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The Right Place at the Right Time (repost)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Lilith Demodae, Oct 14, 2000.

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  1. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    Okay, partly because the longer posts were munched in the switch and partly because I'm vain and need some more ego boosting, here it is again.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Section 1


    "Master, we're taking heavy damage. The shields are collapsing." The ship jolted under yet another hit and despite his extensive training, Obi-wan couldn't keep the note of urgency out of his voice. He spared a single moment for a hurried glance over his shoulder at the older man. "I can't out maneuver them with half our sublight engines out of commission." Another strong ion blast rocked their vessel, sending stray surges of energy skittering across the vessel's shields, underscoring the young man's words. The small, sleek shuttle raced away from the planet and the ship that had lain in wait for them.

    "Are we far enough from the planet's gravity well to make the jump to light speed?" The low, lightly accented tone was calm, even.

    "Yes, Master, but we don't have time to make the proper calculations. Whoever they are, they'll have us completely disabled long before the navicomputer is done processing the numbers."

    "Make the jump. We'll drop out in a couple of minutes and take the time to properly calculate." Qui-gon's voice was a steadying rock in the storm of the attack and his apprentice clutched at it, not unlike a drowning man, and responded instantly, pulling back on the hyperdrive levers. The stars became fiery, glittering streaks as their speed accelerated exponentially and then they left normal space behind.

    Obi-wan felt the tension leave his shoulders as the danger passed and he slumped back into his seat, only now realizing that he had been perched anxiously on the edge of it since that first shot had splashed across their shields. He flicked a switch to send their single astromech droid into action, repairing the damage they'd already taken. The young man turned to face his master's blue eyed regard. "Master, who would fire on us in that manner? They weren't trying to kill us, but disable us. Who could have known we were coming?"

    "I don't know, Obi-wan. Several of our friends and the entire Council knew that we were going to Lyra on retreat. Who would want to try and capture two Jedi?" He watched as the young man shrugged, as perplexed as his master. Qui-gon glanced at the status readout on the ship. The damaged systems were slowly coming back on-line. "Did you get any sensor readings on that ship, Padawan?"

    The sandy-haired young man turned to the main computer. "I didn't have time to check the scans during the battle, but I am sure that the computer will have any readings stored in recent memory. It will be an easy thing to retrieve the data when we return to Coruscant or any of the other Core worlds." He checked the chronometer and glanced at the droid's progress. "We should drop out of hyperspace and recalculate soon, Master. We don't want to risk bouncing through a gravity well and tearing the ship apart."

    "Very well, Padawan. I leave it up to you."

    Kenobi waited a few more moments. He wanted to make certain that the energy for the deflector shields was at maximum before dropping out of hyperspace. There was no telling what they might run into and he wanted them at full strength as soon after coming out of hyperspace as possible.

    He was reaching out to pull the hyperdrive levers back down to the stand-by position when the ship lurched spasmodically and a bright light flared across the cockpit viewport. There was a muted squeal of protest and alarm from the R2 unit in back and Kenobi heard at startled grunt from his master over the tortured, metallic groans born of the ship's heaving movements. Both Jedi were tossed about the cabin like dice in a cup. Obi-wan called to his master, but Qui-gon wasn't in any better shape to help than he was. There was nothing either could do but ride it out and pray for the best.

     
  2. Wampasmak

    Wampasmak Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 6, 2000
    Yay, it'll be fun to read this again!
     
  3. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    Kenobi woke slowly. His head felt thick and his muscles were sluggish to respond to even the most strident commands from his brain. He knew that he would be a sea of bruises and bumps till he could take an hour or so for a healing trance. Everything hurt, so he lay still and concentrated on forcing his eyes to open. After much urging they finally complied, but the result was out of focus and hazy. He blinked till the brown blurs in front of him resolved themselves into Qui-gon's booted feet. Wearily, he dragged a battered hand up and scrubbed at his face while trying to think. Obi-wan heaved himself laboriously up on his hands and knees and almost collapsed back to the floor as the effort made his head spin and sent fresh waves of pain crashing over him. Steadying himself with a heroic effort, he glanced again at his master's limp body. He blinked stupidly, his mind refusing to work properly.

