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Before - Legends Scars -- COMPLETE -- Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Bant, Tahl -- TJA -- MMM Challenge

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ardavenport, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 16, 2004
    Title: Scars
    Author: ardavenport
    Timeframe: Before Saga, TJA
    Genre: Drama, Mush
    Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Bant, Tahl
    Keywords: Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Healing, Force, Jedi
    Summary: Qui-Gon instructs Obi-Wan in recovery
    Notes: Typo is my middle name, with missing words and errors that spell checkers do not catch being my specialty - if you see any, just post a reply or send a PM with the what and where and I will kill them with no mercy.
    Disclaimer: All characters and the Star Wars universe belong to Disney and Lucasfilm; I am just playing in their sandbox.

    The sky hopper flew high over the ordinary traffic lanes of Coruscant. Out of the corner of his eye not blocked by the white med-pad, Obi-Wan Kenobi watched his Master, Qui-Gon Jinn pilot the craft over the endless gray plain of the city below. The shadows were long and tinged with pale yellow, the sun just risen. They had crossed the entire planet night from the Lurimee Embassy on their short sub-orbital trip.

    He gently probed the numbed cuts and jagged edges of teeth inside his mouth with the tip of his tongue. He tasted antiseptic fumes through his nose. The nerve pain that had shot through his left cheek and the whole side of his head immediately after the blow remained a vivid memory.

    Qui-Gon's eyes flicked in his direction and, embarrassed as if he had been caught picking at a scab, Obi-Wan stopped his covert investigation of his injury. The hopper dove down and Obi-Wan glimpsed the massive Jedi Temple below, its spires casting long black shadows over the top of the gray metalloid roofs below it.

    A wide, open hangar port waited for them at the base of one spire and they passed from morning light to inside gloom past rows of space and sub-orbital transports. Qui-Gon's large hands guided the sky hopper into a yellow-line marked parking lane. Obi-Wan saw a medical droid, medical capsule and a Jedi waiting for them.

    "Stay," Qui-Gon commanded when he fumbled for the side release. Obi-Wan waited as his Master released the hatches on both sides, climbed out and spoke to the Jedi, Winna Di Uni, an older Master who served as a medic with the med unit. Obi-Wan's eyes looked up at the black head and golden eye sensors of a medical droid. Cool, padded metalloid fingers gently touched his chin while the droid scanned him. Winna's brown eyes sized him up as well. The bleeding had been stopped and bandaged by the droid medic back at the embassy, his face and jaw numbed, covered and immobilized for transport back to the Temple. The brace on his neck and shoulders was padded, but kept his head fixed forward.

    "What was the cause of the injury?" the medical droid inquired with detached calm.

    "It was a heavy, spiked orb on the end of a chain. The entire thing was thrown at him. Please," Qui-Gon turned to a dock attendant droid, "send another transport to pick up Master Tahl and her Padawan; they are still at the Lurimee Embassy answering questions for the authorities." The attendant acknowledged him and moved on.

    "Was he the target of the attack?" The medical droid's fingers lightly touched the bandages that went all the way around Obi-Wan's head and then descended to the brace under them.

    "No. It was aimed at another person. My Padawan . . . deflected it."

    "We need to take him to the med unit." The droid nodded to Winna and she inclined her head back, confirming the obvious. Qui-Gon leaned down. He took Obi-Wan's bloodied, soiled robe off his lap, pulling it from his hand and put it aside.

    "Leave it for the droids."

    Obi-Wan was sure that he was capable of walking to the Temple's med unit on his own, but Qui-Gon had already twice admonished him to not try to speak, so he literally had no say in the matter. His Master's strong arms slid under him, easily lifting him up from the seat and carrying him to the medical capsule. Winna helped lower him into it. His head, still supported in the brace just barely touched the minimal head rest that pressed against his Padawan's lock. He stared upward at the dark high ceiling; Qui-Gon's hand briefly passed over his forehead and Winna leaned close over his bandaged face. He could feel the Force, like warmth emanating from their touch but their eyes only seemed to see his injury. They left the clear-plas canopy open as they exited the hangar.

    Darkness above changed to high, vaulted ceilings and the ornate tops of pillars supporting them. Then a silvered grate of a lift, then a series of plain, lower ceilings leading to the med unit. He grasped the upper sleeve of Qui-Gon's tunic as his Master lifted him up onto the examination table as if he weighed nothing at all.

    The medical droid -- Zee-Zee-Ten -- asked what caused the attack as it freed him from the brace and put it aside. The machine's fingers untied the lock of hair at the back of his head and Qui-Gon's hand appeared to take the band. His Padawan's braid was tucked away behind his right ear.

    "A fight broke out at the reception we were attending at the Lurimee Embassy. Obi-Wan stepped between one attacker and her target when she threw her weapon. It was a ceremonial weapon, but heavy enough to do considerable damage."

