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Before - Legends Interludes (AU Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and OCs)-Chapter 6, 6/27/17

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Title: Interludes
    Author: K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku
    Characters: Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, K'Tai, Kur-Cot, Bus'cai, T'lor, Donal, De'vona, Jen'sai among others.
    Disclaimers: An-Paj is the creation of Jane Jinn, and Rani is the brainchild of of Rani Veko. Disney owns the GFFA. I just play here.
    Summary: In between the letters of "Getting to Know You", Obi-Wan and K'Tai actually got to spend time together. These are those times.

    AN: Just like "Getting to Know You" was sparked by a comment by Nyota's Heart, this one is also her fault spurred on by a request from Gemma and encouragement from Findswoman and Chyntuck. Thank you to Charity Rose for beta-reading. I will be tagging in future posts, so let me know either in a comment or by PM if you want to be added to the tag list. I will do my best to update regularly, probably every two weeks.



    Part 1: Beginnings


    Chapter 1: Falling Hard

    "Master?"

    "Yes Padawan?" Qui-Gon quickly glanced over at his protege. The young man was climbing ahead of him, his focus on finding the next hand-hold on the rock face.

    Obi-Wan paused a moment, drawing in a breath and pushing off the rock face as he simultaneously reached for the next hold above him. Catching it with his fingertips, he planted his feet against the cliff. "How is it that when we go on holiday, we still end up working?" The teen pulled himself up, toes finding purchase on a small ledge.

    Qui-Gon chuckled under his breath. "I assume you refer to our little escapade in the market this morning and not our present circumstances."

    "I was actually referring to both, but we can start with the market place." His muscles were starting to burn with the exertion of climbing. "After the chase we gave this morning, I thought something a bit less taxing might be on the agenda for this afternoon."

    "I thought you wanted to see the Vespian Moon Flower."

    "I do."

    "Then quit talking and climb." Qui-Gon stretched for his next hold. "And the answer to your question is the Force works in mysterious ways." He felt his padawan's raised eyebrow in response. He didn't dare look at it just then, as he needed to focus entirely on the rock in front of him.

    They were climbing almost free-hand. There were occasions when climbing this high completely free-hand was necessary. Today was not one of them, and Qui-Gon had insisted that they take the extra precaution of using their grappling guns as a back-up. Tied to their belts, they provided a small but not insignificant margin of protection against losing a hand hold, particularly since the cliff was pocked with areas of what looked like solid rock that crumbled under the pressure of a body hanging from it.

    Qui-Gon felt the flare of danger in the Force just before Obi-Wan's hand slipped as the hold he had been using gave way. "Padawan!"

    For his part, Obi-Wan did not panic at the sudden sensation of plummeting to the ground. He had the good presence of mind to kick away as soon as he felt the hold go, so he was clear of the cliff face. After a moment the line in his grappling gun pulled taut and his decent stopped abruptly. That was close he thought. Another flare of danger in the Force caused him to look up. The sudden weight on the grappling hook caused its hold to crumble. His grappling hook pulled free from its purchase, and he was truly falling.

    Icy fear ran up his spine as he processed what this meant. Shoving the feeling away, he flipped himself so at least he could see the ground rushing up to meet him. They had been over 50 meters up. He watched the vegetation that clung stubbornly to the cliff wall flit past him. As he closed in on the ground, he exerted a Force push, trying to counter his downward momentum. He could feel Qui-Gon reaching out to try to slow him as well. It worked to a point. He slowed enough that he was sure he wasn't going to die upon impact, but not enough to keep from injuring himself. This is going to hurt.

    The ground rushed to meet him, a lover's embrace after a long absence. There was a loud crash and then a scream. Obi-Wan's world exploded into a kaleidoscope of pain and color as he rolled briefly before coming to a stop. His vision dimmed and then went black as he lost consciousness.

    Qui-Gon descended the cliff face as fast as he could. Obi-Wan had hit the ground hard and let out a scream that was followed by silence. He ruthlessly suppressed the fear that threatened to overwhelm him. Let him be ok... His feet touched the ground, and he quickly detached his grappling wire. He ran to his padawan. The boy was on the ground in a crumpled heap on his side. Qui-Gon could see his leg was bent at an unnatural angle, probably broken. Moving closer he could see that an arm was likely also broken. He bent down and gently touched his padawan.

    "Obi-Wan? Can you hear me?"

    Blue eyes fluttered open and stared back at him. "Ow," came the droll reply.

    Qui-Gon chuckled a little. At least Obi-Wan's sense of humor hadn't been hurt. That also meant that a head injury, at least anything more serious than a mild concussion, was unlikely.

    "Let me take a look at you." Qui-Gon reached out a hand to gently feel along Obi-Wan's spine for a break.

    Obi-Wan writhed in pain.

    “Be still, Padawan, and let me see,” Qui-Gon said. Obi-Wan did his best to obey, but the breaks in both his arm and his leg were too much for him. He let out a loud groan. Neither master nor padawan heard the girl approach until she was beside them.

    “Here, let me,” the girl said.

    "What the...?" Qui-Gon stammered as she elbowed past him.

    She ignored his protest and pushed Qui-Gon aside. The girl circled Obi-Wan, crouched in front of him and touched Obi-Wan’s chest. He quit moaning and stilled. She worked quickly, using the Force to ease his pain and gently set bones. She then took a slow breathe and felt for additional trauma. As the girl finished, her eyes met Obi-Wan’s. A spark flashed between them. She looked away and back to Qui-Gon.

    "I've done what I can for him here, but he's hurt internally. We need to get him to the House of Healing. Stay with him. I will go for help."

    Before Qui-Gon could reply, the girl was up and running through the wilderness. He looked back at Obi-Wan. His padawan was still in pain, but he was considerably more comfortable than he had been before.

    "Master, who was that?"

    "I have no idea, Padawan. How are you feeling now?"

    Obi-Wan sighed. "I hurt, but not as badly. It felt like she was using the Force, sort of. What is a House of Healing?"

    "Some sort of medical center I think. Kress is home to a sect of Force-sensitives if I remember correctly. I do not for the life of me remember what they are called. Perhaps the House of Healing is akin to their Halls of Healing."

    Obi-Wan groaned. "Great. Just how I wanted to spend my holiday...with healers." He coughed, trying to catch his breath. "Breathing hurts. I think I broke a rib or two." He closed his eyes.

    And punctured a lung in the process, Qui-Gon thought to himself as another cough showed red spittle on Obi-Wan's lips. "Save your breath. Can you focus enough to go into a healing trance?"

    "Ung..." was all the response he got. Qui-Gon put a hand on his padawan's head. The boy had slipped back into the void of unconsciousness. Qui-Gon hoped that the help the mysterious girl had gone for would arrive soon.

    Just then, he heard the unmistakable thrum of a transport making its way to a clearing to his left. As it landed, the girl jumped out, pulling an adult behind her.

    "Here he is," she said pointing to Obi-Wan. "He fell from up there. I was out gathering herbs for the House when I heard the fall. They are Jedi. I'm certain that is the only reason he's in this good of shape."

    The man, in his late 30's or early 40's by appearance, bent over Obi-Wan. He spoke to Qui-Gon while examining the boy. "My name is Kur-Cot qel Tanku-Beden. I'm the senior Adept at the House of Healing. We are Tal'shari." He held his hands over Obi-Wan for a moment and then turned to Qui-Gon.

    "Your apprentice?"

    Qui-Gon nodded affirmatively. "Obi-Wan is my padawan learner. I am Qui-Gon Jinn."

    "Well, Master Jinn, your padawan needs immediate medical attention. There is internal bleeding that we need to stop. We're going to transport him to the our main medical facility, the House of Healing outside of Tendel City. He's going to be out of commission for a few weeks at least."

    Qui-Gon stood back as others approached with an anti-grav sled. The girl placed her hands on Obi-Wan's head as Kur-Cot and the other healers gently levitated him onto the sled. Qui-Gon felt Obi-Wan slip into a light healing trance. She stayed in position, walking with the sled back to the transport. Qui-Gon followed. The sled was loaded into the transport, and the transport lifted off. When it landed at what Qui-Gon presumed was the House of Healing, he did his best to stay out of the way and let the healers attend to their tasks. Obi-Wan stirred as the anti-grav sled was maneuvered into a treatment room.

    Peace, padawan, Qui-Gon said through their bond. The boys eyes fluttered as he fought against the healing trance. Qui-Gon moved closer and laid a hand on Obi-Wan's arm. Don't fight it. Let them help you.

    A groggy hint of animal instinct, to fight with all one's being, wafted through the Force.

    The healers aren't your opponents, my young friend.

    Notes of being unconvinced tinged with panic followed that thought. A fragment of coherent sentiment - I can't move - reached Qui-Gon. The girl returned then and placed her hands upon Obi-Wan's head. Her touch and whatever healing technique she employed seemed to do the trick. Soon Obi-Wan was in a deep healing trance. She looked over at Qui-Gon. The girl said something to Kur-Cot and then came to Qui-Gon, gently steering him out of the treatment room and to a chair just outside the door.

    "Your padawan is in good hands. Let's give the trauma team room to work." She studied his face as if deciding how much to tell him about the boy's condition. "There is temporary paralysis due to his bruised nerves. It will subside in a few days with the healing trance. In the meantime, what should I know about him?" she asked.

    Qui-Gon breathed a sigh of relief and thought a moment before answering. "Obi-Wan is not fond of healers."

    "Why?"

    Why indeed, Qui-Gon thought to himself. "He might tell you something entirely different, but from my experience, he dislikes the loss of control and what he sees as the invasion of his person."

    She looked at the boy through the open doorway thoughtfully. "Ok, he goes on the no droids list. Horrible bedside manners, the lot of them. What else?"

    Qui-Gon thought a moment more. "He'll deny he is in pain because he strives for perfection in all things and believes it reflects badly on him as a Jedi to admit to the needs of the body."

    When her eyebrow rose a bit in surprise, Qui-Gon offered a bit of explanation. "I've been working on correcting this, but his connection is stronger to the Unifying Force, so it is slow going."

    The girl cocked her head to the side at that. "Unifying Force? As opposed to..."

    Qui-Gon smiled. "The Living Force."

    "Ah," she said, obviously not comprehending the difference.

    "He is naturally attuned to the entire forest and it's connections, so he sees them more easily than he sees the beings that are connected."

    A light of understanding dawned in the girl's eyes. The girl thought for a moment. "Would you characterize him as introspective?"

    Qui-Gon thought about all of the times he had told his padawan to release whatever he was cogitating over to the Force and not brood. "Yes."

    "How does he feel about meditation?"

    "He's a 16 year-old boy. He's old enough to appreciate its place in his life, but he would rather spar, preferably with lightsabers, when given the choice."

    The girl nodded thoughtfully. "Do you find he responds well to moving meditation?"

    "Yes. I think he finds the katas we use for lightsaber training to be useful when he's having difficulty centering." Qui-Gon studied the girl before him. "What does all of this have to do with stopping internal bleeding and healing broken bones?"

    "Healing is very rarely just a physical process. If I am going to help him, I need to know how he is likely to respond to things when he can't think clearly or is in pain. Right now, he's terrified beyond just what I would expect for not being able move. Understanding where that might come from or what might make it worse is important if we're going to help him heal."

    "I didn't feel anything."

    "I'm not surprised. He shields amazingly well in the Force. His empathic projections are a different story."

    Qui-Gon looked at the girl with a new appreciation. "You are an empath."

    She blushed and nodded.

    He gestured to the controlled chaos around them. "This must be difficult for you at times."

    She chuckled a little. "It can be overwhelming, but at least here I can do something with the knowledge that I end up with. Like maybe make this experience a bit more pleasant for your apprentice." She rose and turned to go.

    "Wait. I didn't get your name."

    "K'Tai."

    "Thank you K'Tai. I sense that this is going to be a far different experience from our usual encounters with healers. I will warn you that once he starts feeling better, you might have your hands full. Oh, and bacta makes him a bit goofy."

    K'Tai smiled. "Bacta equals goofy Jedi. Got it. I think I can handle whatever he throws my way. Would you like a cot? I can have it set up in the room we are going to move him to. Having you close these first few days will help him."

    Qui-Gon was a bit taken back. An-Paj usually chased him out of the Halls of Healing. "Yes, thank you."

    "You are welcome, Master Jinn."

    As she left, Kur-Cot appeared and took her place. "Your padawan is stable for now. We have stopped the bleeding. We plan on keeping him in the trance for at least the next three days. K'Tai told you about the nerve inflammation and paralysis? It is temporary. He should be able to move the things he didn't break when he comes out.

    "You are welcome to spend as much time with him as you wish while he is in a private room, which will be the next week or so. After he moves to the wards, I will have to ask you to following the visiting hours out of respect for the other patients. If you would be more comfortable staying as a guest of the Tal'shari rather than in your accommodations in town, I can arrange that. Just let me know. Regardless, you are welcome to explore the House and associated facilities at you leisure. If you make your way to our Archives, I'm sure our head archivist will be thrilled to have a chance to talk with you. We haven't had much contact with the Jedi in recent years."

