Author: CaraJinn Era: Immediately after TPM Genre: Drama/Humor Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker Summary: Obi-Wan Kenobi had always wanted to become a Jedi Knight. What he didn't expect was to become a Master merely days after his own Master died. Adapting to his new role as the mentor and Master of the quite unusual Padawan Anakin Skywalker became a bumpy road Author's notes: For the beginning of this story I have borrowed a line or two of the original dialogue from TPM. I promise, it's only to give a smooth transition to the present story and it will soon become a story of it's own. Or rather a series of ficlets describing the new Master/Padawan pair's challenges. ....... Chapter 1: The Promise "You will be a Jedi. I promise." There. It was said. The promise was given. Obi-Wan Kenobi swallowed the lump in his throat and looked up from the half worried, half expectant face of young Anakin Skywalker who stood beside him as his own Master's body slowly was consumed by the funeral pyre. A little more than a day earlier he had made another promise. A promise to the man who had been his mentor, his friend, his father for the last 12 years. The man whose body now was laying dead and still on the pyre. Qui-Gon Jinn's dying words had been 'Train him' , a reminder that Obi-Wan only seconds before had promised him to do just that. And for all the love he had for his Master and for all the honor he felt, he intended to do just that. He just wished he didn't have to. When Qui-Gon had proclaimed he intended to train the boy himself he had felt betrayed and hurt in a way he'd never experienced before. They had come to terms with each other before the final battle against the black and red-tabooed Sith, but still he really, really wished he didn't have to. He couldn't explain it, it was like the Force itself was yelling 'Danger, danger' into his ears, but there was no way he could resign from his promise now. He owed his deceased Master that much, and more. But, Force, he wished he didn't have to. Two day's ago he had been an apprentice, a Padawan learner himself. Now he was less than 24 hours into his knighthood and already a Master. Albeit not a Master as a result of age, wisdom and experience, but still - having a Padawan would entitle him to the…well…title of Master when others addressed him. It was sheer madness. Impossible. It couldn't happen. And still it had. It had been a tough fight with words. The entire Council had arrived from Coruscant in the afternoon the day before, and Obi-Wan had been there to meet them, grateful that young Skywalker was left behind in the competent care of the Queen's handmaidens. At least for the moment. He had greeted the Council and followed them to one assigned chamber in the Theed Palace where they had had an improvised council meeting and he had reported the previous day's events. There had been many questions, and not so many answers from his side. Yes, he believed that the stranger was a Sith. He had been very competent in the art of lightsaber combat. Yes, it was the Sith that had killed Master Jinn. And yes, he had killed the Sith himself. He had earnestly told them about that single, terrible moment when anger and hate had flooded him like a mighty wave, but then receded and left a silent determination behind. He would accept Qui-Gon's death, but he would not let the Sith have the opportunity of killing anyone else. So he had jumped, called Qui-Gon's 'saber to himself and sliced the Sith in two, not because he was angry, far less because of hatred but as a necessity to survive himself. The Council had accepted his explanation, -and his reasons. He had been asked to wait outside the chamber and so he did, tired to his bones and totally sleep deprived. He knew well that a Jedi shouldn't cling to the memory of those who passed away, but so he did. He had tossed and turned in the bed in his bedchamber but sleep wouldn't find him, so finally he had given up and walked quietly out into the garden. There the tears came. Tears for his Master, tears for himself and in an obscure way also tears for little Anakin who had been deprived of his master to be, even before he became an apprentice. Finally he had fallen asleep under a tree in the garden and he barely managed to sneak inside the Castle again before the servants woke to their daily routines. Eventually he was called into the chamber again and Master Yoda proclaimed: "Discussed the matter we have. Your trials you have passed and a Jedi Knight you are from this day forward." He had been completely flabbergasted and the only word he was able to speak was a plain: "Why?" The obvious surprise had made several council members smile, despite the slightly somber feeling in the room. "The first Jedi to defeat a Sith in combat in a thousand years you are. Tempted by the dark side you were, but passed through your anger and thirst for revenge you did. This is the greatest of all trials, and passed it you have. A Knight you will be if you accept it." At that moment he had knelt down on his right knee, partly because tradition demanded it, but even more because his legs were so wobbly that they hardly would carry him anymore. The Council Masters had stepped