    The medical sensors whirred. "I received the transmissions from the embassy's medic-droid at the site and I concur that there is no appreciable brain trauma, but the lacerations on the face are serious and three of his teeth will have to be removed and re-grown." A padded metalloid shape closed down on top of and on either side of Obi-Wan's head, neck and shoulders immobilizing them again.

    "Will the recovery take long?"

    "He will only be partially incapacitated for a few days. Full recovery will take longer. I must first remove the damaged teeth and stimulate new dental growth and repair the damage to his face."

    "Very well. I must report to the Council." Qui-Gon's large hand closed over his shoulder, a firm touch of warmth. "I'll return soon." Obi-Wan wanted to answer back, but he felt as if he were looking up at his Master through a thick transparency, because he could not speak, could not move. Then he was gone.

    "Please relax," the droid advised. Obi-Wan did not think he had any choice about that. Another droid briefly joined Zee-Zee-Ten to help remove his boots and belt and clothing, the tunics bright red where he had bled on them and spattered with sticky pink, yellow, brown and blue from where he collided with the refreshment table when he was thrown back. Qui-Gon had retrieved his lightsaber from where it landed after flying out of his hand. The droids covered him with a loose body drape before beginning.

    Obi-Wan stared upward, ignoring the motions of the black appendages and silver instruments moving in and under his field of view. The ceiling of the med unit had a white tile pattern and he started counting them, but they were so identical that it was difficult to keep track of a place to start until his eye spotted one with a small black nick by one corner. He felt no pain, but sometimes there was a strong upward pressure on his jaw and once he glimpsed a bloody tooth root passing by, distracting him from the tiles. And he could smell the blood, and the teeth, like cooked bone. His improvised tile-meditation continued through the various clicks of instruments and suctions of flesh.

    Finally the activity lessened. The medical droid applied a last bandage layer and then asked him to close his eyes. He saw a bright buzzing green line cross over his eyelids. He heard noises, the droid retreating, exchanging cascades of of beeps with other machines.

    Viewed through a pair of wide eye holes, Zee-Zee-Ten's cylindrical black head appeared, blocking out some of the light above.

    "To facilitate healing, you will need to wear this mask for several days. Other than when you return here for further bacta treatments, you should wear it at all times. Do you have any questions?"

    "Uuuuhh." It was the first noise he had made for hours. His tongue was a numbed lump, but he could still feel it collide into a barrier formed from his undamaged teeth and a smooth plastoid barrier where the broken ones used to be.

    "Please do not speak," Zee-Zee-Ten cut him off.

    From behind him, Obi-Wan heard a chuckle.

    "How often should he return for the treatments?" Qui-Gon's hand touched his shoulder, brushed by his braid. He had not realized that his Master had returned. It seemed like too short a time for him to report to the Council and come back, but Obi-Was suddenly felt very unsure about how long he had been lying there.

    "Twice daily at first. Once daily after that at least until the dental regeneration is established.."

    "Thank-you." Obi-Wan's eyes looked up to his Master's chin and beard from below and framed by the eye holes. Then the droid and Qui-Gon helped him sit up. He touched the smooth curves of the mask. It seemed to have adhered to the bandages. He supposed that was how it came off, when they were changed. He twitched his numbed lip; it hardly moved at all.

    "Please refrain from moving your face. That could cause unnecessary complications for your healing."

    Grimacing - - at least as much as he could - - he wondered how the droid could tell what was going on under the mask. Along with the eye holes, there was a hole for his nose to poke through and an oval opening for his mouth, but otherwise it covered his whole face chin to hairline and nearly ear to ear. He wondered why it had to cover everything when he had only been hit on one side. After putting soft coverings on his feet, Qui-Gon helped him off of table. His Master's strong arm supported him as he found his balance. Obi-Wan tugged at the flimsy and drafty body drape.


    With Qui-Gon leading, they left the medical theater. Going down the corridor of bronze doors, Obi-Wan saw Winna coming toward them on the padded floor. She balanced a tray she carried with one hand as she touched a black square on the wall and one of many curling-patterned doors slid open. She followed them into the room. It was small and spare, two bunks on either side with shelves and inactive medical monitors inset in the walls above. On the far wall, pale simulated daylight shone through the wide shutter slats. Qui-Gon sat him down on one of the bunks.

    "You're going to have to sleep in the med unit until the mask comes off." Winna set her tray down on a shelf as Qui-Gon continued. "And you'll have to rely on liquid nutrition until then as well." She smiled, but Obi-Wan looked at the covered cup and protruding straw that she held out to him as if it was a punishment. He took it as Qui-Gon slid a stool out from under a bunk and sat down. The straw fit easily into the mouth hole to his lips. His clumsy tongue could not reach it, but he could still suck the liquid in through gaps in his teeth. He tasted warm savory broth, thickened and featureless, nothing that would challenge his injuries. He could feel the eyes of the two older Jedi watching him like he was a performer.