    "Thank you for your generous offer. I would like to be closer to him while he heals. I look forward to getting to know your tradition better."

    “I will go make the arrangements.” Kur-Cot put a hand on Qui-Gon’s arm. “He’s hurt seriously, but he will recover.” Then he stood and left.

    Qui-Gon looked back at the boy who was supposed to be just his student but wasn’t. Usually, he longed to be back in the Temple when Obi-Wan needed serious medical attention. This time though, he was glad they were where they found themselves. It was nice not to be challenged for following the will of the Living Force to stay by his padawan’s side.
     
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and Chyntuck like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful introduction and spot-on insights as to Kenobi's reactions to the onerous healing process. :p K'Tai shows herself competent and warmly accommodating, a very soothing presence. @};-
     
    Kahara and K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku like this.
  3. gaarastar58

    gaarastar58 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2010
    A great introduction :) You captured the relationship between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan nicely, I look forward to reading more!
     
  4. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Poor Obi – what a fall but I’m glad to see he is in good hands and perhaps he can learn a thing or two while he is healing

    I’m also impressed Qui-Gon is allowed to be there….perhaps he can learn a thing or two as well.

    Looking forward to more

    =D==D==D==D=
     
  5. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Well, you could call that an entrance with a bang. Poor Obi-Wan :( All this for a flower that he never got to see. But then of course he met K'tai, so...
    [face_laugh] ... indeed.

    I love how you showed the master-padawan relationship, and what is more, most of what we see of it is in Obi-Wan's absence. Although I have to say that reading this almost made me feel old, it reminded me of the days when the JA books were all the fury and half the fics were about Obi-Wan getting hurt :p

    And K'tai is simply amazing here. She comes across as so poised and mature, listening to Qui-Gon explain how Obi-Wan is "a sixteen-year-old boy", and also as extremely talented at what she does -- although it could be a sign of the bond she will develop with Obi-Wan?

    And lastly, I love seeing the differences between the Tal'shari and the Jedi in action after reading about them in letters! I can't wait to read more of this.

    PS: Your daughter is beta-reading for you? =D=
     
  6. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Thank you all for the great response!
    :) Thank you. I've never read the JA books, so I'm extrapolating back to teenage years based on what was written in "Wild Space" and other Clone Wars tales for Obi-Wan's reaction to healing.

    :D Glad to have you on-board! Like I said, I haven't read the JA books, so it's heartening to hear that I've got the tone of the relationship down.

    [face_blush] Thank you. The Tal'shari share a lot in common with the Jedi, but not the view of detachment, and it pervades everything about them, including their healing philosophy.

    :D
    [face_laugh] Given that this AU springs directly out of the soap opera that was USJS, I have to work not to go overboard with the Obi-torture.:p

    Charity Rose mentioned to me that she sounds older than she is. I had to point out that so does Charity Rose, so my exposure to "teenage" talk is limited. We'll see as things progress that while she is good at what she does, she's still learning.;)

    :cool: Yep. My teenager wants to make sure I don't make the teenagers in this story sound like they are 40. Plus, it gives her practice for her English class.

    Let me know if you want to be added to a tag list. Thank you to Charity Rose for beta-reading.


    Chapter 2: Not All Healers are of the Dark Side

    Obi-Wan's return to consciousness was gradual. His first brush with thought was that he hoped he'd see the green eyes that he'd seen...where was it? Oh yes, while lying on the ground. That of course begged the question as to why he had been on the ground in the first place. That didn't seem like a very good place to take a nap. But a nap sounded like a great idea at the moment.

    "Come on Obi-Wan, wake up."

    He sighed to himself. All he really wanted to do was to sleep, but duty came first and if he must wake up, so be it. He cracked an eye, got enough of a glance to realize he was in some sort of medical ward, and promptly shut it again. On second thought, maybe sleep wasn't such a bad idea. It usually didn't involve healers. Healers were one step away from the Dark side of the Force in his estimation.

    K'Tai sighed. Master Jinn had warned her Obi-Wan would be a handful, but she had not expected him to start the moment he came out of the trance. She lay her hands gently on his arm and projected contentment and safety. He slowly opened his eyes. She looked at them closely, noting that both pupils dilated normally in the sea of blue.

    For his part, Obi-Wan was pleasantly surprised to find the green eyes he had hoped to see again were in fact staring at him, just inches away from his face. He was still a bit hazy on why they were there, but he decided he didn't mind.

    "There you are. Can you wiggle your fingers for me on your right hand?"

    That seemed like a simple enough request, although a little out of place. He wiggled them, and then for good measure tried to wiggle the ones on his left hand. That movement brought pain that made him see stars. He moaned and closed his eyes, willing the pain to flee into the Force.

    K'Tai clicked her tongue a bit and gently eased the discomfort. "That arm has seen better days. That's why I asked you to wiggle the right fingers. Before we go any further, do you know where you are or why you are here?"

    That sounded suspiciously like the green eyes belonged to a healer. He wasn't sure how he felt about that, but she had helped with the pain, so he could probably manage to be civil and somewhat cooperative. He opened his eyes and willed the post-healing trance confusion to clear. There had been rock climbing and a fall..."The rock gave way and I fell." He thought harder. "I'm in some sort of med center," he said accusingly, as if the green eyed girl had orchestrated this entire situation just to trap him here. Or maybe it was the Force. He wasn't sure, but either way, here was not where he wanted to be.

    K'Tai could feel his anxiety start to rise. She brushed the hair gently back from his forehead, trying to let her touch sooth him. "That's right," she said. "You broke your leg and your arm, as well as some ribs. If you move them, they'll hurt because they haven't healed enough yet. So do yourself a favor. Only move the stuff I tell you to move for right now."

    He couldn't fault her logic there. The green eyed girl seemed to be trying to keep him from hurting, so perhaps following her directions, without improvisation, would be a good plan for now. Besides, when he hurt, he couldn't plot how to escape. "Okay."

    Oh Force, K'Tai thought to herself as she caught a hint of his planned subterfuge in his emotional projections. "Okay, can you wiggle your toes for me on your right leg?"

    That turned out to be much harder than it should have been, at least as far as Obi-Wan was concerned. The green-eyed girl however thought he had done a marvelous job.

    "That's really good. I know it was harder than you would like, but it's a good sign that there is that much movement. It means the inflammation is almost gone. When you came in, you couldn't move them at all. Now breathe deeply."

    He did as asked. His broken ribs protested, and he struggled to maintain some semblance of stoic Jedi calm as the pain washed over him.

    K'Tai eyed him critically. "Did that hurt?"

    "Not really." He could tell she wasn't buying it. "Well, maybe a little." Her eyes narrowed. "Okay, a lot."

    She put her hands on his side and the pain disappeared. "If you aren't honest with me, I can't help you," K'Tai said. "The less pain you are in, the faster you will heal, the sooner we can get you out of this room and doing katas in a healing garden."

    Obi-Wan perked up at the mention of katas.

    "I see that got your attention. Do the Jedi have seated katas?"

    Obi-Wan shook his head.

    "No? Well the Tal'shari do. So here's the deal I'll make with you. You follow my instructions, and I'll begin teaching you a seated kata as soon as you are strong enough to sit unassisted."

    Obi-Wan was beginning to tire. "Deal," he said with a yawn. "What's next?"

    K'Tai moved to stand behind his head. She laid her hands gently on his temples and began to massage. Obi-Wan sighed and closed his eyes. It felt good.

    "What's next is sleep."

    He decided not to argue and drifted off. For a healer, the green-eyed girl wasn't half bad, although he wished he'd thought to ask her what her name was.

    She bent over and said softly, "My name is K'Tai."

    That's a nice name, Obi-Wan thought as sleep overtook him.

    When K'Tai was sure he was asleep, she went to find Kur-Cot. He was in his office, updating charts. K'Tai took a seat at the desk in the corner where she did her homework while on call. Sometimes it paid to be the niece of the Senior Adept. The carrels in the room set aside for the Initiates were often loud and not conducive to study.

    "Master Jinn was right. He's a handful."

    Kur-Cot chuckled. "Honestly, I don't know many teenage boys who aren't. Do you need his chart?"

    K'Tai shook her head. "No, I already have it. I'll make my notes and then go catch a little nap. I'm on call tonight."
    ----------------------------
    It was the wave of sheer terror that woke K'Tai. As she stepped out of the nap room and looked around, there was no indication that anyone else was aware. She took a deep breath and reached out into the Force. All was quiet. That explained the lack of panic among the rest of the staff. She felt distress and pain...the pain was physical. So it was likely a patient...a patient who could shield in the Force. Obi-Wan.

    K'Tai walked quickly to the room where Obi-Wan was supposedly sleeping. The lights were low, but even from the door she could see that he was in the aftermath of either a very disturbing nightmare or vision.

    "Obi-Wan?"

    Obi-Wan was doing his best to stifle the scream that was caught in his chest. The nightmarish vision still resonated in his mind. Lava and fighting for his life and the fate of the galaxy as it tipped on the edge of Darkness...He didn't answer her. When she walked over and lay a hand on his arm, he couldn't hold back any more. Silent tears traced tracks down his cheeks and he shuddered. That brought pain and frustration. It didn't help the tears.

    "It's okay. I'm here. You aren't alone." K'Tai didn't try to damp out his emotions but she did everything she could to make sure that Obi-Wan's broken bones didn't add to his misery. " It's okay to let it out."

    Her touch was gentle, an anchor as the tangle of emotions from the visions swelled into uncertainty about the possible symbolism in his fall from the cliff. He put his hand on where hers rested on his arm. It felt nice when she touched him, like all would eventually be right even if it was far from right at the moment. He wasn't supposed to think that...Jedi didn't crave physical contact.

    K'Tai felt Obi-Wan's emotions ping-pong from one to another. His reaction was completely understandable as far as she was concerned. Force enhanced nightmares were downright terrifying when one was well and in familiar surroundings. Being hurt and not in your own bed was a recipe for an extreme response, no matter who you were. In her limited experience, for those who were prone to visions, healing trances had a way of bringing them on. She suspected it was a side-effect of the deep connection with the Force that trances required.

    She went to utter some additional soothing platitudes when a nudge in the Force stopped her. She had the overwhelming urge to just be with her patient, saying nothing, just sitting with him and accepting the moment as it was.

    After a few minutes, Obi-Wan succeeded in wrestling his emotions under control. K'Tai felt him reach out to the Force, letting it calm him and carry away the remaining fear and anger. She was impressed. She'd seen experienced Adepts take longer to get it back together after a bout like that.

    "Thank you," Obi-Wan said, removing his hand from hers. "I'm okay now."

    K'Tai pulled up a stool and sat down. "Want to talk about it?"

    "No."

    "Okay. Do you think you can sleep?"

    "No."

    "Would you like me to leave you to meditate?"

    "No."

    K'Tai sighed softly and simply sat looking at him. "Well, if you don't need anything else, I'm going to go finish my nap. I'm on call tonight."

    She got up and headed to the door.

    "K'Tai, wait please."

    K'Tai turned to look at him.

    "Would you sit with me for a while?"

    K'Tai really wanted to catch another hour of sleep before she had to be on call, but it didn't seem right to leave Obi-Wan to his own devices after that episode. She knew Qui-Gon was planning on sitting with his padawan after he finished his mediation in the north gardens, so she wouldn't need to stay long. K'Tai came back into the room and sat on the stool again.

    "I'm sorry I woke you up from your nap. I usually handle my visions better than that."

    "Do you often have them after you come out of deep healing trances?"

    Obi-Wan thought about it. "Not that I'm aware of, but back in the Temple, my deep healing trances usually involve a dunk in a bacta tank. I'm rather loopy afterward. You'd have to ask Qui-Gon if An-Paj has mentioned anything to him about it. Speaking of my master, where is he?"

    "In the north healing garden meditating. Do you want me to go get him?"

    "No. I’m just a little surprised he’s not here. The healers at the Temple complain that he is under foot when I’m there. He can overbearing when he's worried about me. Has he been sleeping in a chair?"

    "No, I brought a cot in from the beginning. It's standard practice here. He's actually been pretty good. What brought you to Kress?"

    "We're on holiday, although that doesn't mean much with Qui-Gon. It just means we travel without having a specific assignment."

    "It must be exciting to travel the galaxy and visit different cultures. I would think the similarities and differences between worlds would be fascinating."

    Obi-Wan smiled at her. "It is interesting, particularly when we aren't on a mission. I enjoy people watching."

    "So what have you seen on Kress?"

    K'Tai watched Obi-Wan's face light up as he told her about what they had seen up to that point on Kress. He was kind of cute. His blue eyes...she stopped that line of thought. Keep it professional, she told herself. She focused again on what he was saying.

    "...so when we caught up with the boy, it took all of Qui-Gon's skill to convince him that we weren't there to hurt him, but to make sure that he didn't get in trouble for something he didn't do. Then it took more talking to get him to go back to the shop owner and explain what had happened, that he had tripped the boy who took the fabric and then run off because to touch another is almost as great of an offense as stealing."

