Title: Apprenticed Author(s): CaraJinn Timeframe: Before Saga, same timeline as in Jude Watson's Jedi Apprentice Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Tahl Uvain Genre: Family/Humor Summary: When Obi-Wan Kenobi was sent to Bandomeer he had never expected to see the Jedi Temple again, but the Force had other ideas. Qui-Gon Jinn on his side didn't believe he would ever train a padawan again. Settling in as a new team soon proved to be more challenging than expected, but sometimes The Force is sending unexpected help. Notes: I love to read stories about Obi-Wan as a Padawan, and I wanted to see if I could write him as well. I've also been fascinated by the Tahl character from Jedi Apprentice, so I decided to pull her into the story too. Parts of the story has already been published on fanfiction.net. .............................................. Chapter 1: Returning Young Obi-Wan Kenobi felt miserable. He was cold and lonely, and despite he wouldn't admit it even to himself he was nervous. Actually more nervous than he had ever been before in his thirteen year old life. It didn't count for much though, because his life in the Jedi Temple had been safe enough, mostly with the comfort of having his creche mates and friend near as well as the creche masters. The only trouble he had ever faced was his more or less regular skirmishes with Bruck Chun, but for the moment that could be counted as negligible. This was worse. Much, much worse. He had felt some anxiety when he was shipped off to Bandomeer for service in the agri-corps, but at that time he'd felt that all hope was lost so he had been numb. Unwanted, cast away like a pile of scrap. Now he was really, really nervous, on the edge of fear. "Fear is the first step on the path to darkness." Master Yoda's rasping voice rang in his ears, and for a moment he wondered if he really was descending the path to darkness. Most likely not. If he had been that dark, Master Jinn wouldn't have asked him to become his Padawan learner and he would still have been on Bandomeer tending for unknown seeds and learning about their growth conditions. Instead he, or more precisely they, were on a ship heading for Coruscant. He was going to be a Padawan, for Force's sake, so why wasn't he happier? All his life he had wanted to become a Jedi Knight and awaited the day someone would ask him to accept being his or her padawan. The problem was that said 'someone' had never asked. Over time the unnamed 'someone' had turned into a Master in flesh and blood in his dreams. After his first meeting with the infamous Master Qui-Gon Jinn, the Force had whispered to him that this was his future Master. It just felt right. Unfortunately the Force had not whispered anything into Master Jinn's ear. It wasn't until their very unplanned common mission at Bandomeer Master Jinn had realized that he actually had the potential for becoming a good apprentice. That realization had almost cost Obi-Wan his life, but when he was on the brink of sacrificing himself to save the master's life down in the mines, Jinn finally accepted the Force's urge. Or so it seemed. "We're approaching orbit, and will land in approximately an hour," the tall master informed when entering their small cabin. He had to duck his head slightly to get through the door unharmed. "Please gather your things. When we've landed, we will have to find a shuttle to the Temple." "Yes, Master," Obi-Wan nodded obediently. The task given would be easy enough to perform since he only had a small satchel and a set of clean clothes, the despised agri-corps uniform. Qui-Gon settled down on his own bunk. Neither spoke a word. The landing procedure was smooth and the promised hour later they could set their feet on Coruscanti soil again. Well, actually it was a duracrete landing platform several levels above the city planet's surface, but it worked. The shuttle departed three levels down compared to the interplanetary space port but an elevator was easily found and soon they were on their way to the Jedi Temple. Obi-Wan peeked out the shuttle's window and caught a glimpse of the five towers gleaming in the evening sun. Home! At last. And yet he was uncertain. Would it still be home? Had his friends abandoned him when he left, possibly forgotten him by now? One thing was for sure, it would never again be the way it had been before. "We will ask permission to see the Council as soon as we have reached the Temple." Master Jinn's deep voice interrupted his thoughts. "We will need their confirmation on our Master-Padawan partnership, but don't worry. I assume there will be no objections at all." A low chuckle escaped him when he remembered Master Yoda's numerous attempts of talking him into taking Kenobi as his padawan learner. What a fool he had been. Luckily the Force had intervened and made him see reason, before he managed to mess up the boy's future too much. "Yes, Master." ………… The huge doors to the main entrance hall of the Temple were closed as they approached. Obi-Wan had a feeling that they were denying him this return and that they would not be opened when the temple guards noticed him following in Qui-Gon's wake. Naturally he was wrong. The doors swung open and he was home again. Qui-Gon turned towards him. "Let me check if the Council is in session. If so, we will ask permission to present our case to them as soon as they are ready." Obi-Wan nodded, and followed silently behind his master. 