    Looking back up at them, he put the mostly empty cup aside. Winna took it and put it on a shelf.

    "Now, my young Padawan," Qui-Gon laid a hand on his shoulder. "I have trained you in Jedi healing techniques. It is now time for you to apply them." He patted the bunk and Obi-Wan lay down. The upper half was partially elevated. His Master held his hands out to him.

    "Your injury has not seriously weakened you, but I wish you to take the Force I extend to you. Feel the strength in your body, healing and getting stronger." Qui-Gon held his hands out.

    He nodded back, took a deep breath, made his mind as still as he could manage and laid his hands in Qui-Gon's palms. It was there instantly, a warmth from Qui-Gon to him, spreading up his arms into his chest, suddenly making him feel normal again, ready to jump up and this time bring his lightsaber blade up to deflect the weapon hurled at the son of a Lurimee dignitary staff where they stood together at the refreshment table - - -

    He gasped, his shoulders falling back onto the bunk. Qui-Gon had pulled awya his hands.

    "No, Obi-Wan. Do not take it. Your body wants to heal as quickly as it can, but you must control it. Let the Force flow into you and heal you. Quiet your mind and your body."

    The shocking withdrawl left him breathing hard and feeling the aftermath of the blow and medical treatment. Or maybe the anesthetic the droid had used was wearing off. The treatment had taken down the swelling in his bruised and mashed face, but the skin still felt tight. Taking several calming breaths, he nodded and waited for Qui-Gon to extend his hands again, palms up. His own hands looked very small as he again lay them in his Master's.

    He pushed away the memories of the Embassy and the fight and anger that suddenly flared, the embers of which both Qui-Gon and Tahl had sensed as soon as they arrived for the reception.

    Eyes closed, Obi-Wan saw darkness mixed with aural shapes that touched him again. No thought, no emotion, no regret at not being fast enough, no shame that he was so easily distracted by a lavish banquet of offerings for refreshments.

    Obi-Wan was not sure if he had completely banished his body's desire to heal, but Qui-Gon did not withdraw his touch again until a long time after which the Force had become an aura around his whole body, but glowing most brightly around his bruises, fractured cheekbone, cut and reattached flesh, and tooth sockets.

    "Concentrate on healing, but relax. Your body knows its own pace now. You are doing very well, my Padawan." Qui-Gon's voice whispered very close to his ear. A large hand touched his forehead, his braid, a last touch before that was gone, too. Except the Force remained. Obi-Wan had an impression of the tones of Qui-Gon and Winnas' voices, but he pushed away the distraction and turned all his attention inward. He could do it. There were only bruises on parts of his body. The fleeting sounds of the impacts, fighting, shouted insults and his fall ghosted by in the Force, but he easily let them go. He dispassionately saw the glowing lines of mangled and repaired flesh and blood vessels where the healing progressed. Time, time, time . . . . the healing was both slow and plodding, but also relentless, like a river gradually wearing away the damage. The Force gave his strength to help it along, but even without his attention, it would continue. Slowly rebuilding, cell by cell. Slowly . . . . slowly . . . .

    #### End Part 1
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Super characterizations and details. Love how the recovery process is facilitated by the Bond. [face_love] @};- Your Qui/Obi are very endearing and always a pleasure to delve into.
  3. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Love your fics as always. Your Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are perfect
  4. Jade_Pilot

    Jade_Pilot Jedi Master star 5

    Dec 10, 2005
    Lovely. Looking forward to more!
  5. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 16, 2004
    Thanks all for reading. :) I do like to go for the Qui and Obi mush. And now for more......
  6. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 16, 2004
    by ardavenport

    #### Part 2

    Obi-Wan started awake and stared up at the unfamiliar ceiling, gray with a line pattern. He turned his head. Sleep faded away completely, banished like fog in daylight, and he put his hand to his face and his fingers collided with smooth plastoid.


    Now his Master hovered over him.

    "Aaaah - - " The mask held his lips in place, immobilized as if entombed in the plastoid..

    "Don't speak." Qui-Gon's fingertips lightly touched the mouth hole. "You must let your injuries heal."

    Obi-Wan nodded and got up. The change in orientation shockingly awakened all his repaired injuries. The bruises were not much worse than what he might get in a bad scuffle and did not cause him too much difficulty, but he suddenly felt the line down his face when the skin had been spilt to the bone by the Lurimee clan leader's weapon. It did not quite hurt, but he could feel it in the slightest motion, even with the mask on. And under that was a soreness in the upper roots of his teeth on one side, so pervasive that it felt like all of them were being regrown, not just three.