    "Ah, he's probably from Clan Thren or Asla. They come from a region of Kress that is known for its strict religious traditions. They very rarely come to the cities in part because you generally can't help touching someone accidentally. That and the genders intermingle, but really that's just a minor inconvenience for them."

    Obi-Wan yawned. "Anyway, I'm still hoping that I get to see the Vespian Moon Flower and maybe the western shore before we head back to the Temple."

    "Is that why you were on the cliff, to see the flower?" K'Tai asked.

    "Yes."

    "You do know there is a path up the backside of that mountain that doesn't require a technical climb, right?"

    "I do," a deep voice answered.

    Both teens looked over at the door where Qui-Gon stood. "However, with the recent rains, getting to it from this side of the mountain is near impossible. The ascent up the cliff face was the easier of the two paths. It's good to see you awake, Padawan."

    “It’s good to be awake, I think.” He stretched and winced. K’Tai laid her hand on his arm again and the pain melted away.

    K'Tai stood up and moved to the door. "I'll check on you later tonight. Try to get some sleep. If you can't manage that, meditation would be a good choice." She bowed to Qui-Gon and turned to go.

    "K'Tai?"

    She turned back to look at Obi-Wan.

    "Thank you."

    After the girl left, Qui-Gon spoke. "Did you just thank a healer?"

    Obi-Wan smirked. "Don't tell An-Paj."

    ------------------
    Later that night, K’Tai stopped in to check on Obi-Wan as promised. He was sleeping fitfully. Qui-Gon had pulled the chair over and was sitting by him, one hand holding a datapad that he was reading, the other resting on Obi-Wan’s arm. K’Tai moved quietly into the room, and Qui-Gon looked up.

    “He’s restless. Being close helps…eventually,” he said in answer to a question he was sure she was going to ask but hadn't.

    K’Tai smiled back at him. “I’m sure it does. Having someone you trust sit with you while you heal can be very powerful. I’ll just deepen his pain block and reinforce the need to sleep so that it helps faster.” She place her hands on Obi-Wan’s head and he stilled, his breathing becoming more regular.

    “There. Can I get you anything?” she asked as she headed out the door.

    Qui-Gon shook his head. “Whatever you did earlier today made an impression on Obi-Wan. I’ve never heard him thank a healer before.”


    K’Tai looked back at the boy in the bed. “My pleasure. Good night.”
     
    Kahara, Chyntuck and gaarastar58 like this.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Ah, the getting to know each other and warm tones between them, at once professional and empathic, open and curious. :D She really is very skilled and I do believe her own personality lends itself superbly to being a Healer. :) Whew, that vision/foreshadowing thingy! Totally enough to put a person in a tail-spin!

    ~

    Got tickled at Obi-Wan's initial and instinctive I am gonna try to slide out of the healing ward as fast as I can. [face_laugh] But K'Tai will have none of that. First she catches his silent scheme and second, spending time with her is too fascinating ;)
     
    Kahara and K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku like this.
  8. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Okay, I made a detour through your Bits and Pieces thread, but now I'm back to comment here :)

    Obi-Wan hating healers and planning to escape from the ward... You're definitely making me feel old! [face_laugh]

    Again, nice contrast between the two here. Obi-Wan is very much a rash teenager, whereas K'tai is already shouldering responsibilities and it shows. I also like how she catches his thoughts through her empathic skills, and he doesn't even know.
    Now this is interesting. Is this the only time Obi-Wan has this vision in your timeline? (I'm not really expecting an answer, but I'm curious to find out.)
    Methinks it's not just what she did, but who she is :D [face_love]
     
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    This is off to a very enjoyable start, which of course is no surprise with a K'Tai story. :cool: Poor accident-prone Obi-Wan—I can see where he's legendary in Jedi healer circles. I guess just being used to all these "hard falls" is what allows him to maintain his wry, Ewan MacGregor-ish sense of humor through it all, which of course you always do a great job expressing. And of course the Qui-Obi banter shines, too. This opening sequence is just golden and I can hear both Neeson and MacGregor:

    I really enjoyed reading the story of Obi's first meeting with K'Tai, which I'd long wondered about; given Obi's history with healers, it is a fitting beginning for them. And I love all her questions to Qui-Gon about his personality, his attitude toward healers (I love that there's a "no-droids list," which makes perfect sense in the GFFA), whether he's introspective, etc. We begin to see from that just how holistic the Tal'shari brand of healing is (she says so herself), and very different from the Jedi variety. That fact alone, even apart from K'Tai herself and her charms, would seem enough to make this healing experience stand out for both Obi and his master. And I too love that Qui-Gon gets to stay with him, which no doubt will also help the process.

    Patient!Obi-Wan is such an adorable big baby, with his moans and monosyllabic responses (love those three "nos" in a row), and I can say that because I too get that way when I'm sick and hurt and helpless. :D It's cute how he perks up at the mention of katas; the concept of a seated kata seems very intriguing (I wonder if there are any in real-life martial arts systems), and I'm looking forward to seeing what that will entail.

    I love how Obi-Wan's "night terror" incident—and what a terror it is, if it's the scene it seems to be—turns out to be the perfect kickstarter for a friendship (and a bond) between him and the green-eyed healer. I love how he doesn't spill all to her right away, even if does enjoy feeling her hand on his arm—it makes sense both for his character and for just the sheer cataclysmic nature of the scene he saw.

    Great job with their conversation, which has just the right feel for two teenagers who are both (a) very articulate and sensible for their age and (b) feeling just a bit awkward around each other, and I love how it introduces yet more tidbits of the clans of Kress and then comes back around to the Vespian moon flower on the cliff. What a d'oh moment that could have been for poor Obi if his master hadn't shown up!

    You're so good at writing these write these mental bonds and empathic responses and mystical Force flows and such, and I'm going to pay close attention because at some point I'm going to have to write more of them two, and I couldn't ask for a better model. Very much looking forward to more of this story—and I'd love to be tagged. :)
     
  10. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 26, 2005
    [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh]


    I’ve felt that way a time or two myself. :p

    Lovely update. I’m glad to see Obi-Wan connecting to K’Tai

    =D==D==D==D=
     
  11. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Okay, so I know I made this disclaimer that I wouldn't guarantee regular updates, but I owe you all an apology for taking such a long hiatus. In my defense, shortly after I posted the second chapter, I began my own round needing to deal with healers of various sorts. I have a new appreciation for both Obi-Wan and K'Tai after the past four months. I am happy to say I am finally well on the way to being completely healthy and finally caught up enough in other areas of RL to come back to this. Plus Obi and K'Tai got really pushy....Anyway, I'm back. Thanks for sticking with me!:)

    Repsonses:
    I think by the end of part one, she will be too fascinating for him, but she's not there yet...as we will see.

    Um...sorry? :p

    No, it isn't but I don't think Obi-Wan puts much stock in it as a future reality that will come to pass. I think, at least at this point in his training, he sees it as a warning about his rash nature and his emotions. Later on it may come to mean something else to him, but I don't have that worked out yet.

    [face_blush] Thank you!

    I wrote that sequence after watching Episode I, so I'm glad the tone came through. I'm now working my way through the "The Clone Wars" series for inspiration in Obi-Wan's tone.

    I'm glad they sound like teenagers. Charity Rose gave me help in that regard.

    What a lovely complement!@};-:) Thank you. I will most definitely add you the tag list.



    Me too...particularly about my physical therapist when she working on getting my ankle moving.:p

    Thanks to Charity Rose for a)bugging me to write more "Obi and K'Tai" accompanied by puppy eyes [face_batting] and b) beta-reading and suggestion to make teenagers sound, well like teenagers. Let me know if you would like to be added to the tag list.
    Tags: Findswoman


    Chapter 3: Boys are People Too

    Obi-Wan spent the next three days progressively staying awake for longer periods of time. When he was finally awake long enough to get bored, he asked Qui-Gon for a copy of the philosophy book he was currently reading. Qui-Gon rolled his eyes privately, and went to find the tome. Obi-Wan had his quirks, and reading volume after volume of Jedi philosophy was one of them. While Qui-Gon appreciated a good delve into the Jedi understanding of the mysteries of the Force, when he was on holiday, he gave himself permission to enjoy the guilty pleasure of a good mystery. So it was that the two of them were sitting in comfortable silence, each engrossed in his preferred reading when K'Tai entered the room.

    "What are you reading?" she asked Obi-Wan as she placed her hands over his body and closed her eyes.

    Obi-Wan had gotten used to the fact that it appeared Tal'shari healers, or at least the initiates did not use a great deal of technology in the day to day care of patients. He looked up from his reading as she finished her assessment.

    "Great Jedi Masters, vol. 3: Do or Do Not - The Power of Belief."

    "I thought you said you were on holiday. That doesn't sound like particularly fun reading. Is it for a class?"

    "No, I just wanted to read it. I find philosophy interesting. This volume is about the role belief plays in connecting to and using the Force."

    "Such as?"

    "Well, one of Master Yoda's favorite sayings is 'Do or do not. There is no try.' He's right. You either do or you don't do something. The outcome isn't part of the process, it's a result. We say we'll try something when we aren't sure what the outcome will be."

    "But the decision to do or not do is often based on an assessment of the odds of success. You know, are the risks worth the potential payoff if you succeed or the consequences of failing? So if you do and you fail, you didn't really do, you tried."

    "Did you? Or did you do with an poor result? Does the poor result negate the act?"

    By this point, K'Tai sat down on the edge of the bed and the two continued to discuss the finer points of Yoda's saying. Qui-Gon decided he would leave them to their dialogue. He picked up his book and headed out to the garden. He wandered the paths until he found a secluded nook, tucked into a corner where the Force was palpable but not overwhelming, with hints of laughter, as if the Force itself were a young child enjoying a day at the park. He smiled to himself and sat down to read.

    A shadow passing across his pad caused him to look up. Kur-Cot stood before him.

    "Ah, Master Jinn. Just the man I was looking for.”

    “Is everything all right?”

    Kurt-Cot smiled, “As far as I know. I just wanted to check in with you. How is Obi-Wan doing under K'Tai's care from your perspective?"

    Qui-Gon gave a quick sigh of relief and thought a moment. "Pretty well. I haven't heard the grumbling about healers and the Dark side that I usually hear by this point in his convalescence. I left them in animated dialog about a favorite saying of one of the Order's Grand Masters."

    "I'm glad to hear it. Obi-Wan is keeping K’Tai on her toes."

    Qui-Gon chuckled. “The healers at the Temple have a love-hate relationship with my padawan.”

    “I believe she is enjoying the challenge. While she’s commented on it, she isn’t complaining about it.”

    “K'Tai seems quite willing to just hang out with him. That doesn’t happen at the Temple, at least not with the healing staff. They have far too many patients to spend time just sitting with any one of them for any significant period of time. Doesn’t she have any other patients? And why is K'Tai the only initiate I've seen taking care of him? I've seen several others around..."

    Kur-Cot smiled. "The Force assigned her."

    Qui-Gon's eyebrow rose. "The Force assigned her? Do you mean to tell me that you allow the Force to determine what provider sees what patient?"

    Kur-Cot chuckled. "I take it that the Jedi healers don't do it this way. Yes, to some degree we try very hard to let the Force dictate which medical personnel a patient has. We have better outcomes that way. Most of the time, Unity isn't too particular, but in this case, we all had a clear sense that K'Tai needed to be Obi-Wan's primary caregiver whenever possible."

    "Do you have any sense of why?"

    Kur-Cot thought a moment. "If I had to justify it, I would guess that it is because of her empathy. She can read Obi-Wan even when he's shielding himself in the Force. None of the other Initiates can. And since Initiates provide most of the care in our facility, she gets the pleasure of his company.”

    "Another thing I’ve found odd the lack of technology. I noticed that K'Tai doesn't use monitors of any kind."

    "That was my suggestion given what you told her about Obi-Wan's perception of previous medical care as being invasive, as well as her youth. Monitoring a patient's condition using Unity requires more from the practitioner, but it is less invasive. It’s good practice for K'Tai."

    “I’ll have to mention that to An-Paj. I know he would appreciate any tips to get Obi-Wan to behave himself when he’s in the Halls of Healing.”

    They talked a bit longer about the differences between the experience at the House of Healing and the Halls of Healing. Kur-Cot soon left, and Qui-Gon returned to reading. The noticeable change in light prompted him to return to Obi-Wan's room. When he got there, Obi-Wan was sound asleep again, an air of contentment around him that seldom if ever was to be found in the Hall of Healing at the Temple. Whatever the reason behind K'Tai's assignment, it seemed to be helping his padawan.



    When K’Tai walked into the ward a week after Obi-Wan's vision, she did her usual survey of the beds, taking in which patients were where. The ward was set up with open alcoves that afforded each patient a modicum of privacy but allowed the medical staff to keep an eye on all of them at the same time. He was in the bed closest to their station. Her eyes lingered on him. His head was tilted back, eyes closed, a datapad resting in slack hands. She smiled to herself. Even Jedi fell asleep reading. The stories she had heard of the defenders of peace and justice in the galaxy failed to mention that, and somehow, it made them seem...well more like the rest of the sentient beings that populated the galaxy.