10 minuter later they were on their way up to the Council chamber in the Temple's main spire. The padawan on duty in the antechamber asked them to wait: "The Council is in session now, Master Jinn, but they will see you as soon as the debate has ended. Please take a seat and wait here." Obi-Wan cast a glance to the padawan but did not recognize him. Obviously that was mutual because the padawan didn't show any signs of recognizing him either. More waiting. "You may enter now, Master Jinn. The padawan's voice rang clear and loud in the quiet antechamber." Qui-Gon rose and strode into the Council Chamber, Obi-Wan following suit. The circle of councillors was almost complete. Two of the seats were empty, or rather without any living beings. Their owners were appearing as holograms. Obviously they were out on some mission. Obi-Wan swallowed hard. Master Yoda was there. Good. So was Master Windu. Not necessarily equally good. Masters Gallia and Tin were also present. Qui-Gon bowed politely to the Council, Obi-Wan followed his example. "Good to have you back it is, Master Jinn." Master Yoda commented. "Your report you gave from the ship. Something more you have to say, since you have come before us so soon after your return? Your formal debriefing is not scheduled until tomorrow." "Yes, Masters," Qui-Gon answered calmly, "I have come before you to inform you that I have taken Obi-Wan Kenobi as my padawan learner and I would like to have the Council's acceptance in this matter." The room silenced completely. Through the force Obi-Wan could sense astonishment, humor and a sense of …fulfillment. "Young Kenobi, eh…? Not taken as padawan he was before his thirteenth life day, though you had the chance to choose him back then. Lost your chance you may have, Qui-Gon." "During my mission I learned that this was the Force's will. I have to obey. My earlier foolishness was my own, but I have to follow the will of the Force." Obi-Wan paled. The words "have to obey" didn't sound good in his ears. "Obi-Wan Kenobi, please step forward." Mace Windu's deep voice didn't reveal any emotions. Obi-Wan did as he was told. "Initiate Kenobi, will you accept Master Jinn as your teacher of your own free will, and promise to obey him in matters of the Force until the day you are knighted? Will you stay by his side and support and if necessary protect him in future missions?" "Yes, Masters," he bowed. "Master Qui-Gon Jinn, you have asked us to approve you as Master for Initiate Kenobi. Will you accept the responsibility you have to teach him on his way to knighthood, to stay by his side and support him, and if necessary protect him in future missions?" "Yes, Masters," Qui-Gon Jinn agreed. A glimpse of humor and satisfaction could be sensed in Mace Windu's dark eyes when he proclaimed: "Master Jinn, Padawan Kenobi, you are now accepted as a master-padawan team by the High Council. We believe that in time you will both learn from each other. Please go and make the practical arrangements. I think it would be good if Padawan Kenobi is equipped with some proper padawan clothing instead of that green outfit of the agri-corps." The new Master and Padawan bowed in synchrony and withdrew from the council chamber. "That went well," Qui-Gon breathed. "Now, let's go to the depot and see if we can find you some decent gear. You need new clothes, a robe and a utility belt to start with." The material depot was situated in the lower levels of the Temple and the Master on duty looked suspiciously at them. "Jinn, what are you doing here? Don't tell me you have lost half the contents of your utility belt in some foolhardy mission again." he growled. Obi-Wan felt like giggling, but found it most unwise. "No, that's intact for the moment," Qui-Gon answered, "but it would be good if you could find a full padawan gear for my young Padawan here. Master Chacl, please meet my Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi." The bothan master gaped in astonishment and hurried out to find the necessities. It was a rather loaded Obi-Wan who left the depot some minutes later. Master Chacl had been nothing but efficient and a stack of clothing, utility belt, new boots and a pile of blankets ("I guess you don't have any spare, Master Jinn?") quickly appeared on the desk. "Thank you, Master Chacl," said Obi-Wan, and followed Qui-Gon out into the hall. The tall jedi was already on his way towards the lift in long, determined strides. Obi-Wan had to jog to keep him company, something which was easier said than done with his sight somewhat limited by the load he was carrying. Then a thought struck him, and he slowed down. Where was he going to stay? Certainly some other crecheling or initiate had got his room when he left for Bandomeer. "What is it, Obi-Wan? Come this way," his master encouraged him. "It's not a long way once we're up on the 16th level." Obi-Wan halted. "I'm sorry master, it's just that I…where am I going to sleep tonight? I'm sure someone else has got my room." Qui-Gon burst in laughter. "Oh, it's my fault. I thought you knew. I'm sorry. We're going to my, our, apartment. There is a spare bedroom for a padawan learner and you will be settling in there, of course. It hasn't been used…for a while so it may be somewhat dusty, but I think it will suffice for tonight and then the cleaning droid can come and take a full cleaning session there tomorrow." "Oh," Obi-Wan didn't find anything more intelligent to say. He had known that most padawans lived with their masters, but somehow he hadn't thought that Master Jinn would want him so…close. Quietly he followed Qui-Gon into the lift. The Jinn apartment was like any other master-padawan apartment in the Temple of modest size with a living room containing two mediation mats, one couch and a table. Right beside it there was a kitchenette with a cooling unit and a stove. To the right was something that seemed to be Qui-Gon's bedroom. The door was half open and Obi-Wan could see linen on the bed and a reading pad neatly placed on the desk beside the bed. To the right was two other doors. "The one to the left is your room, Obi-Wan, and the one to the right leads to the refresher. I suggest that you clean up a bit and change clothes and then we may go to the refectory for some food. You have hardly eaten anything today, and there's nothing much to be found in the cooling unit, I'm afraid." Obi-Wan nodded: "Thanks, Master Jinn".