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Before the Saga Apprenticed (Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Tahl)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by CaraJinn, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    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".
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  2. NobodyIX

    NobodyIX Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Hello Carajinn! I enjoyed reading from Obi-Wan's perspective: the fear of going back 'home' and knowing that everything would be different. I only know the Jedi Apprentice books through fan fiction and I'm enjoying your take on it! That would be terrifying starting out as a new apprentice and not knowing what to expect with Qui-Gon. Looking forward to reading more about his journey!
     
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  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderfully on-target characterizations. I can totally understand Kenobi's apprehension but it seems like he's starting to feel like he and Jinn will get along and become a team. Looking forward to that process & how Tahl will fit in.
     
  4. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Thanks both of you.
    @NobodyIX : Yes, I've read my fair share of Obi-centered fanfics from "Jedi Apprentice" timeline and I've also read the original Watson story, so I'm trying to write him with more or less the same personality as other writers have done, but I also try to add a tiny bit of the dry wit that the grown up Obi-Wan was known for.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha : Obi-Wan always wanted Qui-Gon as his master. Keep in mind that Obi-Wan is strongest in the Unifying Force, so he may have predicted that they would be a team. However, the repeated rejections from Qui-Gon gave him some lack of self-confidence that he never fully overcame. I had so much fun writing Tahl. She will turn up a bit later in the story.

    Hmm, the layout of the story seems a bit weird in this format.[face_thinking] I had originally intended the paragraphs that are not dialogue to be a bit longer than two lines. I believe it will improve somewhat in later chapters, though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  5. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 2: Perfect Padawan

    The first night in his new accommodations didn't make Obi-Wan feel much better. Too many thoughts and questions were swirling in his head and keeping him from a peaceful sleep. Well, of course he knew the basics. His Master would train him by taking him to missions, doing lightsaber practice, helping him setting up a plan for his studies and be his mentor in all the small and great matters that were necessary to learn to become a good knight. This was well known among all the initiates and something that had been discussed frequently in the later years when they were steadily approaching the age when they would, or would not, be accepted as a padawan. Finally he fell into a restless sleep but all to soon he was awake again.

    He'd better get up and prepare himself for a new day. Master Jinn didn't like him very much, that was clear enough. The man had refused him several times before he set off to Bandomeer so Force only knew why he had changed his mind.

    Well, Obi-Wan didn't intend to complain about that. He still wanted to become a knight and his own feelings, strongly supported by his perception of the Force, told him that Master Jinn was the right master for him. He just had to make Jinn realize that. He would show him that he could be the best Padawan ever, if he only understood how.

    Obi-Wan had never been a natural morning person but he decided that getting up late would probably leave some scratches in his "perfect to be" image, so he rose and entered the 'fresher, still pondering how he could improve himself to perfection.

    He was a reasonably good 'saber fighter for his age, that one was for sure. He'd won enough tournaments among the initiates to be certain of that. Good thing. Master Jinn had accused him to have anger problems. Well, check that, but basically when it came to that force forsaken chissk, Bruck Chun. Yup, he had to improve that one. Else he was fairly level headed, as far as he knew. Bruck was not going to best him anymore. What else? Oh, it was his classes, of course. He would have to excel in those. He knew he wasn't a bad student, but he wasn't really number one in everything either. He was reasonably good in history, and to his own, and probably Master Sherak's, surprise as well he had done fairly well in philosophy last year. Astromechanics and calculus on the other hand, that was certainly meant for droids. He had to improve there as well. His immediate future seemed to contain a lot of improvement, that was for sure. Well, so be it. He would put in the work needed and then some more. He was not going to disappoint Master Jinn, not in a single topic if he had something to say about it.

    With a determined look on his face he emerged from the 'fresher. He assumed that his Master would expect something from him besides the studies as well. He could have made breakfast, but as Qui-Gon had stated last evening, the cooling unit was really very empty. A quick inspection revealed that the situation in the cupboards wasn't much better. Breakfast was out of the question then. What he could do was heating some water for tea, Master Jinn obviously liked that stuff. And he could brush the master's boots which were neatly placed by the entrance.

    The boots were brushed to a shine and the tea water was boiling when Qui-Gon Jinn emerged from his bedroom. His padawan was sitting on the couch in the living room looking every bit a patient jedi padawan. The sound of boiling water came from the kitchenette.

    "Oh, good morning Master," Obi-Wan sprang up from the couch, "I will make some tea for you while you're in the 'fresher. I'm sorry that I didn't make breakfast but…" He halted. That one came too close to an accusation for his taste. Accusing his Master for leaving the cupboards empty wouldn't be a good start.

    Qui-Gon yawned. "Thank you, Padawan." Then he retreated into the 'fresher. Unlike his new padawan he was a morning person, but the last week's events had taken his toll on him. After the Xanatos disaster he had sworn that he would never, ever again take upon himself to train a padawan, and here he was, with a brand new padawan in tow. "Oh, the irony," he muttered to himself, "you're really an old fool Qui-Gon Jinn."

    When he came out from the refresher a steaming mug of tea was ready on the table. He grabbed it and took a sip. It was…strong. To say the least. He could almost feel the tastebuds writhe in pain.

    "How much tea did you use, Obi-Wan?"

    The boy flushed, obviously detecting that something was wrong. "Three spoonfuls, Master. I wasn't sure of how much I would need but I remembered that during the travel you mentioned that you liked your morning tea strong…"

    "Oh, well, not quite that strong, Padawan. If you're going to repeat this treat, then half a spoonful would be sufficient for one mug."

    "I'm sorry, Master. I will improve," Obi-Wan hung his head and looked every bit a forlorn puppy. Blast it, he had overdone it and now his master was already considering him an idiot. Well done, Kenobi. Well done, if you don't improve your cooking skills considerably you will probably end up poisoning your own master. Good start indeed.

    "Let's go to the refectory and get some breakfast there," Qui-Gon suggested. "I will have to refill the cooler and the cupboards."

    Obi-Wan nodded and followed the Master down the corridor to the lift.

    Trough his time as an initiate, Obi-Wan had never been afraid of entering the refectory. As an initiate the morning meal had often been eaten there before he and his friends had gone to their respective classes. Now he actually was nervous. He should possibly have felt triumphant coming back as a padawan, but he didn't. Actually he felt rather queasy. Yes, he had a Master. He even had Master Jinn, one of the best swordsmen of the Order, but he also felt sure that Master Jinn soon would realize what a terrible mistake he'd done down in the mines so most likely, given time and thoughts, he would find himself cast away again. Food wasn't tempting at all. Not the least.

    He'd hardly entered the refectory before he was almost struck to the ground, well…floor by 35 kg of excited Mon Calamari: "Obi, Obi, you're back!!! " Bant Eerin almost squealed in delight. "Reeft said he had seen you yesterday evening but I thought he was kidding. It is really you, what happened…?"

    Qui-Gon turned and saw his apprentice and the Mon Calamari girl: "A friend of yours, Obi-Wan?" he asked, "if so, please introduce us."

    Obi-Wan flushed. He could feel the blood coloring his earlobes brighter red than the lightsaber of a Sith.

    "Ye…yes, Master," he stammered, "this is Bant Eerin, we have grown up together. Bant, this is…my master, Master Jinn."

    Bant's eyes grew even bigger than they naturally were. "Your what?" she exclaimed, "Obi, you don't have a master, …didn't…how did this happen? What has happened?" Her confusion was almost palpable. "I'm sorry, Master Jinn," she hastily added with a bow, "I didn't mean to offend."