    "He's nice to look at, isn't he?"

    K'Tai startled as the voice of her friend and fellow Initiate, Talina, interrupted her reverie.

    "I have no idea what you are talking about." K'Tai felt heat rise to her cheeks.

    "Right, and that is why you look at him about ten times more often than you do any other patient."

    Regaining a semblance of composure, she responded, "Talina, can you read him at all in Force?"

    The other Initiate cocked her head a bit and looked puzzled. “Now that you mention it, no.”

    “That’s because he’s shielding, even in his sleep. He’s also plotting mischief. I can feel it. So I keep looking over at him to make sure he isn’t actually engaged in any. The last thing we need is him deciding to play Force darts with the syringes.”

    “He’s a Jedi. They don’t do those things…”

    “According to his master, that one does.” K’Tai looked at the chrono. “Kur-Cot should be here for rounds.”

    As if on cue, Kur-Cot strode into the ward. They started in the alcove opposite Obi-Wan’s. Most of the patients on the ward were children who were in for various traumas. The Tal'shari had discovered long ago that assigning the mid-level initiates to this ward was helpful for both the patients and the initiates. The smaller age difference seemed to help keep patients calm, particularly the youngest patients, and it gave the initiates a patient population that was less likely to refuse to follow directions because of the initiates’ youth. As they approached a small boy who had been hurt when the cart he had been driving over turned and pinned him, K’Tai felt a shift in Obi-Wan’s emotions and a quick flash of something elusive in the Force. She turned to see him attempting to stand and walk.

    “Excuse me,” she said. She then marched over to the padawan who was struggling to find his balance. She reached out with the Force and held him in place, as much to keep him from falling over and hurting himself as anything else.

    “Just what in the name of Unity do you think you are doing?! Get off that leg before you do something asinine and end up back in a full healing trance!”

    Obi-Wan was defiant. “I feel better, and I need to use the ‘fresher,” he stated. “I’ve been confined to bed for well over a week. I need to move.”

    “Oh really? I've got news for you. That’s the pain block talking. You have no idea how your body really feels right now. Trust me. It isn't ready for this. Get back in the bed.” By this time K’Tai was standing in front of him, her arms folded over her chest. When he didn’t move, she added, “Get back in the bed or I will put you there.”

    “I’d like to see you try.” He crossed his arms over his chest the best he could with the left one in a cast and tried to look intimidating.

    K'Tai was having none of it. "Fine. I'll remove the pain block so you can move without hurting yourself because you can't feel what you are doing. Then you can tell me all about how much better you are."

    Obi-Wan's eyes flashed in triumph. K’Tai glared at him and waved a hand. Pain shot through his body, and he sat back down on the side of the bed with thud. Obi-Wan gasped for breath and struggled to find his center and the Force. She reached over and touched his arm. As quickly as the pain appeared, it began to wane and then ceased.

    “Get back in the bed.”

    When he could talk again, Obi-Wan spoke, “You could have just told me.”

    “I did. You got sassy with me, so I thought an experiential lesson was in order. The pain block is there so you will heal faster, but you need to trust me when I tell you that you aren’t ready to try something. You can’t judge it right now. Got it?”

    Obi-Wan nodded. “It’s just…” His eyes pleaded with her. Her countenance softened a little.

    “You are going stir-crazy. I get it. The way you fix that though is not to try to use some lame excuse about needing the facilities so you can sneak off. You ask one of us if we can do something about a change of scenery.”

    “So can you do something about getting me out of here for a bit?” he asked quietly.

    “I can and I will, but I need to talk with the adept in charge of your physical therapy before I do that. Can I trust you to be a good patient or do I need to find your master and have him babysit until I get back?”

    "I'll behave. I wasn't lying about needing to use the 'fresher though."

    K’Tai brought over a hover chair. “Have you ever used one of these before?”

    Obi-Wan nodded. "Once or twice, but never with a broken arm."

    "Can you levitate yourself a bit with the Force?"

    "Yes."

    "Ok, so transfer like you normally would but support your weight through levitation and your good arm. Go ahead and try while I'm here."

    Obi-Wan did as asked and was soon sitting in the hover chair. It was harder than he thought it would be and took more out of him than he liked, but at least he wasn't in the bed any more.

    "Go ahead and use the 'fresher. I'll grab one of the boys to come stand by the door in case you need assistance. Then you can decide whether you want to wait for me in the chair or back in your bed."

    "Ok."

    K'Tai left Obi-Wan to find a male someone who could keep him from hurting himself again. She saw one of her classmates sitting at the ward care station.

    "Ki, would you come here and help Obi-Wan if he needs it? I need to hunt down my aunt and see what I can do about getting him to one of the healing gardens today."

    He nodded and came over. K'Tai headed out to find Jen'sai. A few discrete questions to passing healers and K'Tai found her in the water therapy room.

    K'Tai's mood preceded her into the room, and Jen'sai was waiting expectantly.

    "To what do I owe the pleasure of your slightly put-out disposition?"

    K'Tai took a calming breath and damped out her empathic broadcast. She continued to marvel at how it was almost second nature for her to shield her emotions in Unity, but she still routinely forgot to shield her empathic projections. To be fair, it wasn't until recently that they had become strong enough to need full-time shielding, but still.

    "A stir-crazy Jedi who just about put himself back into a healing trance trying to get a change of scenery."

    "Ah, Padawan Kenobi. I figured he'd be itching to move here soon. I suppose you'd like to take him out to walk and perhaps begin teaching him the seated kata you promised, maybe to make-up for removing the pain block?" Jen’sai watched K’Tai’s face go red. “We all felt it. The boy is good, but he’s not that good…yet.”

    K'Tai hung her head. "I was trying to give him something to look forward to. I’m sorry if I overstepped my authority with the kata." She raised her head and looked her aunt in the eye defiantly. “The removal of the pain block was necessary to make a point.”

    "There are other ways to make a point, K’Tai. Pain is never one of them. You know that.”

    “But he was going to hurt himself! And he’s a boy!” she added as if that justified everything. She crossed her arms over her chest and scowled. Her aunt simply waited in silence. “I was trying to keep him from hurting,” she said more softly, looking at her toes again.

    “I know. Boy or not, patient or not, he’s a sentient being. Sometimes you have to let someone make a dumb decision.”

    “But, he was going to hurt himself!” she said again, morosely.

    Jen’sai reached out and gave her niece a hug. “And then you would hurt. That’s the price we pay for being healers. That doesn’t change the fact that you didn’t have to remove the pain block to get him to behave. You could have waited him out or called for help.” She let K’Tai go. “You need to apologize to him.”

    “Apologize to a boy?!”

    “Yes, apologize to a boy.” Jen’sai’s scowl matched her niece’s. “That attitude is unflattering and belongs dead and buried with Grandmother Letta. He’s a Jedi. He deserves your respect because he serves Unity just like you do. Even if he didn’t serve Unity, he’s a living being and deserves you respect simply on that fact alone.” Jen’sai looked sternly at K’Tai, waiting for her response.


    “Yes, ma’am,” she replied sullenly. “Do I get to take him out to the garden? He did start following directions and positive reinforcement might actually go a long way to getting him to cooperate.” K’Tai smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes. They were still smoldering.

    Jen’sai ignored her sass. “See? You can come up with other ways to get him behave. Yes, you can take him out to the west garden. I'd recommend you find a place near the granite focusing stones. He will feel the most in tune with the Force there based on my discussions with Master Jinn."

    “And do you have recommendations for the kata?” K’Tai asked politely, her tone guardedly neutral.

    “How about the first kata of the second level guard sequence?” Jen’sai looked pointedly at the girl. “The seated form will help him stretch. It will also help you calm down.”

    K’Tai grimaced inwardly and took a deep breath. “Yes, ma’am. I should get back to him.” She turned and left as quickly as possible. She felt her cheeks get hot as she reviewed the events that had just unfolded. Apologize to a boy? Life was so unfair sometimes! She rounded the corner into the ward and took another deep breath, reinforcing her mental shields. If she had to apologize to Obi-Wan, she was going to do it as if she came to the realization that what she had done was wrong all on her own, and not because she had just been chewed out by a superior.

    Obi-Wan was sitting in the hover chair, his eyes closed. K’Tai could see he was meditating. She reached out into Unity and felt him letting the pain flow away. She came into the alcove, moving to deepen the pain block. She reached out and put her hand on his arm.

    “Please don’t.”

    K’Tai stopped, perplexed. “But you’re in pain.” Standing this close to him, she could readily feel the deep hurt in his leg, the ache of his arm, and with every breath, a pulsing reminder that his ribs were not fully healed and his insides had taken a beating. “Don’t tell me you aren’t. I can feel it.”

    “I asked Kur-Cot to lessen the block a little so that I have a more accurate sense of what I might be capable of physically.” Obi-Wan opened his eyes and looked at her. “I know you said I would heal faster without the pain, but you made a very good point. If I don’t feel any pain, I’m more likely to hurt myself doing something I’m not ready to do.”

    “I’m sorry Obi-Wan. I shouldn’t have removed the pain block like I did. Please forgive me.” She looked down at the floor, her cheeks reddening in embarrassment.

    “It’s okay K’Tai.”

    She looked up. “No, it’s not. I took an oath to alleviate pain and suffering, not use it to make a point, even if it was the quickest way to keep you from hurting yourself again.”

    Obi-Wan reached for her hand. “Really, it’s okay. I should be apologizing to you. You have done nothing but try to help me, and I shouldn’t be making your job harder by trying to sneak out of here. And truth be told, I don’t think anything short of that stunt would have convinced me to behave. I didn’t hurt enough.” He stopped and studied her face. She had the look he knew all too well, the look of a trainee who has been on the receiving end of a stern correction but was trying to hide it. He gave her a self-deprecating smile. “I hope you didn’t get into any trouble because of it.”

    K’Tai shrugged her shoulders and tried to act nonchalant. “Not really. Do you still want to go to the healing garden? I got permission to show you a kata used by the House Guards.”


    “I would like that a lot.”
     
  12. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    It's aliiiiiive! The story is aliiiiiive!

    Welcome back, we missed you! I hope you're feeling better now.

    I knew from the title of this chapter that I was going to like it, and I did. It was good to see K'tai behave like a rash, impatient teenager for once, and not only as the mature healer image that she's trying to project. The scene where she gets told off by her aunt was priceless -- and what was even better was how she tries to keep it away from Obi-Wan at the end. He needs to grow up, but she still needs to grow up too.

    The discussion between Qui-Gon and Kur-Cot was interesting. There's something greater at work here, and the Tal'shari are already aware of it before the Jedi have the slightest idea. I wonder if and how this is going to come into play when the time for K'tai's betrothal comes. A lot of possibilities for backstage intrigue here.

    Once again, welcome back, and I hope we'll be seeing you around! [:D]
     
  13. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Replies and the next installment.

    It is alive...limping on occasion like its author, but alive.:p I missed being around, so thanks for the warm welcome back. [:D]

    K'Tai's rash behavior was something that Charity Rose really helped with. I'm thankful my beta-reader is a teenager because she sees different things in both K'Tai and Obi-Wan than I do. It was her idea to see K'Tai run into trouble for trying to do her job by doing what seemed like a good idea at the time. She thought making K'Tai apologize to Obi-Wan was downright mean. [face_devil] I don't know at this stage whether the Tal'shari get that something is up because there is a plausible logical reason for why Unity was insistent in this particular case.

    Let me know if you want to be added to the tag list. Many thanks to Charity Rose for beta-reading and prodding me to write.:p
    tags: Findswoman


    Chapter 4: Unity has a Will of its Own

    As they stepped into the healing garden, both teens visibly relaxed. For K’Tai entering the garden grounds was like greeting a dear friend, at once calming and familiar. The relief from the stress of the morning lifted her spirits. As she exhaled, she noticed that Obi-Wan was looking around, his face a study of neutrality that didn’t match his emotions, which were a mix of awe, wonder, and relief. She extended her senses into Unity. His Force signature, usually a bright but impenetrable wall, matched his emotional output. Excitement, awe and reverence predominated. She smiled to herself. Jedi aren’t as detached and unfeeling as they would like everyone else to believe. K’Tai pushed the hover chair along the path until they reached a grove of quaking kasaitaba trees surrounding a reasonably large grassy expanse, where the sunlight filtered through the leaves. The granite focusing stones lay just around the next bend in the path.

    “This is amazing. I’ve never felt a place like this. I don’t hurt as much.”

    K’Tai laughed. “That is why it is called a healing garden. Lack of pain tends to go along with healing.”

    “Does the effect extend to those who aren’t Force-sensitive?”

    K’Tai nodded. “Yes.”

    Obi-Wan closed his eyes and reveled in how both the Living and the Unified Force danced together in this place. He had never felt anything like it. Usually, one or the other aspect of the Force dominated, but not here. He opened his eyes and studied K’Tai for a moment. For the first time since he’d seen her that morning, she looked relaxed and at peace. He was trying to figure out what to ask her next about the garden when she interrupted him.