forward and with their 'sabers raised in the air above him old Master Yoda had performed the ancient knighting ritual and cut his padawan braid. He was a Knight, at last. The moment he had looked forward to and wished for was finally there and all he could feel was an all consuming emptiness as he stood with his braid in his hand and no-one there to give it to. In that moment he should have handed it over to Qui-Gon and he would have seen the older man's eyes shine with pride. Instead he curled it up and tucked it into a pocked in his utility belt. As the masters stepped back he rose. Fortunately his legs were more co-operative now. Then he made a deep bow towards the council. "Masters, if I may speak one more thing…?" Mace Windu nodded silently. "When Qui-Gon, when Master Jinn died, he made me promise to train the boy, Anakin Skywalker. I promised him to do so. I will ask of the Jedi Council to grant me the right to train Anakin Skywalker to become a Jedi Knight." The chamber turned deadly silent. "Train the boy? Impossible it is. Too old he is, and too dangerous. A Jedi he should not be," Yoda stated. "I expected this reaction, Masters. Still, I gave my Master my promise and I will fulfill it, with or without your permission. My honor bids me to do so." The old Master sighed inaudible: "Please leave the chamber and wait outside. Another discussion we will have." Obi-Wan bowed and left once again. This time it took longer time for the verdict to be ready, but eventually the old Master came hobbling out from the chamber. "Agree with you taking this boy as a Padawan learner I do not." For once the old Jedi's patience had left him. "Qui-Gon believed in him." The Chosen One the boy may be. Nevertheless grave danger I feel in his training." "Master Yoda, I gave Qui-Gon my word. I will train Anakin. Without the approval of the Council if I must. "Qui-Gon's defiance I sense in you. Need that you do not. Agree with you the Council does. Your apprentice Skywalker will be." And with that the matter had been settled. Obi-Wan had become a Master. The rest of the day went in a blur and he never even managed to see his brand new Padawan until the day was almost over. He had managed to retire to his own room, totally exhausted, when he heard the door to Anakin's room being opened and then closed again. Quietly he rose from the couch, and exited his own room. A soft knock on Anakin's door and a young, slightly quivering voice answered: "Come in." The boy was alone in the room, sitting on his bed. His boots had been kicked off and he looked every bit a forlorn puppy. "Anakin," Obi-Wan said cautiously. "What?" Anakin's eyes met his own with a surprising clear glance. "I have come to ask you…they have allowed me to be your Master since Qui-Gon…." Again the traitorous lump in his throat threatened of suffocating him. He began again. "Anakin, would you like to become my Padawan? The Council has approved it." "What?" "Would you like to become my Padawan?" he tried again. He could see Anakin fight back his tears. Clearly this was not what the boy had expected, far less wanted. Silently he laid his hand on the boy's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Anakin. I know this wasn't what you wanted." "Yes." The word came out almost as a whisper. Obi-Wan wasn't certain of what the answer related to. Was it a 'Yes I want to be your Padawan' or a 'Yes, you're right, I don't want youas my Master'. Maybe it was a mixture of both? He tried again. "If that was a yes, we have work to do." "Oh?" The boy looked quizzically up at his face. Some of the sadness seemed to have been replaced by expectation. "Yes. We will be present at Qui-Gon's funeral pyre tomorrow and if you accept we must make you look like a proper Padawan. You need a haircut and a braid." The boy jumped down from the bed and rummaged through the desk. Triumphantly he pulled a pair of scissors from a drawer. "Do it! " he ordered. It wasn't the most flawless haircut in the world, but 20 minutes later most of Anakin's thick hair had been cut off and a little pigtail was neatly bound together in the back of his head. A very short braid with a tuft of red-gold hair intertwined with the boy's own blond hair could be seen behind his right ear. "We will pledge our vows as Master and Padawan to the Council tomorrow morning," Obi-Wan explained. "Now, you need to get some sleep. I have a small errand to run, then I will be in the adjacent room the whole night if you need me. Sleep well….Padawan." "Good night, Master." The boy had already undressed and was buried deeply below the duvet. Obi-Wan left and closed the door quietly behind him. Then, with long determined strides he set off for the room in the basement where Qui-Gon was resting on lit de parade before tomorrow's funeral pyre. Softly he stepped towards the deathbed. "Master, this will be our final goodbye. I just want to thank you for everything you taught me and everything you were to me, despite I know you cannot hear me now. And rest assured that I will do my best to fulfill the promise I gave you. Anakin will become a Jedi Knight." When he left the room a curled, red-gold braid with one silka bead lacking was resting nicely in Qui-Gon's folded hands.