    Something was horribly wrong.

    It was a vague sensation, but the only one other than pain that would register adequately. Things were off kilter somehow, but he couldn't force the idea through his pain-muddled mind. Disoriented and fuzzy-headed, he was unsure of what to do next. The sandy haired Jedi reached for the Force in a basic calming technique, but could not seem to grasp it. He reached again with the same result. He searched, frantically this time, but the outcome was no different from before. Seeking an answer he turned instinctively to his teacher.

    "Master?" There was no response.

    Blue eyes jerked wide and panic flooded adrenaline through his system when he realized that he could not sense his master. There was a great empty void where there should have been familiarity or pain or even just the grey fog of unconsciousness. The adrenaline racing through his blood stream lent new strength to his battered body and Obi-wan scrambled across the deck on all fours to his master's side.

    He felt for a heartbeat.

    Waited a breathless moment.

    Then sighed and almost collapsed with relief. There it was, strong and steady. Now that he was reassured, he could see that the older man was clearly breathing, his chest rising and falling in a deep, regular rhythm. One eye was blackened and a deep blue-purple bruise was already beginning to blossom across one cheek. The Jedi student made a quick examination. No broken bones, no obvious head wounds, no cuts or bumps on the tall man's skull. The young man did a quick check of his own body and skull. No, aside from some scrapes, a few painful bruises and a small knot on the back of his head there was nothing that might impede his use of the Force. So why couldn't Obi-wan sense his teacher and friend?

    "Master?" He gently shook Qui-gon's shoulder and after a moment those familiar greyish-blue eyes fluttered open.

    "Padawan?" The Jedi tried to sit up, but immediately decided against it when the ship spun around him and he realized his tail bone liked things better just the way they were. "What has happened?"

    "I'm not sure, Master." Obi-wan relaxed and sat down on the floor next to his teacher. A quick glance out the viewport confirmed that they were still in hyperspace. "The ship does not seem to be damaged, but I, I can't feel the Force, Master."

    Qui-gon's eyes narrowed slightly in concentration, his mouth pulling into a thin line. A frown furrowed his brow. "I cannot touch it either, Obi-wan. This is most strange." With an effort, the Jedi Master levered himself up off the deck, his eye slitted against the pain that engendered. His student followed him to his feet a little more quickly. Both men staggered to their chairs and strapped themselves in securely. "We had better drop out of hyperspace immediately and see what has happened."

    "Yes, Master." Obi-wan pushed the levers up and the strange mottled grey of hyperspace faded to starlines that shrank back to mere points of light that winked and glittered against the deep black of space as he also made sure that the sublight engines were off-line. From the engine compartment there was a muffled thump and an electro
     
  4. Mr. P

    Mr. P FanFic Archive Editor, Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 1, 2000
    It's good to see this up again! I really liked it the first time around. When's the sequel (I remember there being a teaser in the original thread...)?

    --Mr. P
     
  5. Jedi_KnightMariah

    Jedi_KnightMariah Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 6, 2000
    I love this story! I just never got to say so!
     
  6. Calamity Jinn

    Calamity Jinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    May 23, 2000


    Glad to see it back being posted in all its glory Lilith!
     
  7. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    I-80 runs for close to a thousand miles from Salt Lake City, Utah eastward across Nevada to kiss the south-eastern edge of Sacramento, California before turning south and dead-ending into yet another long stretch of black-top. The majority of its length is undisputably the most boring, hypnotic, desolate stretch of highway on the continent.

    Boring. There isn't anything more boring than staring at nothing but brown dirt, brown rocks, and dead, brown plants with the occasional muddy, white salt flat, brown or fire blackened peak or muddy, brown gully to add variety. Hypnotically, the sun-faded white and yellow stripes strobe past in a continuous, unbroken pattern that never varies. The fence posts that line the road lean drunkenly, and the wire they support sags pathetically into the dust or mud that inevitably lines the roadway. The endless stretch of concrete and black-top races out to the horizon where the blued-steel sky arches down to seal in the heat and seal out any moisture. The only thing of that breaks up the monotony is the occasional big rig with attendant trailers that flashes past in the opposite direction, or the suicidal sports cars that flash past from behind.