    “Do you want to meditate first or work on the kata and then meditate?”

    “Kata first, then meditation. I find that works best for me.”

    “Ok. We’ll do the kata work with you in the chair. After, if you want to move to the grass, I’ll help you do that.”

    “Ok. So what do I do?” Obi-Wan asked, eager to be more active.

    “Watch me. I’m going to do the kata in its standing form. Pay particular attention to my upper body position. That’s what underlies the seated form.”

    K’Tai moved to the middle of the grassy expanse and paused. She hadn’t planned on doing a full on kata until guard training that afternoon so her copper hair was plaited loosely to keep it out of her face while tending patients, but the end was free. She reached into her belt pouch and pulled out a couple of hair pins. Grabbing the end of the plait, she tucked it under, securing it with the pins. She hated getting smacked in the face by her hair.

    Obi-Wan watched her, his mind wandering in the currents of the Force when he saw the tattoo on the back of her neck. The design matched the edging of her tunic. The scene shifted. Two sets of hands, grasping each other…dark green sleeves with the same design edging the them and the sleeves of a Jedi dress tunic…he had the impression of something important taking place, a ceremony of some sort.

    As K’Tai tucked the last of her hair up she felt a burst of surprise from Obi-Wan. She turned to look at him. “You’ve traveled the galaxy. Haven’t you ever seen a girl put her hair up before?”

    The vision fled with K’Tai’s voice. “Uh…” Obi-Wan took a moment to process what she asked as he shook off the effects of the vision. “Of course. There are girls at the Temple. That isn’t what caught my eye. What is the tattoo on the back of your neck?”

    “That? It’s my clan mark. The tradition is left over from a time when our world was more frequently the target of pirate raids.” She looked at him carefully. “Are you sure you are up to this?”

    Obi-Wan nodded. “Go ahead. I’ll do my best to pay attention.”

    K’Tai turned to face him, put her right fist into the palm of her left hand in front of her chest and bowed. She straightened, took a deep breath and began. Obi-Wan watched, transfixed, as the girl before him moved in an abstract ballet, her arms and upper body stretching and sweeping through the air while her lower body remained rooted powerfully to the ground. He could tell from her stance that any attack would be met by using the attacker’s strength against him, most likely moving the attack around her like water flowing around a rock in a stream. While it was impressive, what struck him most was the way the Force began to flow, as if K’Tai’s movements were shaping its flow, pulling it to her and then sending it out into the world. He felt the Force wash over him in waves, each successive one taking more of the pain with it. He was looking puzzled as she finished the last pose and bowed to him.

    “What is it now?” she asked, observing his knitted brow. “Surely our katas aren’t too different from your own. Or did something land on my face?”

    Obi-Wan turned red and gave a short laugh. “Your face is fine. Yes and no to the katas.. That kata looks very much like the fifth kata from the Flowing Water series that all Jedi learn as children. But I’ve never felt the Force change in response to someone doing it.”

    Now it was K’Tai’s turn to look confused. “Unity doesn’t respond when you do a kata?”

    “Not that I’ve ever felt, or at least not in the way it did just then.” Obi-Wan thought for a moment. “Maybe it is a function of your healing talents? The currents you generated seem to take away my pain.”

    K’Tai shrugged. “I have no idea. I suppose that could be it, or the fact that we are in the healing garden. Anyway, why don’t we start with you trying the first 3 poses. Show me the beginning of the kata you mentioned.”

    Obi-Wan did his best to move through the arm and torso positions, his ribs protesting with every change in position. He paused to let the pain ebb into the Force. K’Tai walked over.

    “Ok, I think maybe they are variants of the same original kata. In this one, you need to put your arms here and here.” She reached out and gently moved Obi-Wan’s right arm into position. She paused while he caught his breath, and then moved his left arm.

    “Ugh. I’m really stiff and sore,” he said through gritted teeth.

    “I think maybe we need to start with some simple stretching before you try this. Here, let’s move you out of the chair.” K’Tai stood in front of Obi-Wan.

    “Put your hands on my shoulders, stand up but don’t put any weight on that leg.”

    Obi-Wan did as she asked. He felt her use the Force to move the chair back and then to hold him steady while she moved to hold his arms.

    “Ok, sit down. I’ll keep you from falling.”

    It wasn’t elegant, but Obi-Wan made it to the ground without ending up in a heap. K’Tai moved behind him and began to massage his back while moving his arm up and down gently.

    “Ow.”

    K’Tai laughed a little. “You were right about needing to get out of bed. Do you not move when you sleep?”

    “Not when my ribs are broken, no.” He sucked in a breath and let it out slowly as she turned his torso to the left and then to the right. “That is not comfortable. I swear healers have a sadistic streak.”

    “No, we’re just immune to whining about pain. You need to move or it will just get worse. I can always deepen the pain block a bit. I need to you feel enough so I don’t inadvertently push you too hard, but once we’re done stretching you, I can deepen it more.”

    “Yes please.”

    K’Tai deepened the pain block and then continued to gently push and pull muscles that hadn’t moved in two weeks. It was necessary torture, she knew, but after the morning’s events, she was hypersensitive to how it was making Obi-Wan feel. Fine beads of sweat broke out along his hair line when she moved both arms to stretch above his head.

    “Ok, enough of that. Let’s stretch your legs. Lay back.”

    He did as she asked, closing his eyes as she stretched the good leg and then moved to the broken one. It was in a removable brace, and he was surprised when she popped it off and began massaging the muscles. The bending of his knee followed by his ankle made his eyes water even with the pain block.

    “Sithspawn! That hurts!”

    “I know. It will be over soon,” she said, studiously avoiding his eyes while she worked so he didn’t see how much his pain bothered her. She gave his leg one last stretch and then deepened his pain block until the tension that had lined his face disappeared.

    Obi-Wan sighed and looked at her. He had been about to make an acerbic comment about the secret pleasure healers derived from torturing their patients with physical therapy, but he could see from her body language, the way she held herself tensely, that she had not enjoyed that session any more than he had.

    “K’Tai, thank you.”

    K’Tai took a deep breath, letting the last his pain flow into the Force. She looked over at him. “For what?”

    “For not pretending that you don’t feel my pain as you are working.”

    K’Tai blushed. “I’m still learning how to keep that from showing.”

    “I suppose that your teachers tell you it inspires confidence in your patient.”

    “Something like that.”

    “Well, I find it makes me distrustful of the healer. Your empathy is an asset. It doesn’t distract from your competence. You can project confidence, authority, and empathy at the same time.”

    “I’ll keep that in mind. Are you up for meditating? I think it would help with that leg.”

    “You aren’t suggesting a healing trance are you?”

    K’Tai chuckled. “No. Meditating in the healing garden is a Tal’shari healing technique. You meditate on whatever you want. I will meditate on healing you. It’s like a healing trance by proxy. You get all of the benefits without the trippy side-effects.”

    “As long as I’m not out for days on end, I’m up for it. I’m stiff enough as it is.”

    “If you continue to do what I tell you, I won’t have to put you into a full healing trance,” K’Tai replied.

    Obi-Wan smiled. “Yes, well, there is that, although if you were to ask my master, following instructions is something I’m still working on.”

    K’Tai laughed outright. “Somehow, I think you manage pretty well or you wouldn’t be his padawan. There is a Tal’shari saying that questioning the order of things is the wisdom of youth. If you are lucky, it becomes the wisdom of old age. I get the feeling that for Master Jinn that is true.”

    Obi-Wan smirked. “You have no idea. What do you want me to focus on?”

    “How about how the Force feels in this place since it’s a new experience for you? Do you feel comfortable meditating in corpse pose or would you like help into a different position?”

    “You mean laying on my back? Only a healer would call it corpse pose.” Obi-Wan grinned at her. “Yeah, I’m fine just lying here.”

    K’Tai rolled her eyes and moved to sit behind his head. She put her fingers on his temples. Obi-Wan closed his eyes and felt for the dance between the Living and Unifying Force he had felt earlier. He could feel the Force responding to K’Tai’s meditation, the ache of stiffness slowly leaving his joints. He relaxed further into the Force and was soon sound asleep, his body’s need for healing and rest overriding his ability to focus and stay awake.


    Qui-Gon was surprised to find Obi-Wan absent from his bed when he stopped by mid-day. He was about to ask the nearest initiate where his padawan was when Jen’sai came into the ward. Seeing the Jedi Master and the empty bed, she motioned for him to follow her.

    “K’Tai took him to the garden in an attempt to dissuade any further ill-advised schemes to get out of the ward. I was just on my way to check in on them.”

    Qui-Gon sighed. “It was bound to happen sooner or later. I take it he tried something?”

    Jen’sai looked at the man beside her. “Nothing I wouldn’t expect from any 16 year old boy who has been confined to bed for over a week. I’m glad K’Tai was on the ward this morning. She only caught him because she can feel his emotions. It came as a surprise to the rest of the staff. While I don’t approve of how she stopped him, if she hadn’t, he’d be back in a healing trance for sure.”

    “How did she stop him from hurting himself?”

    “Removing his pain block.”

    “Ah,” Qui-Gon said, looking thoughtful. “Resourceful. That must not have been a pleasant experience for either one of them.”

    Jen’sai stopped in her tracks. “You condone that type of behavior?”

    Seeing there was a serious misunderstanding brewing, he turned to her solemnly. “On the contrary. The use of pain as a tool of persuasion is something I am whole-heartedly against. However, if Obi-Wan has reached the stage of healing where he’s trying to sneak out of the ward, nothing short of removing his pain block would convince him to listen to the healing staff. Trust me. That boy can outlast a rock wall with stubbornness when he gets his mind set on something. And if he was convinced that he had healed enough to get up and move, only experience would change his mind. Even if she didn’t say it, I would bet she felt that. She does not strike me as one who would inflict pain if she can avoid it, especially since she is keenly aware of it on multiple levels.”

    Jen’sai pondered Qui-Gon’s words. “Perhaps. I would like to think that K’Tai would try other methods first before resorting to experiential learning in that case.”

    “The one thing about Obi-Wan is he learns quickly. I’m sure he will listen to her now. Speaking of which, where are they?”

    “I suggested that K’Tai find a place near the granite focusing stones in the west garden. The currents of Unity that Jedi refer to as the Unifying Force are particularly strong there.”

    When they came to the clearing, it appeared that K’Tai and Obi-Wan were still deep in meditation. A small snore from Obi-Wan let them know that it was only K’Tai who was still meditating. Jen’sai shook her head.

    “It figures.”

    Qui-Gon was lost. “What figures?”

    Jen’sai smiled. “I think my niece has taken a liking to your padawan. She’s making up for this morning by working hard to heal his leg.”

    “That or she wants him out of her hair. If his record back at the Temple is anything to go by, I’d bet on that.”

    “Actually, I was working on his leg and ribs so that maybe he can actually do the kata.” K’Tai slowly opened her eyes. “We didn’t get beyond some stretching because he was right, he’s been in bed too long. And for the record, I want him to stay until he is healthy enough to go, just like any of my other patients.”

    K’Tai moved to stand, but her legs buckled underneath her. Qui-Gon quickly reached out to steady her.

    “I think I’ve been sitting too long,” she said by way of explanation.

    Jen’sai was not convinced. She walked over to Obi-Wan. After a brief moment she looked pointedly at her niece. “What did you do?”

    K’Tai responded coolly, the memory of the morning’s chastisement coloring her tone. “My job.”

    “Right. Since when is the job of an initiate to engage in scar tissue removal?”

    K’Tai looked stunned. “I did that? I don’t remember doing that. I was just doing a healing meditation. Did I screw something up?”

    Jen’sai probed further. “No, in fact it was done well. But I’m concerned that you don’t remember doing it. Tell me about the meditation. What did you focus on?”

    “Improving his mobility. When I was stretching him, his ankle didn’t want to go into dorsal flexion like it should. He’s about ready to start putting partial weight on that leg and given his arm, he needs that ankle to move right to keep from hurting himself further.”

    “What about the meditation? Was there anything different about it?”

    “Other than Obi-Wan’s particularly strong presence in Unity, not that I can think of.”

    Qui-Gon spoke, “Is there are problem?”

    Jen’sai replied, “I don’t think so. I suspect we are dealing with a mystery of Unity. I will mention it to Kur-Cot and the Archivist just to make sure, but sometimes things happen in a healing meditation that are unexpected. In this case, a difficult repair that is normally outside the abilities of an initiate.”

    She looked at K’Tai. “As for you, I’m going to excuse you from drills this afternoon. You look like you need to join your patient in a nap.” As K’Tai’s color started to drain from her face, Jen’sai added, “Right here, now.”

    K’Tai didn’t argue. Whatever she did in that meditation, it was rapidly catching up with her. She laid down next to Obi-Wan. “You were right about him being a handful,” she said to Qui-Gon as she closed her eyes, relaxed into Unity, and slipped into sleep.
     
    Kahara, Chyntuck and Findswoman like this.
  14. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Great to see that you're back! :) I think I missed this on the first time around; probably I had it mixed up with the Bits and Pieces thread.