    The fresher was through a door nearly invisible in a wall almost the same color until it opened, whisper-quiet. It was longer and larger than any fresher he had ever seen for any single room in the Jedi Temple. There was a full body soaking tub and a standing shower for water, sonics, air, cleansers and medicinal washes. He took a moment examining the controls before using the waste elimination apparatus which could have accommodated dozens of different species besides simple Human.

    Finishing washing up, he stared forward at a wall mirror, the pale body drape drooping from his narrow shoulders. The mask was dull white with small red and blue square and triangle indentations under and above the eyes, lining the chin, dotting the cheeks. Perhaps the droid used them to line up its equipment. Stepping forward, he touched the part of the mask over his injuries. With a quick inhale he pulled his hand away from the enlivened line of nerve pain as if he had accidentally pulled apart the medical droid's hard work putting his face back together. He looked at himself in the mirror, his blue-eyes staring out from the holes in the mask like holes in the wall of a cage.

    Behind him, Qui-Gon Jinn tilted his head into his frame of view. Obi-Wan hastily pulled back and away from the mirror and faced his Master who smiled and offered him a bundle.

    "I thought you might like to get dressed. You have to sleep in the med unit, but you still have the liberty of the Temple."

    Obi-Wan took it and Qui-Gon withdrew, the door silently sliding closed after him. The very last thing he wanted to do was parade his masked face throughout the Temple, but he did not want to spend all his time as a prisoner of the med unit either. There were replacements of all his usual clothes, boots, underthings, pants, tunic, tabards, obi, belt and a robe. After he put them all on, he thought they felt a little loose, the robe a little long. Qui-Gon had commented that he was growing out of his clothes and he obviously took the liberty to do something about it. Obi-Wan covered his head with the brown robe's hood, hoping to conceal his injury as much as possible, but the mask's blank face looked ominous under its shadow.

    Emerging from the fresher, he found his Master waiting. Qui-Gon held out to him two items. His lightsaber and a flat comp screen. Flushed with relief and gratitude, he took the lightsaber first and put it on his belt. Taking the screen he tapped out:


    "I have reported on what happened to the Council, but if you have anything to add you may record that as well."

    Obi-Wan tapped out his confession.


    Qui-Gon's hand stopped him, his smile understanding. "Neither I nor Master Tahl expected any physical hostilities. And we should have eaten before going. That is my mistake. I do not believe that you would have been so distracted had we done so."

    The selections on the Embassy buffet tables had been delicious, and at the time, Obi-Wan had felt proud for pacing himself well and not filling a plate with one of everything right away. On reflection that seemed terribly conceited now.

    Qui-Gon laid a hand on his shoulder and guided him toward the door. "Your most serious error was in blocking Fration Ninst's attack with your face, though you were successful in protecting Turmst's son, so there is at least one fewer injury for the Lurimee clans to avenge. Master Tahl has been assigned the task of assisting the Lurimee in fnding a more diplomatic way of settling their disputes."

    Obi-Wan did not know the names of the Lurimee mentioned, but the female who had thrown the spiked ball at Turmst's son had been wearing a long sable robe with several gold and silver chains of rank hanging from the sleeves. If their senior diplomats were attacking people, the Lurimee would need all the help that Tahl could give them.

    Leaving the med unit, Qui-Gon led him back to the medical theater where he lay down of the examining table to allow Zee-Zee-Ten to remove the mask and change the dressing. Qui-Gon waited patiently at his side, holding his new robe.

    After that his Master took him to the Temple's gardens. The artificial lighting changed with the outside day of Coruscant and Obi-Wan could see that it was late afternoon. He had apparently slept all day. None of the other Jedi glanced their way as they passed, but Obi-Wan still imagined their eyes looking his way, at his face. Settling on a bench together, they sat among the greenery in semi-seclusion off one of the paths.

    Qui-Gon did not seem inclined to speak for a time as the day-lighting faded. Low illumination along the paths slowly came on in the increasing twilight. Finally, Obi-Wan tapped out in glowing letters on the comp screen:


    "You have already said that. You will do better next time. How do you feel?"

    Obi-Wan peered up from inside his mask, under the edge of his hood.


    Putting an arm around his shoulders, Qui-Gon shook his head, a sympathetic smile on his face. "No, not yet. But you will be."

    ### ### ### ### ### ###

    The next day started out with a morning healing meditation. Qui-Gon took the other bunk in the room in the med unit for the night and he was up, washed and dressed before Obi-Wan even awakened. It was not necessary for a Master to stay with a wounded Padawan, but it was not uncommon either. After that came a liquid breakfast and another treatment from Zee-Zee-Ten. The droid said he was doing very well and there would be no scarring. His face was less sensitive, but his growing teeth were now a constant dull sore and the mask had to be modified to accommodate where they would emerge though there was still a plastoid barrier between his tongue and the still healing inside of his lips.

