." Qui-Gon felt Obi-Wan's shoulder drop with equal parts of frustration and resignation.

    "It will be your time soon enough." Qui-Gon looked forward, down the great hall.

    "But for now. . . . it is still our time."


    :_| :_| :_|

    Great ending with this foreshadowing

  9. nada_smith Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2006
    star 1
    This vignette beautifully captures all of the slight tensions and uncertainties that must have been present during the last year or two of Obi-Wan's apprenticeship. He and Qui-Gon had great trust and respect and genuine affection for each other. Still, I imagine Obi-Wan did wonder at remaining a padawan so long, and I can just see him feeling insecure about it a bit even though he'd also know and accept he shouldn't. I'm glad Qui-Gon reassured him that he would be a knight and that he was savoring their time together, not feeling impatience at his apprentice's unreadiness.

    This was a lovely read. :)
  10. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Lolly_Tolly: Thank-you! Obi-Wan is definitely a 'learner' and just as eager to please as he is to succeed.

    ratna: Thanks for reading! Aaaaah, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wans' time together is a little bitter-sweet since we've seen how it ends.:( And I suppose they're both aware of the hazards of their lives, but that doesn't stop Qui-Gon from embracing it anyway. And teaching Obi-Wan to do the same. :)

    dianethx: Got the typo - thanks for pointing that out and for the reply. And we may not understand Jedi ways, but we appreciate them. :*

    Gkilkenny: Yes, Qui-Gon doesn't want to lose Obi-Wan and he's not ready to be a Knight yet so he's going to enjoy their time together. Thanks much for reading!

    earlybird-obi-wan: Thanks! :)

    Glenstorm: Thanks! A lot of description of the scene helps add emotion to it for me, plus Star Wars is very visual anyway. And Obi-Wan was only of the last blossoms on the Old Jedi Order's tree, wasn't he? [face_love]

    Seremela: Thank-you! It is sad because we know what happens when Obi-Wan does leave Qui-Gon. :( And it's always the little details that make up that 'right in the temple' feel for a fic.

    nada_smith: Thanks! :) You could tell in TPM that Obi-Wan was eager to be a Knight, but reluctant to leave Qui-Gon, too. He'd probably felt that way for a little while, but Qui-Gon had patience on his side, and he just had to teach it to Obi-Wan.

  11. LuvEwan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2002
    star 4
    Somehow you always manage to make these characters sweet and realistic, never too mushy. I liked the angle that Obi-Wan is anxious for freedom and knighthood, and Qui-Gon is a little sad and grateful for the time they still have together. Beautiful, perfect piece.
  12. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Thanks! You really see Obi-Wan's desire to be independent in TPM when he leaps right in to tell the Council that he's ready to take the Trials. Even after Qui-Gon surprised him with saying he'd replace him with Anakin. And Qui-Gon really knows how to enjoy the moment. With just the right moment and situation you can bring it out without going too far.
  13. Inara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2005
    star 4
    I think I've gotten addicted to your Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan stories. As usual, you've touched upon their relationship with a caring eye, highlighting its strengths while also subtly exposing its vulnerabilities.

    Obi-Wan was a hardworking and dedicated padawan, but even when he was a Master and sitting on the Council, some part of him was still that 13 year old boy that Qui-Gon rejected, and he's spent his entire life proving his worth. Seeing it here, his feelings that he's letting Qui-Gon down because he's not progressing as fast as his agemates, echoes that.

    As for Qui-Gon, you can tell that his experience with Xanatos has left him a bit paranoid. He wants to be absolutely sure that Obi-Wan is ready. I always thought it was unusual that Obi-Wan was knighted at the age of 25 - Made became a Master at like 27. So Qui-Gon slowing things down with Obi-Wan, perhaps even to an unfair degree, highlights some of his insecurities.
  14. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Thank-you! Obi-Wan always tries to do his best; it's his nature. And Qui-Gon shows him the way. :)
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