    Really enjoying how we get to see K'Tai and Obi-Wan's first meeting/s here; they have elements of the relationship that we later see in Getting to Know You, but of course are younger and less familiar with each other. I like how the Obi-hates-the-healers trope is used here as a springboard both for exploring the characters and for showing difference between the Tal'shari and Jedi approaches to medical treatment. Really interesting the Tal'shari will sometimes assign a healer based on what they sense from Unity rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. That K'Tai would happen to be linked to Obi-Wan by that makes a lot of sense, given later events. :) It also makes sense that her healing assistance might be more than normally effective with him -- wonder what they'll make of that now? [face_thinking]
     
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Hello, welcome back & glad you're on the mend. LOL the bit of teenage acting out on K'Tai's part =D= well-written indeed. But the rapport between the two of them is inexorable :D [face_love] and clearly seen in the lovely, wonderful healing gardens. Every medical facility needs something like that, IMO. :)

    I too was intrigued by the conversation between Kur-Cot and Qui, and find Jedi philosophy quite interesting as it influences actions. [face_thinking]

    The advanced healing K'Tai was able to do speaks to her level of empathy with this particular patient more than likely.
     
  16. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    O-ho-ho, this is becoming interesting (not that it wasn't already). I love how you depict the differences between the Jedi and the Tal'shari (great world-building there!) and the bond forming between Obi-Wan and K'tai.

    It's ironic that Obi-Wan, who seems somewhat less "advanced" in the Force, is having visions or at least glimpses of the future, while K'tai seems to be blissfully unaware of what is happening between them. And, of course, very, very interesting conversation between Jen'sai and Qui-Gon. Mystery of Unity, eh? ;)

    Can we hope for a fanon post about the Tal'shari some day? [face_batting]
     
  17. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2000
    [face_blush] Umm...hello? My name is K'Tai, and I'm an author who leaves her readers hanging for a really LONG time. [face_blush] RL and a very stubborn teenage Obi-Wan are to blame for the delay in getting back to this thread. But he is cooperating for now, so I'm going to try to capitalize on it. :D
    Kahara: Thanks! Right now, I don't think anyone thinks anything of it. It is, however, something that I think leads Jen'sai to be very interested in K'Tai's recovery after Unagin later on.
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: I totally agree that every medical facility needs some sort of serene outdoor space. It really does help. And you nailed the reason why K'Tai was able to do the advanced healing technique. Love, even when unrecognized, seems to conquer all. ;)
    Chyntuck:
    Wouldn't you just like to be a fly on the wall when Jen'sai looks back and say, "Oh, that's what that was." :D
    If I can actually pull all of the details together in some semblance of coherence, maybe, possibly. It may be a long way in the future as what I know about them at any given time is only what I need to know to write at that point. :p

    And now for the next chapter. Thanks to Charity Rose for beta-reading in the midst of rehearsals for the musical and homework. If you want to be tagged or dropped, let me know. Given my record on updating this thread, that might be the best way to keep track of it... [face_whistling]
    Findswoman


    Chapter 5: Insight in the Mists

    When Obi-Wan woke up under a blanket but still in the grass, he was confused. He had been dreaming or having a vision, he couldn’t tell which it was. It was the same scene, over and over, two pairs of hands grasping one another, one with dark green sleeves and K’Tai’s clan symbol and the other with Jedi dress robes. Rolling to his side and pushing himself to sitting, he briefly registered that it was easier to move than it had been…whenever it was that he and K’Tai had been working. He looked around and saw his master, sitting in meditation.

    “Master?”

    Qui-Gon opened his eyes. “Good morning Obi-Wan. I trust you slept well.”

    Obi-Wan rubbed his eyes. “I slept in the healing garden last night?”

    “And most of yesterday as well. When you didn’t wake up for dinner, the decision was made to leave you where you were instead of trying to wrangle you back into the ward. I assured them it wasn’t the first or the last time you would be sleeping on the ground under the stars. How do you feel?”

    “Hungry.”

    Qui-Gon smiled. “When are you not?”

    Obi-Wan rolled his eyes.

    “Lucky for you Adept Fromen-Letta abn Briol brought a meal out this morning when she came by to check on you.”

    Qui-Gon got up and brought over a basket. Inside was a hardy breakfast of bread, cheese, and fruit. Obi-Wan tore into the offering with gusto.

    “Slow down, padawan. It isn’t going to disappear on you.”

    Obi-Wan paused between bites. “Have you eaten?” When Qui-Gon gave a small shake of his head, Obi-Wan continued, a twinkle in his eye. “I told you. I’m hungry, and I know just how much I won’t get once you decide to join me.”

    “Brat.”

    As Obi-Wan started to slow down, Qui-Gon reached over and picked up a piece of muja fruit. Munching on it, juice dribbling down his chin, he asked his padawan what he wanted to do next. Obi-Wan thought about it.

    “I think, since we are still technically on holiday, I’m going to lean back and take another nap until someone tells me otherwise.” His words were followed by a long yawn. It wasn’t long before he was asleep again. Qui-Gon smiled to himself, finished the rest of the breakfast spread and returned to his meditation.



    When K’Tai walked into the ward mid-morning three days later, the telltale signs of frustrated Jedi padawan were hard to miss. There were two syringes sticking out of the wall near Obi-Wan’s bed and a trail of gauze balls between the bed and a trash receptacle in the corner. A data pad was face down in Obi-Wan’s lap, while he rested with his eyes closed. Master Jinn was sitting in the corner of the room, reading while keeping a surreptitious eye on his padawan. As K’Tai approached, she could tell that Obi-Wan was feigning sleep. She stopped by his bed and reached out with the Force.

    Obi-Wan cracked an eye. “Oh, it’s you,” he said in a surprised tone that quickly turned surly. “Where have you been the past three days?”

    K’Tai raised an eyebrow. “I have other responsibilities besides healing you.”

    “Like what?” he asked, put out.

    “Not that it’s any of your business, but training and drills. Why, did you miss me?”

    Obi-Wan blushed and K’Tai chuckled. “Um…sort of. I…uh, well…I’m just glad it’s you today.”

    K’Tai raised an eyebrow. “Really? You are glad to see a healer. Did you hit your head this morning?” As she said this she moved Obi-Wan’s good arm. He winced.

    “No,” he said, trying to hide just how much that movement hurt.

    K’Tai wasn’t fooled. “You did something. I’m guessing it had to do with the wall decorations. In fact, I’m going to guess that you tried something that involved supporting all of your weight on this arm while playing a game of Force darts with the syringes.”

    Obi-Wan’s face remained calm, but K’Tai caught the trace of his feeling of surprise, letting her know she was on the right track. Qui-Gon coughed softly.

    Obi-Wan stole a side-glance at his master. Qui-Gon was pretending to ignore him. “Um, maybe.”

    “What possessed you to think that was a good idea?”

    Obi-Wan looked over at the syringes. “I needed to push myself.”

    “Push yourself where? Back into a healing trance? Why? You’ve been going to the healing gardens every day. The katas seemed to be helping when I checked on you every night. Adept Fromen-Letta abn Briol says you are making good progress in the water therapy. It isn’t like you are sitting in bed doing nothing.”

    K’Tai gave Obi-Wan her best “you are smarter than that” stare. Obi-Wan ignored her.

    “You could have at least waited until someone could spot you so you didn’t hurt yourself with that particular trial of skill.”

    Obi-Wan looked at K’Tai then. “I don’t feel comfortable asking Talina to help me with that exercise, and I didn’t know when you would be back.”

    “Well you could have asked someone about my schedule. Why are you uncomfortable with Talina? Did something happen?”

    “Well, for one thing, she doesn’t have as much control over the kinetic uses of the Force as you do. I narrowly escaped landing in a heap yesterday when she tried to help me get out of the chair in the garden. And then on top of that, she wouldn’t recognize a joke if it walked up and introduced itself to her.”

    “Your wit is a bit of an acquired taste,” K’Tai said as she examined his ribs.

    Qui-Gon chuckled quietly. “Truer words have not been spoken.”

    “Stay out of this, Master.”

    Qui-Gon stood up. “As you wish. I will let you work this out on your own.” He left the room shaking his head. K’Tai picked up a wisp of frustration as he walked out the door. She turned her attention back to Obi-Wan. He was definitely brooding about something.

    “Out with it. You aren’t this put out because you’ve had to deal with Talina.”

    Obi-Wan replied, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

    K’Tai shrugged. “Fine. However, if you feel the need to push yourself again, ask for some help. You are really lucky that today’s display of…whatever this is… hasn’t undone much of your progress over the last week.” K’Tai looked at him and cracked a smile. “I know you like me, but I don’t believe you like me enough to sabotage your own healing just to be in my presence.”

    A hint of a smile ghosted around Obi-Wan’s mouth. “Yeah, probably not.” His eyes twinkled. “But then again, you are fun to annoy.”

    K’Tai shook her head. “Boys,” she said under her breath. A cough at the door caused both teens to look up.

    Jen’sai glanced around the room, her eyes landing on Obi-Wan and then on K’Tai. “Can I speak with you privately?”

    K’Tai nodded and looked back at Obi-Wan. “I’ll be back in a moment. Do not try anything else until I get back.” She stepped out into the hall.

    Jen’sai raised an eyebrow. “What exactly is that?” gesturing to the alcove. “How in Unity’s name did he manage that little display without anyone noticing?”

    K’Tai shrugged her shoulders. “He claims he needed a challenge. I think there’s something else going on, but he’s not talking.”

    Jen’sai paused and closed her eyes. When she opened them again, she said, “He’s afraid.”

    K’Tai stretched her senses. She didn’t feel anything except Obi-Wan shielding for all he was worth. “I don’t feel anything. Can you show me?”

    Jen’sai chuckled. “No, because I don’t feel anything either, except the tremendous effort he’s putting into to making sure no one does. I’m making an educated guess based on what I know about him and the Jedi.”

    Jen’sai thought again and then spoke. “Instead of the water therapy pool, take him to the west garden for a full-on standing kata, or at least as much of a standing kata as he can manage. If he needs a challenge, that ought to do it.”

    “Is he weight bearing yet?”

    “Almost but not quite, so pick a kata where he’s got to be on his good leg most of the time or he can do it leaning on a crutch. You can follow the kata with meditation at the Focusing Stones. If he’s strongly in touch with the aspect of Unity he identifies with, maybe that will help him release whatever it is into its currents. After that, take him to the therapy springs.”

    K’Tai blanched. “You want me to take him to the Focusing stones themselves? Alone? I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. I have a really hard time there. Unity’s currents are so deep and turbulent. It magnifies everything.”

    Jen’sai placed a hand on K’Tai’s shoulder. “You can handle it. I have faith in you.”

    “But what happens to Obi-Wan if I can’t? If I screw up, people will…well the entire House will know. We have a couple of cases where that could be very bad.”

    “He will be fine, as will everyone else, you included, if things go poorly for you. But I don’t believe they will.” Jen’sai lifted K’Tai’s chin so she was looking her in the eye. “This is your duty, young one.”

    K’Tai closed her eyes. Her heartbeat drummed loudly in her ears and she could feel tears threatening to form. She took a deep breath and then opened her eyes, looking her aunt straight on. “I know it’s my duty.” She paused, taking another deep breath. “I’m just frightened.”

    Jen’sai smiled gently, “So is he. Use that to your advantage as you work with your patient.”

    “How?”

    Jen’sai gave a little shrug. “I’d start with finding common ground. You need to get back to your patient.”

    “Yes ma’am.”

    Jen’sai handed her a pair of crutches. “He’s going to need these. And don’t forget to take swimwear.”

    K’Tai took the crutches and walked back into the alcove. Obi-Wan took one look at the crutches and then back at K’Tai. “I’m in trouble, aren’t I?”

    “I don’t know. How well can you manage crutches?”


    It took the better part of an hour for Obi-Wan to make his way out to the west garden. They approached a spot that looked like it was meant for katas. The grass was close-cut, the ground level and firm. Obi-Wan could hear a river, perhaps with a waterfall, close by. There was a bench under a shade shelter. K’Tai led him there and they sat.

    They hadn’t talked much on the walk out. Obi-Wan was deep in thought. He’d had another vision, less real and more symbolic than the first, but it still upset him. He couldn’t shake the feeling that the fall from the cliff was somehow part of them both, integral in some way, but he couldn’t figure out how. He now looked over at K’Tai. She seemed to be equally lost in thought.

    “Credit for your thoughts,” he said.

    “You first.”

    When he didn’t reply, she shrugged. She could outlast him if that was the game he wanted to play. “Are you ready to do a kata?”

    “Seated?”

    “No, standing or leaning as the case may be.”

    “I’m guessing I can’t say no.”

    “You were the one who said he needed a challenge, so no, you don’t get the option of refusing.”

    Obi-Wan stood up.

    “Adept Fromen-Letta abn Briol says you are almost weight bearing, so drop the crutch on your good side and hobble over here.”