    Qui-Gon felt the girl's embarrassment and intervened: "Obi-Wan,why don't you have breakfast with your friends and catch up with them, and then you can meet me outside the student's wing at eight hour. We need to discuss your study plan with Master Sher'an."

    Obi-Wan bowed. "Yes Master."

    It felt good meeting his friends again. He had grown up in the creche together with Garen Muln, Bant and Reeft and outside the Temple they would probably have been considered as siblings, well, if one didn't notice the fact that Bant was Mon Calamari, Reeft was Dresselian while Obi-Wan and Garen were human. The questions were many and Obi-Wan had to re-tell what had happened from he left for Bandomeer until Master Jinn had apprenticed him. The three other gazed wide eyed at him. "So Master Jinn really asked you to be his padawan and the Council approved?" Garen exclaimed. Obi-Wan nodded, and noticed that he had hardly eaten half of his breakfast.

    "Yes, he did. I have no idea why he changed his mind but I really have to show him that he did the right choice after all," Obi-Wan explained, and in that moment a distant bell was chiming, informing that first meal should be over and the initiates and padawans had to go to their classes. The quartet sprang up and Reeft snatched the last piece of bread and a muja fruit from Obi-Wan's plate before he left.

    Obi-Wan set off to meet his Master.

    …..

    Slowly Obi-Wan settled in as half of the Jinn/Kenobi team. He had admittedly felt a sting of pride when the door sign was changed from one saying just "Jinn" to one that proudly proclaimed "Jinn/Kenobi", something that sent him into a self-imposed two hours' long meditation. After all a jedi should not fell pride, right?

    Every morning he got up early and made breakfast for the two of them before they went off to their separate morning duties. His first attempt had been a disaster even bigger than the mug of tea he had made the first day, with toasted rika-bread that actually more resembled coal. "Possibly 'cremated bread' would be a better definition for this dish than toast bread", he mused. The bread was accompanied by sliced fruit which he had to wash before serving after he had cut his finger when slicing. Wonderful, Kenobi, now you're going to prove to your master that you will be a wonderful swordsman, unless you cut off your own hands with the fruit knife before that.

    Still, the breakfast was ready when his master got up, and he had even managed to scrape off the worst of the carbonized crumbs from the bread, so it actually resembled a decent first meal. He drew a deep sigh. Maybe he could learn to be an acceptable apprentice after all. He just had to sneak up a bit earlier so he could shine their boots and clean the 'fresher as well before his Master got up.

    The rest of the days were busy. Before they left the apartment they shared a morning session of meditation, something he found quite boring, but since his Master seemed to enjoy the meditation he did his best to follow the Master's lead.

    Then there were the classes. It wouldn't have been too bad if it weren't for the courses in astromechanics and navigation. He could handle the simplest of the calculations but when it came to the more advanced parts like calculating the point where one had to drop out of hyperspace before arriving (too deep into) a planet's surface he was quite bewildered. In one of the tests he had suggested a distance so far away that it would have taken another week to reach the planet. Definitely not good if he had been heading for a mission that needed to be taken care of immediately, and Master Ma'Then was less than pleased with the outcome of the calculation.

    It certainly didn't look good before the mid-term tests so Obi-Wan intensified his studies in the late evenings after his master had gone to bed. The only part of his new life he actually enjoyed just as much as before was the lightsaber training. As soon as he got a training saber in his hand he relaxed. The tense feeling he always had seemed to vaporize and he submerged himself into the katas and the sparring sessions with a heartfelt joy. In these sessions he felt the Force flowing through him and around him as it always had during 'saber training and even Master Drallig praised his efforts.

    The sessions with Master Jinn were even more invigorating. During these sessions he sometimes actually felt that his master was pleased with him and even though he didn't fully relax, he felt more at ease than he did home in their apartment. There he felt that his master was ever so often scrutinizing him with suspicious eyes. But in the dojo everything changed and Master Jinn became almost lively and friendly and the reserved air that usually surrounded him sometimes left him and even small glimpses of humor could be felt through the Force.

    However, the price for his attempts on being perfect had begun to take it's toll on him. The nervous feeling that was a combined effect of his master's cool demeanor and the nervously of not passing his mid-term tests resulted in a less than healthy appetite and together with the, rightfully volunteered, extended training sessions in the dojo he gradually became thinner and more pale. Dark shadows began to appear beneath his eyes and hadn't the outer tunic covered him up so well the rib cage soon would be quite visible.

    At last even Qui-Gon noticed.

    "Padawan, you seem thinner and paler than before. Is there something wrong?"

    "No, Master."

    "Are you sure you are well? I believe a visit to the healers may be a good idea."

    Obi-Wan paled even more, and if he had been in bed it would have been a challenge distinguishing him from the sheets on his sleep couch. The healer's ward was absolutely not his favorite spot in the Temple. He had been there too many times in his childhood. Being a healthy and active boy with just as lively friends had a tendency of ending in small…well, mishaps, and for some reason the healers' ward often became the final stop after such events.

    "No, Master, please. It's not necessary. I'm feeling all right, maybe I'm just growing fast," he suggested hopefully.

    Qui-Gon considered his not overly tall apprentice with some skepticism. "Well, if you're absolutely sure you feel fine, I assume we can wait a couple of days before going to the healers' ward…"

    His own resentment for said place was legendary among the healers and he wanted to stay out of that blasted place as long as possible, and since the boy said he felt fine… The healers' ward could wait a couple of days more. After all growing boys tended to have a period where they appeared quite gangly. Maybe his padawan had one of those periods right now?

    But one evening the door bell chimed.
     
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful strivings and musings on excelling. I had a good chuckle about the tea and breakfast :oops:
    Obi-wan with his friends was wonderfully detailed as to Bant's exuberance and their eagerness for details.
    Obi-Wan's continued misgivings are completely understandable given their rocky start and Jinn's reserved demeanor. [face_thinking]
    I liked very much the last line, it definitely indicates something pivotal about to happen.
     
    CaraJinn likes this.
  7. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 3: Stubborn Bantha Ass

    Obi-Wan was hunched over his navigation homework when the doorbell rang, and he startled by the unexpected sound. Nobody came to their apartment in the evenings. Nobody. He never invited his friends since he didn't want Master Jinn to consider him a frivolous student, and for some reason Master Jinn didn't have many visitors either. Master Jinn had been there a couple of times but else the evenings had been more than quiet. He sprang up to open the door, but when he emerged from his room his master was already by the door.

    At first Obi-Wan couldn't see the visitor but he heard Master Jinn exclaim: "Tahl? What a surprise." There was a hint of glee in Qui-Gon's voice that he had never heard before.

    "Do come in. I thought you were still on a mission in the outer rim. I didn't expect to see you back so quickly."

    "Oh, by all means Qui-Gon, it feels like I've been away forever. No matter what they say about a jedi, that we're only crude matter and blah-blah-blah, I really enjoy being back in my own 'fresher and my own bed. The value of a nice 'fresher, with water, cannot be overestimated."

    The voice was without doubt feminine, deep but still clear and it certainly held more than a small fraction of humor in it.

    As the visitor entered Obi-Wan got a glimpse of a tall, slender woman with dark hair, neatly gathered in a braid resting on her left shoulder. She was actually nearly as tall as Master Jinn. Who could this woman be? He didn't have to wait long. The woman's voice could be heard again.