    That's the reason why Utah and Nevada rank up there with much more populous states like California and New York for vehicular deaths. Too many people staring for too long at something not worth staring at for more than a few seconds.

    The desolation, that she carried with her. Debrah could have been in the middle of a tropical rain forest or a bustling city and felt it a desolate place. That desolation of mind and spirit was caused by what lay behind her and what lay ahead. Directly behind her was a U-Haul trailer with everything she'd managed to acquire during seven years of higher education jammed into it haphazardly in her rush to see Provo, Utah and the college campus in her rear-view mirror. Behind that was too many years of school, caused by seasonal illnesses, learning disabilities only recently discovered, and what is commonly known as school burn-out. There was too much time spent alone in dusty labs bent over electronic systems that often refused to work in the proscribed manner, or refused to work at all, and no lab partners to relieve some of the burden and frustration. There was the fact that in the dating and marriage capitol of the entire United States she had gone for four and a half years and never been asked out on a date. The two dates she had managed to pull off had only happened because she had spent several hours gearing up the courage to ask the men she'd gone with. Neither had done more than nod at her in a friendly way afterward. It was frustrating in the extreme. Then there was the saddest graduation in recorded history. Debrah's parents had died little more than a week before graduation; a drunk driver crossed five lanes of traffic, jumping the center barrier. She couldn't leave, not with finals looming. The funeral was done and over with and the rest of her family resettled back into their routines before the diploma crossed her palm. Finals had been a hazy blur and she had walked numbly through graduation like a zombie.

    Before her was an empty house. Debrah had never had to pack up and move, as unusual as that was in this day and age. Her father had built that house when her older brothers had still been young. Her mother had lovingly decorated it. She'd been born there, fought and laughed with her brothers and sister there. She had cried and smiled and teased and commiserated. She'd had sleep-over parties and been grounded there. In short, she had lived out her entire life there with the only exception being dorm rooms and school apartments, and those were endured with the knowledge that at the end of each semester she could go home. But will it still be home?, she wondered as the miles slid past under her car's wheels.

    Her mom and dad were gone. How can they be really gone? Her older brothers, Leigh and Charles and their families, with three children apiece, were in London and Seattle respectively. Her you
     
  8. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    Section 2

    All the surprised woman knew was that it took a few moments for her addled, wandering mind to register that there was something in the roadway and then it was a blur of frantic breaking, squealing rubber and smoking tires. Her head was twisted to the side, anticipating the worst, and her fingers clenched at the steering wheel with a white-knuckled grip. When she didn?t feel that dreaded, horrible thump of hitting something live with a moving vehicle, the newly graduated engineer pried her eyes open and stared through the dusty, bug splattered windshield at the two men standing there. They looked about as surprised as she felt.

    For a while they just stared at each other. She took in their appearance in the stunned silence that followed. They were wearing light tan tunics secured with a belt and robes of a darker brown. The wind howling across the desert whipped at their hair and plastered their robes to one side of their bodies. That would account for why they didn?t hear me coming, she thought.

    From the short distance of the driver?s seat to only a foot or so from the front bumper she could see that both men had the most marvelous blue eyes. The older one didn?t look to be more than thirty-five or so and his companion couldn?t have been much older than seventeen. The older man had long brown hair and a short, neatly trimmed beard and moustache, both sprinkled with a bare tracing of grey. His companion, son maybe, had what looked like a slightly grown out crew-cut with a long braid hanging down his right shoulder from over his ear. When the young man turned his head to look at his companion, Debrah could see a short ponytail gathered at the back of his head.

