Author: CaraJinn Era: Before saga Genre: Drama (a very small one) Characters: Obi-Wan, Mace Windu Summary: Little Obi-Wan Kenobi is left behind in the garden during a rainshower. A/N: The story has also been posted in fanfiction.net under the name CJinn. The idea to the story came up after a biking trip in a very thorough rainshower. With my mind in the writing sphere I began wondering about how "little Obi" would have handled such a situation and it had to be explored. The story is a oneshot. ............. Soaked The outdoor garden of the Jedi Temple of Coruscant was situated on the top of the huge ziggurat that was the Temple. It was a green, lush world in itself most often used by the older masters and for the smaller initiates as the latter were to discover the outdoor world in a safe environment. Older initiates or padawans were more frequently found in the inner garden areas such as The Room of a Thousand Fountains. If a bypasser went through the north west corner of the garden he might have seen a pair of tiny feet peeking out from an overgrown area not far from the wall that surrounded the garden. But no-one came and thus no-one discovered the small three year boy who actually was the owner of said feet. Obi-Wan Kenobi had been playing hide and seek, his favorite outdoor play, with his clanmates when a movement in the lush, green shrubbery and his natural curiosity had got the better of him. That's why he, minutes later, found himself laying on his stomach trying to gain the trust of a small brown rodent which did it's best to hide from the scary, huge three year old. "I won't hurt you, little one. Come here…" he bargained with the small brown creature, which didn't seem the least interested in making new acquaintances, least say friends. Actually it did it's best to hide under a slim willow trunk, which was easier said than done since the tree's roots were slim and well placed in the soil. It's whiskers were shaking slightly and Obi-Wan could feel the fear radiating from it. He laid perfectly still for a little while and did his best to send out comfort and peace through the Force. The whiskers of the rodent stilled the tiniest bit, and the dark round eyes lost a little fraction of the panic that had been there minutes before. "Come just a little bit closer, I won't harm you. I'm a Jedi and we don't harm anyone," he whispered. The creature twitched it's large, round ears while blinking towards him. Carefully he stretched out one finger towards the rodent, which immediately startled. Then, very carefully the small animal stretched forward. The huge being in front of it didn't seem to want to attack him, actually it felt quite friendly. A small vibrating nose touched the boy's finger nervously. "There we are," he whispered almost without a sound. The rodent took one step closer and Obi-Wan lifted his finger just the tiniest bit and touched the creature's soft fur. It froze immediately, but as nothing frightening happened it gathered it's courage and took one more step closer. Now Obi-Wan could stroke it's fur lightly and he felt the flutter of the huge ears towards his finger. If he hadn't been so fully focused on befriending the little creature he probably would have felt the first raindrop fall, but he didn't. Nor did he notice that the single raindrop soon was accompanied by many more of it's relatives and soon it was pouring down. Still Obi-Wan was relatively dry and comfortable under the tight vegetation, and he didn't notice that his Clan Master Ali-Alann was gathering his minions around him and disappeared into the Temple. And he definitely didn't notice when Ali-Alann came back looking for him after he had realized that the group of 11 initiates mysteriously had been reduced to 10 before they were back in the dormitories. Eventually the rain broke through the shrubberies and Obi-Wan noticed that something really, really out of order was going on in his little world. It was wet! Very, very wet! Coruscant had a strict climate control system and usually rain showers were announced during sleep hours and the little initiate had hardly seen rain before, far less experienced it physically. And he didn't like it a bit. It wasn't utterly cold but definitely more chilly than the Temple's showers. He peeked out from his hiding and realized one more disturbing thing: he was alone. Master Ali-Alann had disappeared and so had his clanmates. Not good. He could feel water trickling down his spine and his copper colored hair hung in wet heavy stripes down his face. Impatiently he wiped the strands away. "Master…," he whispered quietly. Then he sat down. He had to think. He was a Jedi. He was supposed to save worlds and maybe entire systems, surely he could get himself out of this? With renewed courage he set off towards the huge doors that led into the Temple… …and found that the opening mechanism was above his reach. After all he was of modest height for his age and the doors could be hard to open manually even for a grown up Master. He scrutinized the surrounding area to find something he could climb upon to reach the door handle but nothing was to be seen. (Stupid, stupid gardener who had cleaned up the area so throughly the day before!) "There must be a way… there's always a way out, or in this case in," he thought. He didn't