    "Impressive, really impressive Jinn. This place actually looks like a home again. Two mugs on the bench, and there is a tablet laying on the table. Even the door to your…mausoleum is half open? What has happened?"

    "Mausoleum?" Obi-Wan thought, "Here?" Then he realized that the only room with a half open door was his own. Obviously he was the inhabitant of said mausoleum.

    "Well, there are some reasons for the changes," Master Qui-Gon explained."Actually only one, to speak the truth. Obi-Wan, please come here for a moment."

    Obi-Wan quickly exited his 'mausoleum' and appeared in the living room area of the apartment. The woman had settled down on the couch, clearly feeling at home. She was beautiful, with honey colored skin and green eyes with golden stripes. Most likely a Noorian, if he wasn't totally mistaken.

    He bowed politely for the woman.

    "Tahl, meet my Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Padawan, this is Master Uvain, an old friend of mine," Qui-Gon said.

    "Padawan?" The woman was nothing but surprised. "Finally you have come to your senses again, Qui. I have been awaiting this for years."

    She rose gracefully and held out her hand to greet Obi-Wan.

    "It's a pleasure to meet you, Obi-Wan. This stubborn bantha really need some company. I hope that you can fill his life with more…life…than he has allowed himself to experience for some time."

    "Tahl!" Qui-Gon's slightly exasperated voice interrupted her monologue. "I am not a stubborn bantha."

    Obi-Wan restrained himself from giggling. It was so unusual to see Master Jinn disturbed in his ordinary calm demeanor. It took him some effort to keep a straight face but he managed.

    "I am pleased to meet you, Master Uvain," he said politely.

    "Pffff, don't 'Master' me, young Kenobi. The name is Tahl, at least when we are in private like this, and if you allow I will use your first name as well? It's so much more friendly than using titles all the time. You may call me 'Master' out in public, though."

    "With pleasure, Mast…eh…Tahl," Obi-Wan bowed again.

    "Why don't you sit down with us and tell me how the two of you met?" Tahl urged.

    Obi-Wan drew his breath sharply. He really didn't want to tell Master Tahl about all his failures leading to Master Jinn's rejections of him. Ether he would look stupid, or even worse, he could end up making Master Jinn appear foolish.

    "Uhm…I would be glad to do so, but maybe you rather should ask Master to tell you how it happened. I'm sorry but I have some more homework to do before tomorrow's lectures, and I really should go back to my studies now."

    Tahl felt the uncertainty almost radiating from the boy and nodded: "If so, you are excused, Obi-Wan."

    Obi-Wan returned to his room and closed the door quietly behind him. Phew, that was close. If I had stayed I would have had no idea of what to tell her. Either Master Jinn would look like a brute or I would have appeared not worthy of his tutelage myself. Maybe I'm not, but at least I've got the opportunity to prove that I can improve, and that's exactly what I'm going to do.

    The couple in the living room spent the next hour updating each other of what had happened since they saw each other last time. When Qui-Gon finished his story of how he and Obi-Wan had become master and padawan, Tahl yawned. "I'm sorry Qui. The journey appears to have exhausted me more than I like to admit. I believe I should leave now. A good night's sleep is what I need. She rose from the couch and aimed for the door. "It has been lovely to see you again, Qui. Say good night to your padawan from me. He seems to be a nice boy, totally different from that previous disaster of yours."

    "Good night, Tahl. It's good to know you're back safe and sound."

    Tahl Uvain closed the door behind her and left in deep thoughts. As she rounded the corner where the corridor leading from the Jinn/Kenobi apartment crossed the main hall of this section she almost stumbled over a small Mon Calamari girl who came in the opposite direction.

    "I'm sorry, Padawan, I was too deep in my own thoughts."

    The girl bowed deeply. "The fault is all mine, Master. I was thinking of something else and I didn't notice you coming out from that corridor. I apologize, master. And I'm not a padawan, I'm merely an initiate."

    "What's your name, young one?" Tahl asked in a friendly voice. The young girl seemed slightly shy, but yet friendly and open.

    "Bant Eerin, Master."

    "What were you doing here?" Tahl continued,"I don't see initiates so often at this level of the Temple."

    The girl blushed and her skin turned into a lovely salmon shade. "I…well, I thought maybe I should visit a friend of mine, but then I realized that it's too late in the evening so I decided to go back."

    The Force gave Tahl a nudge. She could almost feel it physically.

    "A friend? Who could that be?"

    "His name is Obi-Wan, Master. Obi-Wan Kenobi. We were clanmates in the creche but since he came back as Padawan of Master Jinn we have hardly seen him. I just wanted to know if he's well. I have seen him going to and from classes sometimes and he seems too thin. I think he's studying too hard because he's afraid that his master wouldn't keep him."

    "Haven't you met your friend since he became a padawan?" Tahl asked incredulously.

    "Yes, he had first meal with us the day after they returned, but since then he's been too busy," Bant explained.

    "I see," Tahl said thoughtfully, "well, I've been visiting Master Jinn right now and I can assure you that your friend is well, but I got the impression that he's studying hard. I had the pleasure of meeting him and he seems to be a nice boy."

    "Oh, but he is," Bant agreed, "he's friendly and funny and he's a really good friend."

    "Yes, that was my impression too," Tahl agreed. "But if you will excuse me, Initiate Eerin, it has been a pleasure talking to you, but I just realized that I forgot something."

    Bant nodded and bowed: "The pleasure was on my side, Master."

    Tahl turned around on her heel and walked briskly back towards the apartment she had left a couple of minutes ago. Shortly after, she rang the doorbell again.

    Qui-Gon opened, and she could see him lifting an eyebrow in astonishment when he saw her.

    "Tahl? Did you forget something?"

    "Actually, I did," she answered sweetly. "There is something I should say to you. I just found out. Would you mind following me for a little walk?"

    "But of course," Qui-Gon emerged from his quarters and closed the door behind him. They started walking side by side down the corridor, in complete silence.

    …..

    They never made it to her quarters. Half way there she spotted an empty meditation room, and pulled him in the door.

    "What…wait…why are you taking me in here?" Qui-Gon was flabbergasted.

    Tahl closed the door behind them with a quick movement of her wrist. "Because I didn't want that sweet little padawan of yours to hear what I'm going to say now!" she answered with a glimpse in her beautiful green/gold eyes that didn't promise too good.

    "Uh-oh," Qui-Gon thought, "now I'm in real trouble and I don't have a clue why."

    "Why? " he asked.

    "Why?" her voice was sweet and calm, but still with a slightly threatening undertone. "Have you seen your padawan lately?"

    "Why? Yes of course I have. I presented him to you a little more than an hour ago." This conversation certainly seemed to contain a lot of 'whys'.

    "I know that," she sighed exasperatedly, "but have you really seen him, not just looked at him?"

    Qui-Gon just stared at her, confusion both apparent in his eyes and swirling in the Force around him.

    "Do you realize that the boy is starving? Not necessarily starving to death, but still… When he took my hand and greeted me I could feel every little bone in his hand, and he had dark shadows under his eyes when he looked at me. That is not a healthy young boy and as his Master you should be the first one to notice and take action."

    "I…I…noticed a couple of days ago that he has become thinner so I suggested taking him to the healer's ward for a check, but he told me he felt fine," Qui-Gon stuttered.

    "He told you," Tahl exploded, "Force help me. Qui, you're my oldest and best friend and as such I love you to bits, but sometimes you are a big stubborn bantha ass who couldn't see a krayt dragon, even if it sat on you!"