    Because of his injury, he was barred from any physical training, but he could still attend classes. As they approached the lecture room, Obi-Wan noticed his Master's expression change, first to surprise then displeasure. Bant Eerin, Master Tahl's Mon Calamari Padawan and one of Obi-Wan's friends from their days as Initiates, appeared from the gathering crowd of Jedi.

    "Obi-Wan!" She hurried to him, her silver eyes wide with concern. "I'm sorry I did not come to see you earlier. We did not return until late and I was told you were resting." She reached out and he took her warm, moist hand. "I was told you would be well."


    "I was told that Master Tahl had been assigned to assist the Lurimee in repairing the peace among their clans," Qui-Gon observed, interrupting their reunion.

    Bant nodded. "She left for their home world this morning." And left Bant behind again as she went out on another mission.

    Qui-Gon glowered above them. Though Tahl was a kind Master and Bant always spoke well of her teaching, she did not include her apprentice on many missions outside the Temple. It was her right to do so as her Master, but Qui-Gon did not approve and Obi-Wan knew he had spoken to her about it. The older man's expression cleared and smiled.

    "Ah, then you may assist me with Obi-Wan's healing training."

    Bant looked surprised and then doubtful. "Thank-you, Master Qui-Gon, but Master Tahl assigned training for me while she was gone. I must attend to that first."

    Qui-Gon casually shrugged off Tahl's instructions. "I'm sure there will be time and I'm sure that Tahl won't mind if you help with Obi-Wan's healing," he invited. "And you are already attending some of the same classes." He gestured to the lecture room door that people were filing into.

    Bant wavered a moment. Padawans usually did not train with other Masters unless their own Masters had already approved it. Obi-Wan squeezed her hand and looked at her earnestly from behind his mask. It wasn't really fair for Tahl to leave her behind though he was sure his gentle and trusting friend would never say so out loud. Bant's silver eyes returned his look.

    "I would be honored to help you and Obi-Wan, Master Qui-Gon.

    ### ### ### ### ### ###

    Bant's 'assistance' quickly turned out to be mostly minding Obi-Wan whenever he was not in the med unit and Qui-Gon was busy elsewhere. Nobody had said to Obi-Wan that he could not be out of the med unit alone, but either Qui-Gon or Bant or both were always conspicuously there. It was simple when Obi-Wan and Bant went to the same classes or during his healing meditations, but more awkward when he was asked to wait for one or the other of his minders.


    Bant briefly averted her eyes, but always truthful, she nodded, admitting the truth. "Yes."

    They sat together in a med unit meditation chamber. It was as plain as any other chamber in the Temple, pastel walls and patterned floor with cushioned platforms for seating and louvered windows that muted the artificial daylight panels. "You're supposed to have someone with you while you are being treated here. But it is not because they think you are not capable. It is just a rule."

    Obi-Wan shrugged amiably. There were lots of rules in the Jedi Order. Bant lowered her eyes again. They had plenty of time together since he was limited to only a couple of light classes a day with a lot of rest time in between. They had talked a lot over the past two days . . .

    . . . about his treatment; he did not like it, especially the soreness from his re-growing teeth, but he would endure. They mimed the drama of Jedi patience and perseverance and the subsequent mirth and suppressed laughter for him tripped an alarm and brought the medical droid to his room in the med unit.

    . . . about his temporary liquid diet. She sympathetically took a sip, but could not hide her wince. It did not taste bad, but was only sustenance which was surprisingly unappetizing after a few days. Obi-Wan very much wanted the use of his mouth back.

    . . . about Tahl leaving her behind. Tahl was a wise Master, but she was very grateful that Qui-Gon had included her in his recovery. Back in the med unit room her silver eyes had shifted briefly toward the empty bunk that Qui-Gon slept in and Obi-Wan detected a trace of envy in that look.

    . . . about what Bant saw when the Embassy fight broke out. Blood had sprayed everywhere whenObi-Wan was hit, the bright red color especially disturbing to the young Mon Calamari girl.

    . . . about the hours of arguing, cajoling and shouting that Tahl that joined to calm the opposing sides among the supposed 'diplomats' after Qui-Gon left with Obi-Wan. Both Tahl and Bant had to draw their lightsabers more than once, but the threat had been enough to make the combatants back down without much damage.

    . . . about their healing sessions. Extending the Force to each other was curiously intimate and wondrous. Obi-Wan and his Master were the same species and gender, so the largest difference between them was mostly between old and young, injured and whole. But Obi-Wan felt like he had been introduced to a whole new perspective when the traces of her senses flowed to him through the Force, and Bant felt the same. Winna Di Uni said that Bant had a natural talent for healing and that she would speak to Tahl about extra training for her. Bant had been very pleased when Qui-Gon said he would do the same.

    Obi-Wan could tell when Bant wanted to say something but was shy of speaking.


    Bant hesitated only a little.

    "Will you have a scar, like Tahl, when they finish tomorrow?"