find any. "Think Obi-Wan, think," he admonished himself, and then he brightened. The Force! Master said that the Force was always with him, maybe it would help him now. He stretched out with his mind, tried to see the lock mechanism of the door open and with that the door as well. He could almost feel it happen…. And the stubborn, stubborn door didn't move an inch. Surely, the Force could not, would not, have abandoned him? Not here? Not in the Jedi Temple. He hadn't been a bad boy, he just hadn't noticed when the other went indoors. That shouldn't be enough for the Force to abandon him? Would it? A clear tear trickled down his cheek from blue-green eyes and mixed with the falling raindrops, soon followed by more, of either kind. "Trust in the Force," he recalled Master Yoda say. "I will…" He wiped the tears off his face with a determined movement and drew his breath in a deep sigh. "The Force will help me, it is helping me." Slowly he stood up. The rain had intensified even more and it was pouring down. In Coruscant Climate Control Center technicians were busy repairing one of the four huge weather modulators that regulated the climate. (A small rodent of the same species that Obi-Wan had encountered had got into the system and several wires had been chewed off by the hungry little animal, before it realized that this was not proper food.) Obi-Wan looked around him, and there, a few meters away from the main path was a relatively dry spot, sheltered by a large green plant which he fervently hoped wasn't a meat eating one. He surely was bigger than a fly, but still. Cautiously he went closer to the plant. It seemed peaceful enough so he laid down on the driest spot he could find and fell asleep. Two hours later he was found by Master Windu. As Ali-Alann couldn't find him himself he had asked for a couple of volunteers to look for the disappeared youngling since he had to take care of the rest of the bear clan. Master Windu wasn't overly fond of the small initiates but as he had the evening off from his other duties he volunteered, and as the minutes passed by and Obi-Wan was not found within the Temple walls he decided to make a new search in the garden. He discovered the boy almost immediately. A small, beige, soaking wet bundle was curled up below a huge leaf, to some extent sheltered from the heavy rain. (Blast the Climate Control Center for not fixing this already…) "Obi-Wan?" The bundle stirred. "Obi-Wan, wake up. We have to go indoors." More movements from the bundle and two blue-green eyes opened and met the Master of the Temple's gaze with a calmness far beyond what one should expect from such a small one under these circumstances. "Oh, Master Windu…? Am I in trouble now? I didn't see the others leave and I couldn't open the door," his voice trailed off. The little one quickly rose to his feet and the Jedi Master scooped him up in his arms. "No, you're not in trouble, we were just worried about you when Master Ali-Alann didn't find you with the others." "Oh…" It was actually quite nice to be carried by the Jedi Master even though it felt slightly embarrassing. A big boy of three years old should be able to walk. But the Master felt warm, and warmth had been somewhat lacking for the last three hours or so. Obi-Wan decided not to argue about the transport. Ali-Alann met them in the common room of the initiate's bear clan and immediately released Master Windu from his burden. "Thank you, Master Windu. Where did you find him?" The question was quite superficial since the soaking wet bundle witnessed of an extended stay outdoors. "He was still in the gardens. I found him asleep under a huge leaf." Ali-Alann chuckled: "That's Obi-Wan all right, he always seem to find a solution. I will give him a nice warm shower and some warm soup and put him to bed. He may catch a cold but most likely he will be fine in the morning." The he turned to Obi-Wan who once again was wide awake after being handed over to his Clan Master. "Why didn't you follow us indoors Obi-Wan?" he admonished calmly, "you know that we're supposed to stay together when we're out of the Temple." "Yes, Master, I'm sorry. I tried to make friends with a small furry animal and I didn't see you leaving," Obi-Wan explained, "and when I saw the rain you were all disappeared and I couldn't open the door 'cause I didn't reach the handle." Ali-Alann sighed. "Well, at least you're back safe and sound. Didn't you worry when you realized you were on your own?" Mace Windu who had been on his way towards the door halted abruptly, in a flash of curiosity he wanted to hear the explanation from the little rascal. "At first I was scared, Master, but then I remembered you and Master Yoda telling that as Jedi we would always have the Force. And Jedi are supposed to solve problems. So when I couldn't reach the door handle, I tried to open the doors with the Force, but I wasn't strong enough." The two jedi masters nodded, quite impressed by the little boy's clear thinking and trust in the Force. "Then," Obi-Wan continued, "I remembered what Master Yoda always tells us, that the Force is surrounding us and binding everything together, and I understood that the Force was in the raindrops too. And then I decided to just wait, because after all I was soaked in the Force so it was all good."