    "Bantha ass…" Qui-Gon repeated quite sheepishly.

    "Technicalities," she waved an elegant hand in front of his face, "stubborn and non-seeing are the key words here. That boy doesn't behave normally. Which normal padawan would spend the entire evening studying? Which normal padawan is so thin that you can see the bone structure in his face so clearly as that? Does he see his friends often?"

    "Friends?" Qui-Gon felt his rhetorical skills deteriorate minute by minute.

    "Yes, friends. You know, like we were at that age. Even with that high-nosed master of yours we were able to meet, talk, go to the refectory or walk in The Room of A Thousand Fountains when we were at his age. Does he do anything like that at all?"

    "Oh," finally Qui-Gon at least understood the question, "no, he doesn't. He ate first meal with them the first morning after we came to the Temple. After that he has been spending his evenings studying. And in the morning he prepare first meal in our quarters."

    "You catch the point now? It is not normal behavior for a boy of his age. Something is wrong and as his master you should know what it is."

    Qui-Gon nodded reluctantly. "Maybe you're right. I'd better talk to him again."

    Tahl was silent. She had obviously calmed down a tiny bit. Then she shook her head.

    "No, not yet. I have a feeling that he's…scared of you, maybe to such an extent that he won't talk to you."

    "But he will," Qui-Gon was nothing but determined now,"as my Padawan he has promised to tell me the truth. Always."

    Tahl sighed. "Didn't you hear a word I was saying? I think the boy is a afraid of you. You can be a bit intimidating, you know. I think you should get an urgent solo mission for a couple of days or so, and since I'm your best friend you would leave him to my custody. He may find it easier to open up to me."

    "But he's my Padawan…"

    "And you're still stubborn! Give him a little break. After all distance make the heart grows fonder. I'm sure Mace can find you a small peaceful solo mission that fits for a stubborn bantha, and then I can talk to your boy and try to find out what's bothering him."

    Qui-Gon knew when he had lost. "Very well, Tahl. If Mace can find me a pretext, I will leave for a couple of days and leave him to you. But not more than three days."

    He was rewarded with a sparkling smile.
     
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Tahl with Qui, Bant, and Obi-Wan was amazing & wonderful! @};- I think she will definitely get things on track. :)
     
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  9. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    She's pulling up her sleeves, going to "work".
     
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  10. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    OMG, this was just too good!

    "Stubborn bantha's ass who wouldn't notice a krayt dragon if it sat on him"

    I'm gonna have to keep that one!
     
  11. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    You're welcome, and please notice me when it comes to use. :p
     
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  12. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I will, if I remember that's where I found it when I get around to using it. [face_laugh]
     
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  13. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 4: Recovery

    The next morning Qui-Gon woke by the sound of the comm even before his padawan awoke.

    "Jinn here," he answered, still slightly groggy from sleep.

    "This is Mace. Can you please get your stubborn bantha ass up to the council chamber, in 5? And don't bring your padawan this time. "

    "Why does everyone call me that?" Qui-Gon complained. He made the distance in 7 minutes sharp.

    Mace Windu was awaiting him in the council chamber. When Qui-Gon entered the room the councilman was watching the artificial sunrise through the huge transparisteel windows, but turned around when he heard Qui-Gon's footsteps. He was alone in the room.

    "There you are, Qui-Gon. Do you know why you're here?"

    "I have an idea… And besides, you commed me, Mace," Qui-Gon retorted dryly.

    "I heard the most disturbing story from Tahl Uvain last evening. She commed me late in the evening and practically ordered me to send you away on a small mission. She insists that you're scaring your padawan almost to death. What do you have to say about that, Jinn?"

    "I don't scare him, or at least I don't think I do. Well, I don't mean to, anyways," Qui-Gon tried to defend himself.

    "Which means…?" Mace Windu raised an eyebrow quizzically.

    Qui-Gon sighed.

    "I'm not sure actually. Tahl suggested that Obi-Wan is scared of me and that he's studying too hard simply because he's afraid of what I will say if he don't. I have no idea whether she's right or not, but she's right in one thing - he has become thinner and he doesn't go out much. Actually he only goes to his classes, and to the lightsaber training. Her idea is that he won't open up to me right away so she wants me out of the way so she can spend some time with him and try to find out what's going on. She may be right."

    Mace nodded. "I'm glad you realize that there may be a slightly unhealthy interaction between the two of you, and I assume Tahl will be persistent enough to get the truth from your padawan. She's very good at that. I suggest you take 3 days off and go to Nar Shaddaa to see if you can dig up some slave trader routes. It's not much of a mission but it will keep you away and you even may come up with something useful. I will inform the rest of the council that I've sent you on a little secret mission. It is true, from a certain point of view."

    Qui-Gon bowed.

    "With your permission Master, I will go to my quarters and inform my padawan about the arrangements that have been done. I will leave for Nar Shaddaa in 2 hours."

    "Very well, you are dismissed."

    ….

    Obi-Wan was up and awake when Qui-Gon returned to their apartment.

    "Master, where have you been?" The boy's blue-green eyes shone with a mixture of curiosity and nervousness.

    Qui-Gon sighed. This wouldn't be easy.

    "I was called to the council chamber. Master Windu is sending me off planet for a short mission. I assume I will be away for three days, nothing more," he answered.

    "A mission?" Obi-Wan's eyes lit up. "When are we leaving, Master? And where to? "

    "We are not leaving, Padawan. I am. Master Windu was very determined that this should be a solo mission. You will have to stay behind this time. I'm sorry, Obi-Wan."

    Obi-Wan hung his head. Anxiety was almost radiating from the thin figure.

    "Oh, I'm sorry, I just thought that…"

    "Be at ease, Obi-Wan. This has nothing to do with your skills as a padawan," Qui-Gon said while placing a comforting hand on his padawan's shoulder. The boy really was thin. He could feel every bone and tendril through the outer tunic. "Besides, Master Windu wanted to keep this mission a secret."

    "But…"

    "No, not this time, Padawan. There will be many more missions for you in the future, but this time you will have to stay behind. Master Uvain will keep an eye on you and drop in to see that everything is OK, and of course you can comm her if something should turn up, but I'm sure you will do fine for these few days."

    Obi-Wan sighed, realizing that he was fighting a lost battle.

    "Yes, Master."

    ….

    After the evening classes Obi-Wan returned to the empty apartment. It really felt very empty without Master Jinn there. He drew a deep breath.

    "Don't be such a crecheling," he chided himself." Master will be back again in less than three days now, and if you can't take care of yourself that long he will certainly lose what little faith in you he has left."

    He never made it to his studies. Before he managed to switch on his datapad, the door bell chimed. He rose and went to the door and a dark haired green and gold eyed whirlwind came through the door. Master Uvain had most certainly arrived to 'look after him'.

    He bowed.

    "Relax, Padawan," she said merrily, "as we agreed yesterday, formalities aren't necessary in private. How are you doing? Have you eaten mid-day meal?"

    "I'm fine thanks, and no…"

    "Not eaten?" The master seemed shocked. "You are a growing boy and you need to eat. Well, let me place this box in the cooling unit and then we will go down to the refectory and get some food. I haven't had time for main meal either, so we can go together."

    "Really, Master, I'm not very hungry so there's no need for…"

    Again he was interrupted before he could finish the sentence. "Nonsense, boys of your age are always hungry. It's a law of nature. Besides, you're studying hard and your brain needs nourishment too. Come on now, let's go before there is only Master Yoda's stew left."