    Z-Z-10 SAID, NO. I WAS TREATED RIGHT AWAY BY THE EMBASSY MED-DROID. TAHL DID NOT RECEIVE MEDICAL HELP WHEN SHE WAS FIRST HURT. And when she was blinded, her blindness another scar that could not be healed.

    "Do you want a scar? I've seen Jedi keep theirs when it looks like they could be fixed easily."


    Obi-Wan shook the comp screen to emphasize his feelings. He did NOT want to walk around branded with battle scars blazoned across his face and did not understand why anyone would.

    Another hesitation. "Do you know why Master Qui-Gon has not . . . " She touched the middle of her pinkish-tan face between her nostrils where she did not have a nose, but a Human would.

    Obi-Wan would have laughed out loud if he could, but he knew better. He had heard the story after a fight on a mission where Qui-Gon got a messy bloody nose, but their assailant fared much worse.


    Bant grinned but it quickly faded and she touched her face again under one eye. "I do not think that Master Tahl is trying to annoy anyone," she finished sadly.


    Bant did not look reassured. "The scars that cannot be seen may need to be healed the most."

    The door to the meditation chamber opened. Qui-Gon and Winna entered. Winna's eyes went to Bant first, as they always did, as if she did not approve of the girl being there without her Master, but Obi-Wan had not heard Winna say anything out loud about it.

    They took their positions, the pedestals pushed together in a close square so they could touch. Qui-Gon extended his hands first.

    #### End Part 2
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Enjoyed the friendship and talks with Bant. :) Also intrigued by the differences in mentoring styles between Tahl and Qui-Gon. :D Bravo on the insight on invisible scars needing more healing than the visible ones. =D=
  8. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Great update showing more of the friendship between Bant and Obi-Wan and the differences between Tahl and Qui-Gon. You bring depth to the JA-series of books
  9. Jade_Pilot

    Jade_Pilot Jedi Master star 5

    Dec 10, 2005
    Love Qui-Gon in your story.
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  10. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 16, 2004
    There's everything to love about Qui-Gon.@};- TJA has always been great for friendship; that can always use some filling out. Now, for the last part and thanks very much for the replies.:)
  11. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 16, 2004
    by ardavenport

    #### Part 3

    Barefoot and stripped down to his pants, Obi-Wan pulled his undertunic up over his head.

    The door opened.

    "Qui-Gon, what are you doing?!"

    Hastily pulling the fabric down again, Obi-Wan found himself facing an irate Master Tahl, her long pale scar standing out on her dark golden skin, his mask less than a hands-length away from the tall woman's chest.

    He backed up a pace. "Nnnn-uuuhh-eeehh-eeerrr." He had worked out how to make sounds without moving a single muscle on his face, but his speech was unintelligible and it made Bant giggle when he tried.

    "What?" Tahl advanced on him, her curving bosom coming quite a bit closer than he was comfortable with. "What are you saying? What's wrong with you?" Her hand came up, palm slapping on the plastoid mask, one finger curling into an eye-hole, a long nail almost poking him in the eye.

    "Aaai-oons iiiinnnaaah eeeehhheeerr!"

    Tahl stopped, now both hands on his mask, her eyes staring upward in puzzlement. He froze, fearful that she might tug on it to figure out what it was. He could not make himself understood without the comp screen laying on the bunk, but it was useless anyway. She was blind. It was the worst possible combination.

    "Tahl!" Qui-Gon stood in the open door of the fresher.

    He was completely naked. But Obi-Wan supposed it did not matter. Tahl was still completely blind.

    "Take your hands off his face, Tahl. Obi-Wan is still recovering from his injuries," he commanded.

    Tahl's hands pulled back as if her fingers had touched fire.

    Qui-Gon advanced, large and menacing toward his fellow Master and a close friend to her since they were Initiates. "I trust you have a very good reason for this intrusion."

    She took only a second to recover her own anger. "I've heard that you have taken on a second Padawan while I was gone, Master Qui-Gon."

    "If you are referring to Bant, then I hardly think that including her in Obi-Wan's healing makes her a second Padawan. Especially since you left her here after she proved herself perfectly capable of dealing with the Lurimee."

    Obi-Wan backed away. This was worse than the hatred back at the Lurimee Embassy, because this was between two people knew and cared for.

    "You do not have the right - - "

    "Not here, Tahl!" Qui-Gon's shout filled the small room and made even Tahl flinch. Her face jerked in Obi-Wan's direction.

    "I'll be outside." Her eyelids flicked down and up. "And put some clothes on." She left.

    How did she know? Obi-Wan did not dare voice the question as his outraged Master hastily put on a minimum of clothing and threw his robe on over that. "Stay here, Obi-Wan." Then he was gone.

    The anger and conflict left with him, but the upset remained. Tahl was angry that Qui-Gon had been instructing Bant without her permission. Qui-Gon was angry that Tahl had left Bant behind. They had taken their fight away from him, but Bant would still in the middle of it.