    ?Waddya think, Jinx?? she asked the empty air. Well, actually it was the car she was addressing. Of course, there was no answer, but she hadn?t really expected one. //The day you get an answer from the car, Reimers, is the day you need to stop talking to it.//

    There was no sign of their vehicle anywhere. She hadn?t passed one. Debrah was sure she would have noticed that large an anomaly in the passing excuse for scenery no matter what her mental state. They?d been facing down the road ahead of her, so she naturally jumped to the conclusion that they?d been dumped by some trucker that they?d been hitchhiking with. That theory made more sense than them walking all this way under their own power.

    Debrah popped the door open and stood, half in-half out. She was ready to retreat back to the relative safety of locked doors, should they prove to be a problem, but for some reason she got the feeling that it wouldn?t be necessary. There was such a calm, unthreatening aura about them that she didn?t even edge her hand closer to the crowbar she kept strapped to the side of Jinx?s driver?s seat.

    She looked at them and they looked back at her. She knew what they saw. Much as she liked to round up that last half inch, Debrah wasn?t really five and a half feet tall. They saw a lean, but sturdy frame, her bones structure being too large for her to ever be able to acquire the slender, waif-ish look that was the current measure of beauty. Her honey-blond hair, framing a round face, was finally dipping past the bottom of her shoulder blades for the first time in years and her eyes, from any sort of distance, were a creamy, jade green.

    ?You guys okay?? Much as Debrah tried to keep her tone neutral, some of her surprise and confusion, not to mention concern, must have shown through.

    The older of the two, now that she was standing the woman could see that he was every bit as tall as he had seemed when she?d been sitting, bobbed his head in a polite sort of miniature bow. Peace and tranquility rolled off the both of them in palpable waves. ?We are unharmed.? His voice was deep and soothing and Great Caesar?s Ghost, that accent!

    She heaved a deep sigh, partly relief, partly she didn?t know what. ?Thank goodness. I almost didn?t see you in time. You really shouldn?t be standing in the middle of the road like that. Most of the cars around here move a lit
     
  9. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    Several silent miles down the road Debrah decided that it was about time her passengers started to repay her kind and generous nature. She hadn?t heard so much as a single syllable out of either of them and she was starting to get itchy. Knowing that fabulous accent was right there and not hearing it was becoming a sort of torture. Besides, talking to them would take her mind off the fact that she would have no one to talk to once she arrived home.

    ?So, either of you have a name??

    Out of the corner of her eye, Debrah saw that bearded visage turn toward her, a smile tugging at his lips. ?My apologies. I am Qui-gon Jinn, and he is Obi-wan Kenobi.?

    Dark blond eyebrows raised. ?Kenobi, huh??

    From over her right shoulder, the young man spoke for the first time. ?Yes.? It lilted lightly with the rolling sounds of Scotland. Lord bless me, but his accent is just as pleasing to the ear as Qui-gon?s. Oh, if I can keep both of them talking I?m going to be in heaven for the rest of what has started out as a real loser of a trip.

    ?Those are unusual names. I guess whatever monastery you guys come from doesn?t believe in conforming to the mainstream, huh?? She glanced over her shoulder. ?My name is Debrah Reimers, but my friends all call me Morgan.?

    ?Both of those are pretty names.? Rats! Have to break them out of these one sentence answers, she grumbled to herself.

    ?So, how?d you end up way out here in the middle of nowhere??

    Debrah heard Obi-wan shift forward in his seat just before Qui-gon answered. ?Our transport was damaged. We moved it out of sight so that it would not be stolen and then went looking for help.?

    The engineer was confused by their terminology for a short moment. ?Transport? You mean your car?? She heard the derision and disbelief in her voice and immediately felt bad. It wasn?t their fault that they didn?t know how people talked now-a-days out in the real world. ?Sorry, I?m just not really used to anyone talking that way. It?s pretty antiquated.? There was no response to that and they drove on in silence for a few miles more.

    Unaccustomed to silent people after three years spent in apartments with five other girls, Debrah reached up and pushed her hair behind one ear in a nervous gesture she?d never managed to suppress. The silence was making her itchy again. Well, Reimers, it?s not like you?re all that great a conversationalist anyway. Admit it, you just want to hear them talk.