    Obi-Wan couldn't bare himself from snickering. The thought of a refectory with only the Grand Master's special stew was just too terrible. Before he really knew what was happening he was whisked out the door in the wake of the green-eyed Noorian with a steady course towards the refectory.



    The refectory was a busy place at this time of day and after they had gathered their meals they stopped, looking for a place to sit. Obi-Wan's attention was drawn to a table where his three friends were sitting. Tahl followed the direction of his glance and recognized the small Mon Calamari girl from the evening before.

    "Are those three friends of yours, Obi-Wan? " she asked, "If so, let's catch the last two seats by the table. They just have to live with me sitting there. I promise not to interrupt you and I will forget anything said about stupid masters and terrible training sessions."

    Without waiting for an answer she set the course towards the table and once more Obi-Wan found himself following without thinking.

    "Obi-Wan, come here. What have you been doing? We've missed you. And where is our master? " Bant's thin voice was flooding him with questions.

    "Master Jinn was sent on a solo mission," he explained. "He asked Master Uvain to look out for me every once in a while while he's away."

    The two sat down and soon the younglings were engaged in a discussion about their respective studies. Tahl concentrated on her meal and listened carefully, pretending she didn't care about anything but the food on her plate.

    "…and that navigation course really has shown me that navigation is for droids," Obi-Wan's voice chimed in.

    "Navigation is fun," the dark haired boy on the other side of the table stated enthusiastically. "Master Rhara has shown me the best way to calculate when to emerge from hyperspace. She's a really, really good pilot too. I wish she would take me as her padawan. "

    Tahl looked up from her plate. "I have an idea. Why don't you, what's your name, visit Obi-Wan and show him the calculations Master Rhara showed you? Since Obi-Wan is not fond of navigation, maybe your way of doing it would be more realistic than what he can find in the datapads?"

    "Can I do that?" the dark haired boy asked, "wouldn't Master Jinn dislike it?"

    Tahl shrugged. "Why would he? He knows very well that cooperation is necessary and Obi-Wan here has a perfectly normal padawan's room, not a prison cell. He is allowed to have visitors, you know."

    "I don't think that…" Obi-Wan wasn't allowed to finish the sentence this time either. It really seemed to become a bad habit. This time Bant interrupted him.

    "Oh, Obi. Do that. You know calculus never was your best topic and if Garen can show you a better way to make those calculations it's worth it .You will save time and then you can meet us every once in a while too, not only study. I'm sure Master Jinn will approve that."

    Obi-Wan knew when he was defeated. This was one of those incidents. Besides, Garen might make the blasted navigation lesson more interesting and then he would be better off in the end. Besides, seeing his friends again had been fun and with surprise he noticed that all the food had miraculously disappeared from his plate, and he was pretty sure that Reeft hadn't snatched any of it this time. He must have eaten all of it without noticing.

    "Off you go, boys," Tahl commanded. "I will stay for a while more. I'd like to catch up with Master Tamsin over there over a cup of caf. I'll drop by later this evening to see that everything is OK. And boys, don't touch the parcel in the cooling unit!"

    The two boys nodded: "No, Master."

    Bant Eerin looked at her. "Did you bring him here, Master Uvain? Thanks. It was good to have him back and I think he enjoyed it too."

    "I'm sure he did," Tahl answered with a smile, "if you will excuse me I will go talk to Master Tamsin. It has been a pleasure to meet the both of you."

    …..

    Obi-Wan and Garen had finished their exercises in navigation when Tahl returned to the Jinn/Kenobi quarters. Garen was just about to leave when she entered.

    "Good evening, Master Uvain," Garen bowed, "I was just about to leave and we have finished all our exercises for today. Obi helped me with the history essay too."

    "Good, I knew some cooperation would be good," Tahl said with a slightly mischievous smile, "and I guess the two of you had some time to catch up with each other as well?"

    The boys bowed in unison. "Yes, Master Uvain".

    Garen left with a last polite bow, and Obi-Wan and Tahl was alone in the apartment.

    "When I came here earlier this afternoon, I had brought with me a small treat, but since mid-day meal seemed more important I postponed it," Tahl said.

    Qbi-Wan looked quizzically at her.

    "You better help me with this one, else I will be so fat that my utility belt won't fit anymore," she added with a smile and went into the kitchenette and took two plates out from the cupboard. The mysterious box she had brought earlier was taken from the cooling unit and opened and two huge pieces of Corellian Choc-Cake materialized on the plates. She handed one over to Obi-Wan.

    "But…" he tried again, but was interrupted. Somehow it seemed that it had been nearly impossible to finish sentences these last two days after Master Uvain had entered their lives.

    "No buts," she interjected merrily, "I'm sure it may give you a slight stomach ache since you don't seem to have been eating much lately, but Corellian Choc-Cake is soooo worth a little pain."

    She sat down on the couch and dug into her cake. Obi-Wan was speechless, so he copied the action. The cake was really good. The refectory served acceptable, nourishing and sometimes even tasty food, but treats like this were rare.

    After consuming half of her cake she looked up at Obi-Wan. "I totally forget my manners. How was your evening with your friend Garen?" she said innocently.

    Obi-Wan lit up. "Oh, it was great. I believe he actually managed to explain to me how to calculate the retardation speed of a vessel when it comes out of hyperspace. I've been struggling with that for weeks."

    "Good, how come you haven't asked him before? He seemed eager to help out and as I heard you could help him with his history essay too?"

    "Well, I…we… haven't seen much of each others lately, and…" This time he stopped without being interrupted.

    "And?" she urged gently, "I heard your friend Bant telling that your friends miss you."

    "And I miss them," he whispered. A single tear was trailing down his cheek. "I miss them so much, but I'm a Padawan now so I can't…I shouldn't…it's just that I…"

    "Being a Padawan doesn't mean that you're not allowed to have friends, Obi-Wan. Or is that something Qui-Gon has told you?"

    "No," the boy shook his head, "it's just that…I won't disappoint him."

    "And how would it be disappointing to your Master if you spent some time with friends every once in a while? We are jedi, and attachments are forbidden and all that, but it doesn't mean that we are not allowed to be friends as long as we let duty come first when necessary."

    "I know," Obi-Wan acknowledged, "I know. It's just that Master didn't want me as his Padawan, and suddenly he changed his mind and…and…I guess I'm afraid he will change his mind again when he realizes I'm not worthy of his teachings. So I try to be. I try so very hard. But he doesn't seem to notice."

    More tears were flowing freely now, and Tahl looked compassionately at the boy in front of her. Suddenly he seemed much younger than his thirteen years.

    "Obi-Wan, listen to me. Please. I've known your master all our lives. We were in the same clan in the creche. We grew up together. He would never do something that cruel to you. Not to anyone. He may seem distant to you, but it has nothing to do with you. He's just not a very affectionate person, but even though he doesn't show it so often he really cares a lot about people he knows and loves."

    "Care about? Love?" Obi-Wan said incredulously, "He doesn't love me. Besides, love is forbidden."

    "Well, maybe not love, but he does care about you. I know it. He is much happier now than he was the last time I saw him, before I left for the outer rim.You have caused that change in him."

    "Me?" Obi-Wan couldn't believe his own ears.

    "You." she confirmed, "He needed someone to care about. And that someone is you. I guess I shouldn't tell you this, but many, many years ago he had a padawan who turned upon him. Well, actually he turned as in turned, if you understand. He crossed the line to the dark side of the Force. After that Qui-Gon said that he would never train a Padawan again, because he couldn't risk leading another young person astray."