    Poor Bant.

    His eyes went to the comp screen on his bunk.

    He had to warn her.

    Grabbing the screen and his robe, he left the room. Covering his head with his hood and tip-toeing down the corridors of the med unit in his slippers, peeking around every corner, he got away without being seen. This late, Bant would be in her room. He passed very few Jedi on his way and none of them paid any attention to a small robed figure passing through the halls.

    Reaching her door, he pressed the chime. Then he pressed it again. Then he went inside; the door was not locked. Bant stood shocked in the middle of her modest and steamy room. Thankfully, she was covered with a long night shift and not naked.

    "Obi-Wan! You shouldn't be here!"

    He held up the screen and the message he had written on the way.


    'Talking' was really not the right term for the words the two Masters must be exchanging, but he did not want to make it sound any worse than he had to for Bant.

    Her eyes moistened and Obi-Wan was sure it was not from the humid atmosphere.

    "It's my fault. I should not have accepted Qui-Gon's offer."


    She shook her head, her silvery eyes tragic and miserable. "She is my Master, Obi-Wan. I should have obeyed her instructions. I knew she might be displeased. I should have at least asked her permission first."


    Obi-Wan had told Qui-Gon when he was wrong or did something stupid. It was not easy, but he did it. Why couldn't Bant do the same with Tahl?


    She shook her head and clutched her arms to her body, accepting her guilt. "You need to go back to the med center."

    He shook his head and pushed the screen toward her as if he could force in the meaning of his words. She reached up and gently laid her hands over his and lowered the screen. "I'll go with you."

    Still shaking his head, he turned with her toward the door.

    It opened.

    "Bant." Tahl entered. Bant flinched and backed up a pace, but Obi-Wan took a position between her and her Master.

    Tahl stopped. "Who's there?" Her hand reached out. Her fingertips touched the mask, brushed over his wounded cheek and down under the mouth hole. With a little gasp, she pulled back, her eyes wide with surprise. He took a step closer, planting his feet firmly before her.

    Her hand pressed over her chest, she tilted her head down toward him. She reached out with the other arm, her hand finding a wall com.

    "Qui-Gon, come to Bant's room immediately. You need to see something." She clicked off before he could answer. Then she folded her arms into the opposite sleeves of her robe, her eyes half closed, immobile and waiting for Qui-Gon's arrival.

    Bant looked miserable and fearful. He went to her and put his arm around her small shoulders, her sweet and salty scent close. She did not pull away. Tahl's face twitched when he did it, but she did nothing else.

    Soon, the door chime sounded and Tahl reached out a long arm to the wall controls again. In robe, pants and undertunic (and no boots) Qui-Gon strode in and stopped, his mouth opening in surprise.

    After tapping out a quick change, Obi-Wan held up his comp screen. Behind and peering around him, Bant lowered her eyes in shame.


    Qui-Gon's expression saddened as he stared at the words that Tahl could not see until she finally broke the silence.

    "Please take your Padawan back, Master Qui-Gon. Unlike you, I do not wish to have two of them."

    Qui-Gon's eyes closed for a moment as if stricken. He straightened and turned to face his fellow Jedi.

    "I am going to speak to Master Yoda. Now. You may join me if you wish."

    "The Council will not support you - - "

    His hand shot out, his fingers covering her mouth and surprised she just as quickly batted his arm away.

    "Your Padawan is afraid of you, Master Tahl. I must inform the Council immediately."

    Tahl gasped, shocked at the accusation. Not waiting for an answer, Qui-Gon went to the door pausing only to address the two Padawans.

    "Bant, please escort Obi-Wan back to the med unit."

    "Qui-Gon, I - - "

    Turning his back on Tahl, Qui-Gon left.

    "Qui-Gon, wait - - " The door closed behind her.

    The two Padawans stood together in their mutual uncertainty. The charge that Qui-Gon would bring to Master Yoda was a violation of the Jedi Code. It could mean Tahl being removed as Bant's Master.

    She looked up at him. "I'm not afraid of her. I'll tell them that. I want Tahl to be my Master. I don't want them to take her away."

    Obi-Wan remembered when he was in danger of losing Qui-Gon, through his own mistakes and worse, after he rejected his Master for what he had thought were noble reasons at the time only to discover later what a ruinous mistake it was. He did not want anything like that to happen to Bant. She did not deserve it. He hugged her small thin body and she wrapped her arms around his neck and silently clung to him for a while.

    Eventually, Obi-Wan felt the sweat building up under his robe in the humidity of her room and she loosened her grip.

    "I'll take you back," she told him solemnly. He nodded and they left together.

    ### ### ### ### ### ###

    Obi-Wan lay awake for a long time. How could he sleep when Bant's future was in such peril? He heard Qui-Gon enter their shared room in the med center but he lay still, his eyes closed. Heavy fabric rustled as his Master put away his robe and then disappeared inside the fresher.