    ?Since you guys aren?t going to provide me with scintillating conversation I?m going to turn on some music.? She gave the volume knob a stiff twist and punched the scan button as Qui-gon quietly stated that they wouldn?t mind some music. All the radio scanned was static. This far out in the middle of nowhere and she counted herself lucky to get that much.

    ?Obi-wan, do me a favor and open up that box next to you?? Debrah asked over her shoulder. ?There should be a couple of tapes labeled ?Sons of Sommerled?, or ?Enya?, or ?Celtic mix? right on top. Just pick one.? She heard the young man rustle around, the tapes clicking against each other or against the CDs that occupied most of the box?s volume. She rested her hand, palm up, on the shoulder of the seat and waited for him to hand her the tape. It took longer than she had expected, but the kid wasn?t familiar with the layout of the box the way she was, so it was no big deal.

    Debrah opened the case by feel and slid the cassette into the tape deck, already anticipating the stirring drum rhythms or soft guitar strains that would issue forth from the speakers. What she got was steel guitar and electric fiddles. In confusion, she brought the case up before her eyes to see if she had accidentally put something away wrong. But no, the case she held was clearly labeled ?Blackhawk? in her own round-lettered hand writing.

    ?Hmm,? she tossed the empty case onto the dash. ?Not what I would have expected you to choose, but,? she shrugged. ?I wouldn?t have it in there if I didn?t like it.? Giving the volume another good twist to drown out the road noise, she let th
     
  10. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Community Squirrel Whisperer star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000
    I think this is even beter the third time around. Still an awesome story Lilith!!!
     
  11. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    May I ask for more Lilith? This is the first time for me and I already am hooked.

    Kithera
     
  12. Ping

    Ping Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 23, 1998
    Oooh, yeah, Lilith! This is a great story. I hope more people get a chance to read it. Vivate shameless reposts! :)
     
  13. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    Kit! Absolutely! It's always nice to have fresh feedback. I hope you enjoy it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Section 3

    Obi-wan ended up pegging it at about seventy-eight, but since that was where she?d had it most of the trip, Debrah didn?t figure that their chances of getting pulled over were all that high. After the first half hour he relaxed and chatted with her as he drove them all the way into Sparks, Nevada, just outside of Reno, where Debrah had them stop for fuel for both themselves and Jinx. It was already going on five o?clock and they still had another five or six hours of driving to go, so she just pulled up to a drive-thru and ordered them all value meals from the first burger joint she saw. After letting him drive that short time on the open desert, Obi-wan stayed in the front of the car with Debrah to watch everything she did.

    Coming over the Sierra-Nevadas, the central valley of northern California stretched out in front of them in all its industrial, suburbanized glory, broken up by small patches of leftover greenery. Debrah refueled the car one last time just outside of Sacramento and bought a couple of road maps while at the station. Qui-gon was interested in seeing what the maps of the area looked like, since it was hard to get a feel for things when in a car, so she spread the maps out on Jinx?s hood during another leg stretching break and showed him approximately where she?d picked the two of them up, the route they had come and what there was left to go. The tall man?s finger had traced the state borders, a thoughtful look in his eyes.

    Debrah could tell the second they crossed the 17-880 interchange. It was as if a great pressure had lifted off her heart and she could finally breathe free and clear again. Things had looked familiar and welcome for some time before that, but it wasn?t until that moment she really knew she was going to be home that very night. Darkness had settled in around them and the other cars were little more than streaking pairs of headlights in the blackness. The twists and turns of the highway were so familiar that Debrah could probably have driven the rest of the way home blindfolded. The trees of the mountains closed in on either side of the roadway, dark and welcome.

    ?We?re almost there, guys.? She couldn?t keep the excitement out of her voice. All the fears and worries about whether or not it would really be home had fled as they grew ever nearer to their destination. The relief and sheer familiarity had pushed away any lingering doubts. Home was home and that?s where she was headed, whether it was empty or not. She?d been home alone before.