    "The…dark side?" Obi-Wan couldn't believe his own ears, but Tahl seemed to be deadly serious right now.

    "The dark side," she confirmed. "He must have seen something very special in you else he wouldn't have changed his mind like that. He can be very stubborn. But he did, and he's much happier now, and I believe he would be even happier if you didn't try to kill yourself in your attempt on pleasing him."

    "I don't…" Obi-Wan was shocked.

    "You do. Maybe not literally, but you have eaten too little for a boy of your age. Your friends confirms that you have become thinner. And study hard is all well and good, but you need some leisure time as well. Being a jedi can be a tough life but the Force and friendships are the things that keeps us going. You are a lucky boy having so good friends. Don't close them off just because of your grumpy old master."

    "Master is not grumpy," Obi-Wan protested.

    A sparkling laughter came from Tahl. "No, he's not, and the best thing you can do is to remember that. He's not grumpy. He may be stern with you sometimes, but if so it's in your best interest and related to your training. He would never ever be deliberately cruel to you."

    The room silenced. Obi-Wan sunk into thoughts.

    "Master Uvain, do you really think Master would find it OK if I went out to spar or just hang out with my friends every now and then?"

    "I'm sure he would," she smiled, "keep in mind that he's an old man. He might even find it enjoyable to be without your charming company now and then, and read a story or something without being afraid that you have died of malnourishment or exhaustion in your room."

    Obi-Wan drew his breath and straightened. "Well, Master …Tahl, if you're absolutely certain I will give it a try when he comes back. I don't want him to worry about me."

    "Good boy. Now, let's polish off the plates and I will leave you to yourself for the night. You know there are no lectures tomorrow so you may sleep in a bit. However, I expect you to be down in the refectory for morning meal before they close the serving, and then we may have a sparring session in one of the dojos some time before mid-meal? Would you like that?"

    "Sparring? With you? Would you really do that, Master Tahl?" Obi-Wan brightened considerably.

    "Definitely. Rumors have it that you are a very competent young man with respect to handling a lightsaber, and it would be good for you to spar with someone else than your age mates or your master. And I'd like some exercise too. Actually, I need it after this cake. So I'll be at your service at eleventh hour, Padawan Kenobi. I have already reserved dojo no. 4 for us, hoping that you would accept."

    Tahl left with a wave of a hand and a cheerful: "See you tomorrow."

    It was a very content, very sleepy and quite happy padawan who went to bed that evening.
     
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    "This is Mace. Can you please get your stubborn bantha ass up to the council chamber, in 5?
    "Why does everyone call me that?"

    [face_laugh] [face_laugh]

    Why.... indeed. [face_love]
    Loved the talk between Obi-Wan and Tahl. He did open up to her splendidly and her compassion and sound advice will stand him in good stead.

    Looking forward to the spar. :cool: @};-
     
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  15. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha , "looking forward to the spar"...well. I have already realized that writing lightsaber duels isn't my "force", and...spars go in the same category, I'm afraid. We will see...
     
  16. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 5: Tranquility

    The next morning Obi-Wan woke unbelievably late, and he felt a sting of guilt when he threw a glance to the chrono on his night stand.

    "Almost ninth hour already? Master Jinn will kill me for this," was his first thought, before he realized that he was alone in the apartment. Then, on second thoughts, killing one's Padawan was certainly not accepted behavior from a Jedi Master so even if Master Jinn had been home he would probably survived. However, it was unbelievably late so he sprang out of bed and into the 'fresher to clean up before morning meal. He would have to be there before ninth hour if he was to have a decent meal.

    He barely managed it but just before the serving closed he was on his way to a table with a fully loaded tray. Garen was there already.

    "Good morning, sleepyhead," he greeted, "come sit, I have another 15 minutes before I am to meet Master Rhara in the dojo. I have no idea why but she offered me a spar there and, well, even though I'm better with the control panel in a spacecraft than I am with a 'saber I want to make an impression. Maybe she is actually looking for a padawan soon."

    Obi-Wan nodded, hoping that his friend would become Master Rhara's apprentice when that so clearly what was he wanted.

    "Master Uvain asked me to come spar with her before mid-day meal," he informed. "I've heard that she's almost as good as Master Jinn."

    Garen grinned.

    "Don't get squashed then, you know you have a tendency to end up in the healers ward after sparring matches,"

    After morning meal Obi-Wan returned to the apartment. He knew he was lagging behind when it came to meditation sessions. It was just so…boring. But he really wanted to show Master Jinn that he was able to make progress there as well, so he settled down on a meditation cushion and started the meditation exercises. This time he managed to find his in inner, calm spot more easily than he'd done for months.



    Two hours later he was on his way to dojo no. 4. He was there just in time so he had only waited for a couple of minutes when Tahl appeared.

    "Good morning, Obi-Wan, have you slept well?"

    "Yes, Master Uvain. I have."

    "Good." Again there was a mischievous glimpse in her eyes. "Because I don't want to go lightly on you in the match."

    He bowed.

    "I'll do my best to give you some some fair resistance, Master."

    Soon after they were installed in the reserved dojo, facing each other on the floor. Obi-Wan was carrying a green lightsaber, while Tahl had her own blue one, powered down to exercise mode, with power enough to give an uncomfortable sting but not enough to harm the opponent.

    The two opponents saluted each other and took the opening stance, and Obi-Wan was genuinely surprised when he saw they were mirroring each other, both taking the first position of Form IV, or Ataru. It was his own favorite style but Master Jinn usually practiced Makashi in their training sessions, due to his larger and heavier frame.

    They were circling each other, both awaiting the other's opening move. Obi-Wan was eager to start but he decided to let Tahl attack first. Then maybe he could get an idea of how she wielded the Ataru style. He didn't have to wait long.

    Quick as a flash Tahl stepped forward in a fierce attack of her opponent, her lightsaber sparking down towards him. He stepped aside and raised his own 'saber in a parry letting her 'saber slide down on the side of his own, then he jumped over her lightsaber and attacked her from the side. The attack was easily blocked by the Master. They both withdrew a bit from each other before Obi-Wan attacked again. Again he was met with a blur of blue light which seemed totally impenetrable until it suddenly disappeared from his view. For a moment he was stunned then he realized that his opponent had sprung right up in the air and somersaulted over him. He spun around right in time to block her downward 'saber strike.

    "Ataru! She's actually sparring Form IV," he thought. Then there wasn't time for more thinking, just reacting. Tahl seemed to be everywhere at once. Her 'saber came from above, Obi-Wan blocked just to find it swinging horizontally towards him from something that seemed to be an impossible angle. Again he withdrew and stepped aside. Obviously she could foresee every one single move he intended to take, before he actually moved. He sunk deeper into the Force, tightening his mental shields around him. In her next attack he feinted the same evasion to the right which he had used twice now, but instead of actually performing it, he somersaulted backwards. The unexpected move made Tahl take an extra step forward, but she easily regained her balance and crouched down. This time her attack came as a slightly upwards strike, which in real combat would have aimed to slay him like an Alderaanian Trout. Obi-Wan leapt over her arm a moment before the lightsaber touched him, and swung his own 'saber in a sideways motion, aiming to behead his opponent. If it had been a real lightsaber and a real opponent, of course. Again Tahl sprang up and easily leapt above him. This time he saw the move coming so he stepped forward a and barely managed to get out of reach for her 'saber in the moment she touched the floor behind him.