    Obi-Wan did as he was told. K’Tai stood in front of him. “Ok, so you are going to watch me then repeat. If it turns out that this is something similar to a kata you already know, tell me, and I’ll move through it faster.”

    K’Tai bowed to him, her right fist in her left hand at her chest. Obi-Wan did his best to mimic her, going with just the bow. She smiled. She exhaled and then let her arms float up on the inhalation. They dropped again as she exhaled. Obi-Wan followed suit. K’Tai then took the stance she had in the kata at the beginning of the week and moved into the first series of poses. Obi-Wan did his best to keep up, but by about half way through he was winded.

    “I need to stop and catch my breath.”

    K’Tai led him back over to the bench. “You did well. Another couple of days and I think you will be able to make it through the whole kata.”

    Obi-Wan didn’t reply.

    [i]Ok, that’s enough of this. We’re going to the stones right now[/i], K’Tai thought to herself. She stood up. “Come on.”

    Obi-Wan looked at her. “Aren’t we finishing the kata?”

    “Nope. You need something else more. Follow me.”

    As they made their way slowly down the path, Obi-Wan asked, “Where are we going?”

    K’Tai spoke without looking at him. “To the Focusing Stones.”

    “The what?”

    “Focusing Stones. They help one focus when trying to touch Unity.” K’Tai glanced over at him. His face was expressionless, but his shoulders were pulled in and his empathic projection was tinged with fear. “I think you will find them to be…useful.”

    “Master Fromen-Letta abn Briol has it in for me,” he said, morosely.

    K’Tai just raised an eyebrow. “If that’s true, she has it in for both of us.”

    Obi-Wan glanced at her. “What do you mean?”

    K’Tai sighed. “Obi-Wan, do you ever feel like Master Jinn expects you to be perfect and not make mistakes?”

    “Sometimes, but not often. Usually those are my expectations, not his.”

    K’Tai was silent. Obi-Wan kept waiting for her to say something else, but she just walked on. He hobbled after her. “Do you feel like you are expected to be perfect?”

    “Perfect, no. But my mistakes hurt people, so I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel a lot of pressure to not make them.” She walked on. “Come on, we’re almost there.”

    They rounded a bend. Before them was a waterfall flanked by two large granite stones. The mists rising from the water cascading into the pool below gave illusion of a hidden doorway. Obi-Wan felt the Force flow in a deep powerful current, its pull almost physical.

    “Wow. This is intense.”

    K’Tai noted his eyes were wide with awe and fear. She understood completely. The deep currents of Unity pulled at her, demanding her attention. “We’re going to meditate.”

    Obi-Wan tensed. “We’re going to what?”

    “You heard me.”

    “K’Tai…”

    “Adept’s orders. Do you want to sit or stand?”

    “Sit.”

    K’Tai could feel him curl in on himself in the Force. “Here, let me help you.” She walked behind him and put her hands on his waist. “Go ahead and sit. I’ve got you.”

    Obi-Wan hesitated a moment. With K’Tai’s hands on his waist, the prospect of mediating didn’t seem as bad. He sat down. “Is this going to be like last time?”

    K’Tai sat behind him, putting her hands on his back near his ribs. “Well, the idea is the same. Given where we are, I can’t say the experience will be anything like last time, for either of us.”

    Obi-Wan twisted to look at her. “You sound scared.”

    K’Tai sighed. “I am.” She paused. “But I have a duty, and I can’t let my fear get in the way of that.”

    Obi-Wan turned back toward the waterfall. It was at once unnerving and comforting to know that K’Tai was frightened too. He wasn’t sure what to make of her. She was definitely the strangest healer he’d met. He also understood what she meant about duty and fear. He took a deep breath. “So what should I meditate on?”

    K’Tai didn’t answer right away. She briefly thought a straightforward [i]whatever the kriff has got you tighter than a Twi’lek on a dance pole[/i] might suffice, but thought better of it. Obi-Wan was like a skittish equine. A straight on approach would make him bolt, and that wouldn’t accomplish anything. She decide a more subtle suggestion might be better.

    “Why don’t you do what you did the last time, and just focus on how Unity feels in this place?”

    “Focus on the raging river…”

    “Does it just feel like a river to you?”

    Obi-Wan paused. Now that she mentioned it, it wasn’t just a river, although that is what it felt like on the surface. “No. There is something beyond that.” He took a centering breath and stared off into the mists over the pool. He imagined that behind them, hidden, was the answer to understanding the visions. He closed his eyes.

    K’Tai synchronized her breathing to his, letting Obi-Wan set the pace for how quickly to enter Unity’s currents. She felt the warmth of the living energy around them pool under her hands as she directed it first to Obi-Wan’s good arm and then to a persistent section of his ribs that didn’t yield to the suggestion of healing. She focused and waited.

    Obi-Wan reached out, gingerly, into the surface currents of the Force that he felt around him. The Living Force rolled and played, the currents strong. It moved in the rhythm and time scale of life. Below that he felt the pull of the Unifying Force. Its movements were slower and on a different time frame. It called to him. He felt himself pulled into these deeper, slower currents. Obi-Wan tensed, his proclivity for visions and the memory of recent visions causing him to try to pull back. But the pull of the current was too great, and he found himself immersed…and awed. A strength and peace he had never felt before flowed through him. Images came to him, the same images he had seen, but in this moment they had no power. He saw they were connected to his presence on Kress, but not how, and strangely it didn’t matter. The Light filled him, reminding him that as long as he held onto a spark, the Dark could not triumph. He released the last of his fear.

    K’Tai continued to focus on Obi-Wan’s ribs. She pushed gently but met with resistance. She was about to move her focus to another injury when she felt shift in Unity. The next moment, the resistance to healing in his ribs was gone. Healing energy poured through, and K’Tai struggled to keep it under control and not do more harm than good. She tried not to panic as she reached for the deeper currents of Unity, searching for an anchor. She found him there, his bright spark at peace and in awe. If he was fine, then she wasn’t hurting him. She relaxed and let her fear go. With that, her control improved. She finished the task at hand and moved to focus on his leg. Once that was done, she sat back, simply content to be in Unity’s currents.

    Obi-Wan’s growling stomach drove both teens back to external reality. Obi-Wan exited the meditative state much faster than K’Tai. He turned to look at her. She was sitting, peacefully. [i]She’s pretty...for a healer.[/i] The thought ran through his head unbidden. He crushed it like a fire-beetle. Jedi did not think that way. He reached out into the Force and found her…not gone, but submerged, like she was weighted down in the Force’s current. He reached over and gave her a little shake. “K’Tai?”

    K’Tai blinked as she came out of the healing trance. Obi-Wan was looking at her, concerned. “Are you ok?”

    “I should be asking you that question, but yes I’m fine. After a long session like that it can take me a bit to transition back.” She glanced around, her eyes falling on the Focusing Stones. “Particularly here. Unity’s pull is so strong…” She shook herself. “I’m starving. Are you ready to head back?”

    Obi-Wan’s stomach growled again. "Yes.">
     
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  18. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Loving this story.

    This made me do a double take. I read "Tal'shari" as "Tal-Shiar" at first. One of the hazards of being a Trekkie as well as a Warsie, I suppose.
     
  19. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Thanks for the tag. :) Enjoyed reading the new update; the description of how the Force/Unity is this kind of overwhelmingly present thing at the Focusing Stones was intriguing. I like that both K'Tai and Obi-Wan had some kind of fear to face up to in this chapter, and I'm curious whether we'll learn more about what's going on with each of them. Their fledgling connection seems like it might be a factor, but I can't tell if that's the main thing or just the tip of the iceberg(s). Glad to see that this story is continuing, and congrats on the nominations. [face_dancing]
     
  20. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    High time I caught up with this story—so glad to see it continuing! :)

    3: Well, they certainly couldn't have chosen (or, rather, the Force certainly couldn't have chosen) a better caretaker for Obi-Wan during Infirmary Stay #986796. :p He's such a cute nerd here, with his nerdy recovery-reading choices—and it's an extra bonus that he has someone with him who can discuss them with him intelligently. Meanwhile, I love the conversation between Qui-Gon and Kur-Cot (woot, Kur-Cot's back! [face_dancing]); it's so neat to see their perspective on the burgeoning relationship between their respective pupils/charges, as well as the interesting and subtle differences in the Jedi and Tal'shari approaches to healing. (And the Tal'shari approach of letting Unity take the lead in assigning caretakers is a pretty sensible one on the whole, I'd say—wish we Earthers could avail ourselves of that!) Though we see in K'Tai's little "experiential lesson" that things can go awry even when Unity takes the lead—d'oh, poor Obi-Wan! :oops: (Part of me wonders if he might have deserved it, though!) K'Tai being a good-natured sort in the end, it's good that she sets him up with the hoverchair and the male helper.

    K'Tai's chat with her Aunt Jen'sai is a good reminder to us that this is still a teen we're dealing with—who makes rash decisions and gets ever so slightly piffy when it comes to apologizing to a B-O-Y! Shock and horror! (Though from what I recall about your fanon on K'Tai's species it's partly cultural too.) But there too K'Tai shows her better side, bites the bullet, and does what's right. And now it's kata time! :D

    4: The healing garden, and especially the grove where K'Tai takes Obi, sounds like an absolutely incredible place, and even though Obi's painful condition doesn't allow him to get to the actual kata, the currents of the Unifiying Force seem to be having a good effect on him. Again, I love seeing all the differences between the Jedi and Tal'shari approaches, with Unity/the Force actually reacting and changing in response to a kata—to the point where even just watching K'Tai do the kata helps lessen Obi's pain. (I wish the Force would do that when I practice my karate katas! :p ) This clan mark tattoo on K'Tai's neck is new to me, though given [hl=black]its design and what I know about this universe[/hl] it definitely seems [hl=black]prophetic[/hl], making me wonder [hl=black]how far back in K'Tai's family history that particular prophecy goes[/hl]. [face_thinking] (You know that I am partial to [hl=black]a good family prophecy in fanfic[/hl]! :D )

    Once again, it's sweet to see the elder figures showing up and making observations on the healing progress and relationship between these two. Qui-Gon's absolutely right about Obi's stubbornness, and with people like that "experiential lessons" are unfortunately often the only way the message can be gotten across.

    But perhaps most intriguing of all is this unexpected addditional effect of K'Tai's healing meditation. Am I right that she basically removed all the scar tissue in Obi's leg without knowing that she did? Definitely no small feat—and it speaks both to her prodigious healing abilities in general but also to [hl=black]her bond with Obi-Wan[/hl] in particular. Will be very curious to see if more things like happen as the healing process proceeds! [face_thinking]

    5: I see that K'Tai's concerns about syringe Force darts materialized after all! [face_laugh] A typical and very understandable Sick!Obi prank; the poor fellow must have a monster case of cabin fever by now. Once again Jen'sai (I'm guessing that's who Adept Fromen-Letta abn Briol is) has a good plan for the next stage of Obi's recovery, but something tells me it's going to turn out to be more complicated—and indeed, it does! The meditation scene at the Focusing Stones is fantastic—I love how his experience of being caught up in the currents of the Unifying Force is almost like being inside that waterfall that's right in front of them, and for a bit there I thought Obi-Wan had actually gotten into the spring.

    And, now, what is the insight that he gains from that experience, the "insight in the mists" of the chapter title? (And here I just have to say that I love that chapter title, perhaps for obvious reasons. :p ) It may still be too early to tell, but I think we get an inkling of it when he thinks to himself, "She's pretty...for a healer." So part of the insight may have to do specifically with [hl=black]his relationship to K'Tai[/hl], and the beginning of his realization that [hl=black]he and she are sesencha'in[/hl]. It's the beginning of a big journey for Obi—but things will likely seem less strange and intimidating once he gets a little food in his stomach. :D

    Once again, it's so good to see you back and to see this story continuing—can't wait to see where you will take things next with these two! @};-
     
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  21. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Replies first, then story.

    :D I have that kind of thing happen a lot. I am a big fan of Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern. I have to check every single name I come up with like K'Tai or T'lor just to make sure I haven't inadvertently used a dragon rider name since dragon riders replace the first vowel of their names with apostrophes when they impress their dragons.

    Thank you! :) Their connection is definitely a factor in what is happening, but neither of them realize it at this point.



    It's mostly cultural for K'Tai, with just a smidge of teenage cooties on the side. He's male. Of course he does dumb things. Why in the world should she have to apologize for making him see reason? [face_laugh]

    You will learn more about the tattoo as the story progresses. I'm not saying anything else. [face_mischief]

    Yep. That's what happened.

    I just couldn't let it go. It reminded me so much of some of the shenanigans perpetrated by the guys on the newspaper staff in the layout room of my high school newspaper. It's how I know exacto-knives have better aerodynamics than one might expect.[face_laugh]

    Yes, they are one in the same.