    His thoughts chased themselves inside his head as he lay there in the darkened room. Would Tahl still be Bant's Master. If not, what would happen to Bant? What would happen to Tahl?

    Qui-Gon's footsteps returned. They stopped between the two bunks, the big man standing alone.

    "Tahl will remain Bant's Master. Bant will improve her own healing meditations with Winna Di Uni and Tahls' guidance. Such training is impossible to do without revealing and sharing one's own scars and weaknesses. And Tahl has many scars," he softly said. "Touching them is painful and Tahl fears revealing them, even to her own Padawan. She is not as strong as she thinks and Bant is stronger than she knows. We will speak of it in the morning."

    He climbed into his bunk and lay still, but Obi-Wan was quite sure that his Master lay awake for a long time with him.

    ### ### ### ### ### ###

    "Please remain still."

    Obi-Wan had not moved a particle since the last time Zee-Zee-Ten had told him that. The mask was off. Only the last layer of bandages remained and then the droid peeled that away. Air touched his skin. It felt wonderful, as good as a fresh cool breeze outside on a planet with hills and trees. The droid's padded digits touched his cheek; sensors hummed over him.

    "Please, sit up now." Blinking his eyes open, Obi-Wan, pushed himself up as the upper end of the examination table elevated as well. His tongue was finally free and he poked it out of his lips as the droid smoothed a waxy lotion on them. Obi-Wan finally saw everything with his eyes alone and not through the eyeholes of the mask. He felt as if he had been released from a prison.

    Qui-Gon stepped forward, and smiling, held up a mirror. Obi-Wan touched his face. There was a wide pinkish band down his slightly swollen face to his upper lip, but there were no lines and the skin under his questing fingertips was smooth. There would be no scars. He grinned.

    Obi-Wan drew back in shook.

    The space where his three upper teeth were growing (and still sore) blackened half his smile.. He swallowed. He would keep his mouth shut as much as he could until they were grown back.

    Qui-Gon chuckled. Grinning, Bant emerged from behind him. "No scars. You are pretty again, Obi-Wan."

    He ducked away from the undignified praise, sure he was blushing and Qui-Gon chuckled again as he helped him down. He had no trouble standing and Qui-Gon only laid a hand on his shoulder.

    "Yes, Bant, he is very pretty. I had not noticed before."

    "Prettier than his Master," Tahl commented, stepping forward from the wall. Her hand lifted and touched his beard and trailed down to the long brown hair on his shoulder before taking it away. "And not nearly as hairy."

    Tahl looked calm and confident and Obi-Wan burned to know what had happened with her and Qui-Gon and Master Yoda the night before. But he knew that whatever had transpired between the Masters was something that would not be shared with Padawans. Tahl seemed at peace and Bant was certainly happy. And that was what mattered.

    "M-master?" Obi-Wan cleared his throat after Bant and Tahl left. He had not talked for a few days and he needed to get back into practice. "Will they be all right? The Council won't take Tahl away from Bant, will they?"

    Qui-Gon raised his eyebrows. "No. The Council will not take Bant away from Tahl. But I doubt that this single crisis will entirely smooth the way for them. Tahl's deepest scars are all on the inside and they are the most difficult to heal." His eyes went to the doorway where they had departed. "But if anyone can help them heal, Bant is most capable." He sighed and then clapped his hands together, his mood completely changing.

    "But for now, we have very important business, now that you are free of the mask and the med unit." His eyes twinkled and Obi-Wan wondered what was coming, but it turned out to be something that he had been missing terribly for days.

    "I believe it is time for first meal. And since Zee-Zee-Ten has cleared you for solid food and neither of us has eaten, I thought that we might make that our first task of the day."

    Finally! Food! REAL food! Obi-Wan grinned broadly. Then he shut his mouth and put his hand over it and his exposed and barely emerging teeth, as if he had belched loudly in a quiet room. Qui-Gon laughed.

    Grabbing his robe and putting it on with the hood up over his head, he nodded his approval. "Yes, Master."

    ### ### END ### ###
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Super conclusion. =D= Obi-Wan is very compassionate and caring, and Bant deserves to find a niche. @};- I am pleased also that Tahl and Bant are working things out together. :)
  13. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Ch 1:

    Yowch. Well, this successfully brought back the memory of wisdom teeth removal, while sounding many degrees worse. (Augh, the taste of drilled teeth. [face_sick] ) Good thing they were able to get Obi-Wan to the medical facilities fairly quickly. I liked the depiction of how the healing techniques might work; much more complicated than it might look from the surface.
  14. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Great conclusion with the excellent characterisation of the characters I love from the JA books
  15. Jade_Pilot

    Jade_Pilot Jedi Master star 5

    Dec 10, 2005
    Great story!