    "Two can play this game," he thought and went into a more defensive mode for a moment, waiting for an opening to come.

    The opening came when Tahl swept her saber from a position slightly above her shoulder, aiming to either stun his arm or simply disarm him. Obi-Wan wasn't sure of which. As soon as he saw her lightsaber moving downwards he leapt, copying Tahls movement from before.

    And felt a sizzling pain in his leg. It wasn't unbearable but it disturbed the flow in his movement and he went down, not being able to make a proper landing and mere seconds later he found himself on his back on the floor with the Master's lightsaber pointing towards his throat.

    "I yield!"

    The threatening 'saber was removed and instead she stretched her hand towards him to help him back on his feet.

    "Are you OK? I didn't intend you to go down that hard," she asked.

    "I'm fine. I just startled when you hit my leg."

    She grinned.

    "That was the intention. You're very good for your age. I believe you will be an excellent swordsman with time and experience. You really gave me a good match. I seldom meet such good Form IV combatants. You're very agile, but keep in mind that it may be good to combine Ataru with a more defensive form since there isn't always space enough for the big movements that Ataru demands. And when you're doing the move you made, be sure that you're actually pulling up your legs so your opponent cannot cut them off. With full power, I might have done just that. "

    "Yes. Thank you Master. It was really fun.I know that my Master is good at Ataru as well, but when we spar he usually chose Makashi, so it was fun sparring with another Ataru fighter." Obi-Wan bowed politely to her.

    Tahl smiled.

    "I enjoyed it too. It was a good workout for me as well. Let's repeat it some day, if your old Master is willing to lend you to me. But for now, let's go and have mid-day meal."

    To his own surprise Obi-Wan realized that he actually was hungry so he just nodded his agreement and followed her down the corridor towards the refectory.

    They ate in amicable silence for a while, before Tahl looked up.

    "I have something to tend to afterwards, and besides I guess you would like some time on your own. You have the afternoon free, so do whatever you like for the rest of the day. Catch up with your friends or do some studying if you want to. The only thing I want you to promise is that you don't spend the entire evening on your studies. Get some more rest, either with or without your friends. Just comm me if there's something you need to talk to me about. I bring the comm with me all the time."


    Obi-Wan decided to follow her advice so when the meal was finished he returned to his quarters and spent a couple of hours trying improve his essay for the following day's lecture in "Galactic Diplomacy". Then he checked that the apartment was clean and tidy. He surely didn't want Master Jinn to return to messy quarters. The rest of the evening was spent with Bant in The Room of a Thousand Fountains.
     
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb post. =D=

    Tahl is indeed giving practical tips and encouraging advice. She never makes you feel embarrassed when she's doing it either. [face_love] Obi-Wan seems able to take things in stride better and is balancing studying with socializing :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  18. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 6: New Beginnings

    The next morning Obi-Wan woke up half an hour later than his ordinary schedule was set for. Since Master was not home yet there was no need for polishing his boots or making morning meal for more than one person. He found some bread, admittedly rather dry, and fruit (still edible but with some suspiciously dark spots by now) in the cooler and gulped it down with some muja-juice (his favorite) before settling down for morning meditation. To his own surprise the latter went much better than the days before and for a while he really managed to find his calm center.

    He felt refreshed and almost happy when he strolled down the corridor to the study wing of the Temple. This was more like the Padawan life he'd dreamt about for the last years. For a moment he lingered on how it would have been too be Master Uvain's Padawan, and he realized that he would have liked it very much. She was stern without being strict, and seemed to be mostly in good mood. The only problem was that the mere thought of it felt wrong. Just, very, very wrong. He'd known from the moment they met that Master Jinn was the right master for him, but he had not expected their relationship to be so…tense. Well, honestly, he hadn't expected there to be any relationship at all after the tall master's first rejection of him.

    The classes went well. When Master Rekhni wanted them to explain the retardation of speed when emerging from hyperspace, Obi-Wan dared to raise his hand to answer the question. Admittedly he wasn't chosen but at least he'd dared to try. It was a victory in itself. His essay about the diplomatic struggles in the dispute between the planets Corstris and Vinsoth in the Quelii sector was submitted and for once he had a really good feeling about it.

    The last lecture on the days' schedule was the Junior Padawan 'saber class, his ultimate favorite class, and he felt ready for almost everything when he entered the dojo and picked one training 'saber from the rack near the entrance.

    ….

    It was early afternoon when Qui-Gon Jinn disembarked his small shuttle after his slightly forced trip to Nar Shaddaa. To be honest it had been the most useless mission he'd ever been to since most of the time had been spent in transit, but at least he'd managed to dig up some rumors about newly established slave trading routes during his very short stay on the smuggler's moon.

    Tahl was awaiting him at the landing platform. For a moment he allowed himself to admire the slim figure. He was a lucky man, having a friend like her in his life, not because of her good looks but for her loyalty and her mostly good temper. She always made him laugh no matter how bad the situation was. Right now, however, he hoped the situation had improved.

    "Hello there," he greeted her. "Didn't you bring Obi-Wan?"

    She frowned at him: "First of all, he's in his lightsaber classes and I assume I would need a bantha to pull him out from there. I don't have any. Besides, I wanted to talk to you alone first."

    Qui-Gon felt a sting of anxiety. "What did you find out?"

    "I was right. The boy is almost scared to death by you, but still he's awestruck that you actually have taken him as your Padawan."

    "But it was the right choice," Qui-Gon interjected.

    "I know, you know, but he doesn't. You rejected him so many times that now he cannot trust that you're not going to repudiate him at his first little mistake. And Force knows that if he's somewhat a normal Padawan he will make some during his training. We all did, that's for sure, and even though he's very dedicated and skilled for his age, he will make some too."

    "But how can I convince him otherwise?" Qui-Gon sighed exasperatedly. "He needs to trust me, as I need to trust him as soon as we're sent on missions. Anything else would be dangerous."

    "Well, you're the Master. That's up to you to figure out. It's not like you haven't raised a padawan before."

    "I know, but…Xanatos was different."

    "Thank the Force, he was. I never trusted him. There was something in his eyes… You're much better off with this one."

    "I…well…yes…maybe…"

    "By all the nine Sith hells, Qui," Tahl exploded, " are you still so blinded by Xanatos' so called virtues that you're not able to see, really see, anyone else? If so, I wonder why you took on Obi-Wan as your Padawan after sending him through hell repeatedly. Now you better get a grip, focus on the Padawan you have, more than the one you had, and actually bond with him. And, no, I don't talk about the training bond, even though that's important - I talk about real, man to man, or Master to Padawan bonding. Learn to know him, do something together just for the fun of it. Show him, don't' just tell him, that he's the Padawan you actually want to train now."

    Qui-Gon took a deep breath, and for a moment he reconsidered his former admiration for Tahl. She was less admirable when she was in a mood like this. The only problem was that she possibly, well most certainly was right. He had kept Obi-Wan on an arm lengths distance, not on purpose but out of shear fear. He was afraid. He'd had so many hopes for Xanatos and he was so certain that the boy would make a good knight, no, an excellent one. And he had failed spectacularly in that assumption.

    But Obi-Wan wasn't Xanatos. Admittedly he had shown anger towards the other initiate, what was his name, Chun? But during their unplanned mission on Bandomeer he had behaved mature beyond his years and his will to lay his own life down to save both Qui-Gon and the other miners was reflecting a true jedi. Xanatos would never have done that. So, yes, he had to get a grip, as Tahl so tenderly reminded him. He just had to! His strength was not founded in the Unifying Force so he was never bothered with precognitions, but still - even the Living Force was yelling to him that the pairing was right. He was somehow supposed to train Obi-Wan Kenobi. It was important in a way which was beyond his skills to fathom.