    I thought you might like that. The setting for the mediation was in part inspired by your stories of the Gand. :)

    Many thanks to Charity Rose for beta-reading and critiquing until K'Tai and Obi-Wan sounded like teenagers again.
    Tags: Findswoman



    Chapter 6: A Little Water Never Hurt

    They got up and started walking back. There was a basket with lunch waiting for them at the bench by where they had done the kata. K’Tai silently thanked her aunt for thinking of that. Next to lunch were two swimming suits. K’Tai sighed. She’d forgotten to grab them on the way out here. She laid a cloth on the ground and started to set out the food. She gestured for Obi-Wan to take a seat. “Do you need help?”

    Using the bench for support, he lowered himself to the ground. “Nope.” He noticed the swimwear.

    “What are those for?”

    “A trip to the therapy springs after lunch. I forgot bring them with us this morning.”

    “Oh. For a moment there…well between the suits and the picnic, this kind of looks like a date.”

    K’Tai gave him a strange look. “A date? You’re my patient.”

    Obi-Wan shrugged. “Now, but I won’t always be your patient.”

    “I thought Jedi didn’t date. Leads to the temptation to have families or something like that, which I know you don’t have.”

    Obi-Wan chuckled. “Romantic attachment is discouraged. That doesn’t mean we don’t date, although it probably wouldn’t look like a date to anyone outside of the Temple.” He paused, his brow wrinkling briefly, then smiled a little. “It’s complicated.”

    K’Tai stopped for a moment and turned to look at him. “Sounds like it.”

    “This would be the kind of thing a date would entail though.”

    The quirk in K’Tai’s eyebrow and smirk that played around her lips, made him realize, belatedly, that perhaps teasing her this way was was not the best idea. “What makes you think I would go on a date with you?”

    Ignoring his better judgement, he carried on, mischief sparking in his eyes, “My roguish good looks and wicked wit.”

    K’Tai’s eyes narrowed a bit, and she feigned thoughtfulness. “Wit I’ll give you. Looks though…” She looked him over appraisingly. It made him squirm, although he did his best to hide it. “You aren’t too hard on the eyes…I guess.”

    “Sure, and that’s why you are always checking me out when you think I’m not looking,” he said before he could stop himself.

    K’Tai deadpanned, “Only because I’m trying to remember EXACTLY what is under the clothes.”

    He’d forgotten that she had seen him…Sithspawn! Obi-Wan turned bright red.

    She looked down to hide the smile that played across her face and turned back to putting out food. She could feel his discomfort at having the tables turned on him. Boys! “Don’t worry. You’re safe. I would never betray my oath as a healer and tell a soul that Jedi training suits you.”

    Obi-Wan was taken aback. “Um…I’ll take that as a compliment.”

    “It was meant as one.” K’Tai looked up at him and handed him a plate of food. “So besides not really dating, what do you do with your free time at the Temple?”

    “What is this thing called free time that you speak of?” he asked, regaining his composure and taking a bite of his food. He swallowed and continued, “I don’t have much between classes, training, and missions. I guess read, meditate, or spar if I can talk someone into it. If friends are in Temple, sometimes we get together and play sabaac or some other game.”

    “Master Jinn did mention that you like sparing with lightsabers.”

    “I do.”

    “I assume, like hand combat, there are different styles. What is your favorite?”

    “Well, I use Ataru. It’s very acrobatic. I’m starting to study Soresu. I really like it. It’s different from Ataru. Soresu is still where Ataru is bravado and flourish. Not that flourish is bad. Sometimes all you need is to look intimidating. Anyway, I also like Jar’Kai. That is a two saber form that uses a regular lightsaber and a smaller shoto blade.” He paused to take a bite of muja fruit. “What about you? The katas you’ve been teaching me suggest you are at least somewhat proficient in a martial art.”

    K’Tai smiled. “I’d like to think I’m more than somewhat proficient.”

    “Do you use a weapon?”

    K’Tai shook her head. “Not usually. I’m decent with a quarter staff or tonfa but my training is mostly hand-to-hand. Do the healers at the Temple learn to use lightsabers?”

    Obi-Wan nodded. “Yes. Every Jedi, regardless of area of specialization, learns to use a ‘saber. Why?”

    “Oh I just wondered. Every Tal’shari learns at least basic defense. I was curious if it was just our tradition or not.” They had finished lunch and she cleaned up the meal. “Do you think you can stand or do you need help?”

    “I can get up,” he said, maneuvering himself into a position that let him use the bench yet again for leverage. “Where are the springs?”

    K’Tai picked up the swimsuits. “This way,” she said, leading him to a part of the garden he hadn’t seen yet.

    Obi-Wan noted that it was easier for him to move. The morning’s activity seemed to have done some good. They walked together amicably down a path that was lined with tall hedges. Coming around a curve, he smelled and then saw the springs.

    K’Tai handed him the swim trunks provided for him. “Here. You can change over there behind that screen. There is a bench there.” She briefly toyed with the idea of making some comment about being willing to help him change, but decided against it. She was walking a fine line with him as patient as it was. “I’m going to change over there. Can you manage that brace yourself, or do you need help?”

    Obi-Wan looked down at this leg. “I think I can get it.” He took the swim trunks and went to change. When he was done, he came to the edge of the springs. K’Tai was standing there, pinning her braid up. Obi-Wan tried not to stare but found himself noticing details about her physique. Her tunics apparently hid her figure better than he’d realized. She was toned, which he had expected, but her curves caught him by surprise. Tal’shari training suited her.

    K’Tai felt Obi-Wan’s gaze on her and his surprise mixed with appreciation. She tried to ignore it and instead stepped slowly into the pool. Once she was submerged up to her waist, she turned back to Obi-Wan. “Get in. It will help with the muscle soreness.”

    Obi-Wan dipped a toe in and let out a little hiss. “That’s warm.”

    “It’s a hot spring. It’d be weird if it weren’t.”

    Obi-Wan rolled his eyes and got into the pool. K’Tai moved to sit on a rock shelf lining the side of the pool. “Feel free to move around. The water will support your weight so you don’t need to worry about your leg. Or you can just sit back and relax for awhile.” She leaned her head back and closed her eyes.

    Obi-Wan looked at her and couldn’t resist. Using the Force, he flicked water at her, hitting her square in the face. K’Tai opened her eyes and glared at him, a bit of mischief lurking in her gaze. Obi-Wan smirked and flicked more water. K’Tai raised an eyebrow, and without a word, drenched him. He sputtered, and she laughed. That led to a water fight that left them both soaked and grinning from ear to ear.

    “Truce!” Obi-Wan called, moving to sit on the ledge. “I need to rest if I’m going to walk back to the ward. I still don’t have my endurance back.”

    K’Tai could feel the tiredness settling into his limbs. “It will come soon,” she said as she shifted to sit by him. “You were moving pretty well there. I’m glad to see it.”

    “The meditation today helped a lot.”

    “I thought it might. I felt a couple of places that were being stubborn give in and start healing. It’s nice to see that it has translated into something tangible quickly.”

    “It has definitely helped my mood. Well, that and the water fight. I’m supposed to be on holiday, but it hasn’t felt like it most of the time.”

    “I’m sorry, Obi-Wan.”

    “It’s ok. It’s not your fault.”

    They were silent for a moment. K’Tai asked, “Do you listen to music?”

    Obi-Wan had leaned back and closed his eyes. “Not really. It isn’t something that is encouraged in the Temple.”

    “Oh.”

    “Why?”

    “I was going to ask who your favorite band was or what kind of music you like, but if you don’t listen to it, it’s kind a silly question to ask.”

    “I generally don’t mind what gets played in cantinas and clubs these days, but I wouldn’t say it’s my first choice.”

    “What would be your first choice?”

    Obi-Wan thought for a moment. “I honestly don’t know. I tend to like instrumental pieces, some folk music…and things where I can actually understand the lyrics. We heard a street musician in Tendyl City who was very good. He was standing in a covered stone walkway. The acoustics were incredible. He was playing a stringed instrument with some sort of stick. It was haunting and lovely.”

    “How big was it?”

    “Small enough to tuck it under his chin.”

    “It was a vi’nolin. They are lovely when someone who knows how to play is making the music. I can do without the learning phase though.”

    Obi-Wan gave her a quizzical look. “Do you play?”

    K’Tai shook her head. “No. I’m suffering through my youngest brother learning. Between not hitting the right notes and not being able to play a note without it screeching, he sounds like someone is strangling a small animal. I try to be out of the house when he is practicing.”

    She stretched her arms up, and Obi-Wan caught a glimpse of a nasty looking bruise on her side.

    “That looks painful,” he said, inclining his head toward the injury.

    K’Tai shrugged. “A reminder to dodge faster. It’s considerably better than it was.”

    “So you spar?”

    “Yes.” She saw hope spring to life in his eyes. “Before you get any ideas, you are a long way from being in any shape to spar, with me or anyone else.”

    Obi-Wan looked crestfallen. “How long do you think it will be?”

    K’Tai closed her eyes and reached out through the Force, taking stock of his physical state. “Well, today seems to have a done a lot of good, so you might be released from the ward to quarters tomorrow. If that happens, another week, maybe two? Sooner if you behave yourself and don’t attempt any more stunts like this morning.”

    “If I’m healed enough to be released to quarters, does that mean I’m healed enough to travel?”

    K’Tai shrugged. “It depends on what kind of travel.”

    “Space ship.”

    “Probably as long as you aren’t fighting off pirates or the like.” She looked closely at him. “That isn’t a frequent occurrence, is it? Pirates, I mean.”

    “Well, I have fought off some, but I wouldn’t call it a frequent occurrence, at least not in this part of the galaxy. It’s more of a problem in parts of the Outer Rim. I don’t expect any on this trip. We’ll be headed back to the Temple on Coruscant. Besides, the ones I have encountered usually hit dirt-side, not in space.” He watched as K’Tai touched the back of her neck, near tattoo. “Have you ever been off-world?”

    “Twice. Once with my family before I started school and once during a training exercise last year.”

    “And?”

    “And what?”

    “What did you think?”

    “It was ok. A little cold. Seeing planets from orbit is awe inspiring. Hyperspace feels weird, like you are everywhere and nowhere at once.”

    Obi-Wan nodded. “Hyperspace takes some getting used to if you are Force-sensitive.”

    They were silent for a while. Finally, K’Tai spoke. “I don’t know about you, but I’m turning into a mass of wrinkles. We should probably get out and head back to the wards.”

    They got out of the pool and changed. K’Tai gathered up their suits and the picnic lunch. As they walked back slowly, Obi-Wan yawned. “I need a nap,” he said sheepishly.

    “You can have one once we get back to the ward.”

    “You are a vicious task master.”

    K’Tai smiled.
     
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  22. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    T'lor is a good Vulcan name. :D
     
  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Great first scene over breakfast. Love the interactions between K'Tai and Obi-Wan. The experience with the Stones -- wow indeed. Physical healing took several strides forward and I think a deeper connection between them as well. :) Enjoyed the talk during the picnic/at the spring. You can definitely feel the sparks. :)
     
  24. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Sorry it took me so long to catch up with your latest entries! But I'm finally here.

    Chapter 5: The syringe dart game was classic Obi-Wan in the healing ward [face_laugh] but what really shone in this chapter was the scene at the Focusing Stones. Great worldbuilding again here, and it was a wonderful way to develop K'Tai and Obi-Wan, each one of them individually but also the relationship between them. I loved how you handled the POVs throughout that passage, shifting from one character to the other until they became one in the meditation, then pulling them apart again.

    Chapter 6: I just love how K'Tai always has the last word in her banter with Obi-Wan! The Force-enhanced water fight is such a great concept, I need to try that next time I go to the beach... except that... well, never mind. The dialogue was also a great way to expose the differences between the Tal'shari and the Jedi. I'm really hoping to see that fanon post someday!
     
  25. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Always a treat to catch up with one of my favorite EC/OC couples. [face_love] I always love the banter you write for these two: so natural, so sincere, so tender, so well-matched. It's rather cute to see Obi-Wan trying to pussyfoot around the attachment/dating issue, and the way that K'Tai gently ribs him about it: suuuure, of course he doesn't have any such thoughts (and of course he can go riiiight on telling himself that, because just a little later we see him taking stock of how good she looks in her swimsuit :p )! A nice afternoon in the hot springs, sounds like the perfect way both to continue Obi's healing and to catch up socially with K'Tai; I'm certain his chats with her do as much for his healing as the actual therapeutic things she does for him.

    As always I love the way they learn from each other about the similarities and differences between their traditions, and this time there's the added bonus of their music conversation. It's interesting that the Jedi don't encourage listening to music; I wonder if that's an established thing or part of your fanon, and I would be curious to know more about the reasoning behind it—just too sensual and not spiritual/character-building enough, for example? Clearly hearing that one vi'nolin player in Tendyl City made quite an impression on Obi-Wan, though. (And K'Tai's little brother's practicing was a fun touch—we all know aspiring young musicians of just that sort! :p )

    And naturally Obi wants to know exactly when he can get back to sparring, traveling, fighting pirates in space, etc. :p It's good news that he's almost ready to be released back to quarters; hopefully he won't ruin it with any more crazy stunts (though what a wild-cool crazy stunt that last one was [face_laugh] )!

    Looking forward to more, and as always so glad that you're back in action. @};-