    "What?"

    While he was deep in his own thoughts, Tahl had continued talking and he hadn't heard a single word of it.

    "I'm sorry. I was thinking. Can you repeat what you just said?"

    Tahl sighed and put up a frown of long time suffering. "I wonder if you ever listen? OK, let me try again… I made him talk to me the other evening and that's when he confided about his uncertainties. I made him relax a bit and simply ordered him to join me in the refectory. Fortunately we met some of his friend and they made him relax even more. He's obviously missed them, so I sent him home with is friend Garen to work on his homework for navigation classes today."

    "You wanted him to relax a bit, and then sent him home to work more?" Qui-Gon asked incredulously.

    "It worked like a charm! He caught up with his friend without feeling bad for 'neglecting' his studies. So yesterday I asked him to sleep in a bit before morning meal and meet me in the dojo for a sparring session afterwards. He seemed to love that, and he's actually a good sparring partner already. Don't tell him, but there were a couple of times when he almost had me on my heels. I gave him the evening free to do whatever he wanted to, as long as he took some time off. it must have worked because I saw him with his friend Bant in The Room of a Thousand Fountains later in the evening. I think I managed to sneak out without them discovering me. I haven't seen him today, though, but as I understood he had classes the entire day."

    Qui-Gon nodded. "Let's go and see if we can find him. He should finish his 'saber class soon."

    "We? Oh, no." Tahl raised an elegant eyebrow. "You are going to meet him. And you'd better find something fun to do this evening, so he doesn't start working his ass off again. By the way, he's actually been eating properly the last two days or so. He seems to have a healthy enough appetite as long as he's not all tensed up. I'll comm you later tonight and I expect nothing but you telling me about a happy reunion between Master and Padawan."



    Qui-Gon was waiting outside the dojo when Obi-Wan emerged. His hair was even more spiky than normal and it was still damp after the shower. He halted abruptly when he saw his master's tall figure leaning against the wall.

    "Master Jinn, you're back," he exclaimed and in the last moment he managed to squeeze in a polite bow, worthy of a Perfect Padawan. "How was your trip?"

    "Fine thanks, but quite uneventful. I believe I managed to dig up some useful information for the Council, though."

    Obi-Wan swallowed hard, not really knowing what he was supposed to say now, so he just nodded silently.

    The silence between them was like a heavy curtain falling down. None of them knew how to continue the conversation. Finally Qui-Gon spoke.

    "Come on. Let's go home to our quarters and then you can tell me about how your last three days have been." Without waiting for an answer he turned and went down the corridor with long strides, while Obi-Wan jogged after him to keep up with the speed.

    The apartment was impeccable, with exception of Qui-Gon's bag which lay abandoned just inside the door where he had dropped it when he went to look for Obi-Wan. He picked it up and dropped it inside his own room and closed the door. Then he kicked off his boots and headed for his old worn out, but still comfortable, armchair. Obi-Wan stood reluctantly inside the door, not really knowing if he was supposed to accompany his master in the living room or if he should go to his own room.

    "Come here, Obi-Wan. Sit down and tell me about how these days have been? Has Master Uvain taken well care of you?" Qui-Gon silently asked Tahl for forgiveness, but he really needed an opening remark that wasn't intrusive. Hopefully Tahl would forgive him, -especially since she didn't know that she was used as a door opener to the young apprentices mind.

    "What do you want to know, Master? I have been doing my homework and I think Garen actually managed to explain to me how I should calculate the correct retardation for the transition from hyperspace travel to orbit."

    "Garen?" Qui-Gon urged.

    "Yes, Garen Muln, my friend. He came over the other evening and we worked together with our lectures. I'm sorry if I've done something wrong Master, but Master Uvain said it was OK and…"

    "Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon sighed, "this is the Jedi Temple, not a prison. And this apartment is your home just as much as mine now. Of course you can bring your friends home. I will only object if you insist staying up watching holo-vids long after sleeping time has started. Especially when I am trying to sleep myself."

    "Oh," Obi-Wan was almost dumbfounded. "Master Uvain said you wouldn't mind. She said that sometimes you might even be glad to see me spending some time outside the apartment, so you could have some time reading or relaxing."

    "Oh, she said that now," mirth was sparkling in Qui-Gon's eyes. Even Obi-Wan could see that. "Well, she's right. This is your home and I think I will enjoy your company when we learn to know each other a little better. But she's right, every once in a while I believe we could both benefit from some time alone. As it has been up to now, we've tried to learn to live with each other but in time we will feel more comfortable with each other, don't you think? Then it may even be possible to have my data pad laying on the table without you storing it in the shelf."

    "I'm sorry, Master." Obi-Wan hung his head, slightly ashamed.

    "Don't be. I know you've done it because you've not fully adapted to your new role yet, but I'd rather have a happy and slightly messy Padawan, than a sterile exhibition home. And besides, we have always the cleaning droids coming in every week so we're not going to be buried in dust."

    Obi-Wan looked up. Somehow his Master sounded more cheerful than he had been before his travel and could it be that Tahl actually had a point. Maybe he had become too polite and reserved for his Master's likings. Maybe they really could get used to each other and become, well, if not friends, then at least a good team? Maybe, just maybe, his Master really wanted him as his Padawan?

    "So, you mean I have…overdone it?" he asked carefully.

    Qui-Gon burst into laughter: "A bit, Padawan. A bit. What about us trying to start from square one again and no more brushing of boots early in the morning, OK? I've done it myself for the last forty years or so, and I actually like doing it myself. It makes me relax. Are you hungry?"

    "What…why…?" Obi-Wan was slightly taken aback by the abrupt change of topic, but to his own surprise the tense knot that seemed to take up most of the space in his stomach when Master was nearby had diminished quite a lot. Actually there would be plenty of space for some food now.

    "Because I am", Qui-Gon answered the unspoken question without missing a beat, "I have spent the last 3 days mostly on ration bars and even though they are nourishing enough their taste is less than exquisite. And since your last lecture for today was 'saber training, I assume that you are too."

    "Yes, Master," Obi-Wan agreed happily.

    "Good, I thought so. What do you say about abandoning the refectory this afternoon and go somewhere else? I have a friend who is running this diner in CoCo town and even though his food isn't the healthiest on the planet he makes a superb bantha steak and the fried tubers are really tasty too. If we hurry we can catch the 18th hour shuttle leaving from outside the Temple."



    A lone figure was comfortably curled up in a window niche in the temple tower closest to the entrance. She had been waiting there for almost an hour now, but her patience was rewarded. The huge main doors to the Temple opened and a tall cloaked figure came striding out. Beside him was a much smaller figure almost bouncing on his feet trying to adapt to the taller one's long strides. She could see the taller one slow down a bit, adapting to the smaller ones speed and putting a huge hand on the young one's shoulder. As the smaller one looked up to say something to the tall man, she could see the evening sun creating sparks of copper and gold in the young one's spiky hair.

    "Mission accomplished," Tahl Uvain said to herself, and rose from her observation post.




    o-o THE END o-o
     
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Delightful!!!!!! So much in fact I had to make an RPG OC who is also a Noorian [face_laugh] [:D] Mission accomplished, indeed and swimmingly! =D= [:D]
     
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