    Debrah?s passengers had stayed awake the entire trip. Whether it was from politeness or interest in the passing scenery, she didn?t know, but she was grateful for it. It gave her someone other than the car and herself to talk to, even if they didn?t ever say a whole lot in response. There was a comfortable companionship about them that made it easy to talk to them, regardless of their silence. She never got the impression that they weren?t listening or were just humoring her and she was more grateful than she could say for that.

    When they finally exited the highway and drove deeper into the mountains, Debrah grinned at the men. ?Ten more minutes. That?s it.?

    ?You?ve been away a long time, haven?t you?? Qui-gon?s low voice issued from the darkness behind her right shoulder.

    ?Yes, and no.? She clicked on the high beams so she could see farther ahead on the road, though goodness knew Debrah didn?t really need it. She could have driven that road in her sleep and had driven it with no more light than that provided by the moon and stars on more than one occasion. ?Yes, because I?ve been away attending school for the last five years, and no, because I came home every summer for four months and I was home for winter break not much more than four months ago.?

    ?Away, but not.?

    ?Exactly. I?ve lived there my whole life, Qui-gon. I?ve never known anything else.?

    ?Where did you stay while at school??

    Debrah gav
     
  14. Abbi_Cee

    Abbi_Cee Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2000
    I'm so glad you decided to repost this because I haven't read this before and I love Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan go to Earth stories. This story is great and I'll be looking forward to the next post.
     
  15. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    Ooo, goody, new readers!! I hope you enjoy it. :)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    With a determined sigh, Debrah shut off the engine. ?This is it, guys. Last stop, everybody out.? The tired woman opened the back door of the car while Obi and Qui climbed out. She grabbed her box of music and shouldered her backpack. The rest of it could all wait for tomorrow.

    As Debrah approached the front door, a familiar mottled brown shape came streaking out of the darkness to wait right at the threshold. Koshka, the paranoid tortoise shell cat, wanted in desperately enough that she would even endure the presence of two strangers, although she did shy back and forth a moment in indecision before bolting through the door the instant it was open enough for her to squeeze her slim body through.

    Debrah walked in right behind the cat and moved out of the entryway into the family room. She dropped her stuff on a couch, heeled out of her tennis shoes, and groped for the nearest light switch when a muffled thud and a muttered curse heralded a minor, darkness borne injury.

    ?Sorry,? she apologized as the lights flickered on. ?I sometimes forget that not everybody is intimately familiar with the layout of my home.? Looking closely she couldn?t tell which one had knocked their foot against the wall, but neither seemed to be in any pain, so she shrugged it away. A glance at her watch, figuring in the time zone change, showed the hour to be well after midnight. ?I can check the fridge and see if there?s anything edible left if you?re hungry, or I can show you to a room so we can all sleep.?

    ?Please, do not trouble yourself on our account.? Obi objected before Qui-gon could. ?You have helped us quite a bit already.?

    ?On the contrary, it is you who have helped me.? Debrah stated. She could see, could almost feel their reluctance to accept that. ?I can see that you are going to argue with me about it anyway, though, so let?s just say that things are pretty even all around and let it go for the night, hmm?? Both men gave her a slow acknowledging nod that came off more like a miniature bow than anything else.

    She led them up the stairs, flicking lights on ahead of them and off behind as they went. ?If you can hang on a few minutes, I?ll just change the sheets. I doubt anyone?s been here since . . .? pain welled up at the thought and she let the sentence trail off, thrusting the intruding emotion back behind the wall she had built for it while trying to finish school. Debrah didn?t want to think about it right now.

    The woman opened the linen closet at the top of the stairs and started pulling out clean sheets. Pausing a moment in thought, Debrah turned and sized the two men up. ?Hmm, Obi, I?ll put you in my little brother?s old room. He?s got an extra long single. Qui-gon, the only bed we?ve got here that?ll fit you is my parent?s bed.? She switched two of the sheet sets in her hands for others in the closet that fit the aforementioned mattresses.

    ?Right this way, if you please.? Her parents? room first. Might as well get it over with right away. Debrah moved around the side of the large king-sized bed that dominated the right end of the room and clicked on one of the hanging lamps that lit this end of the room and desperately fought back the tears that threatened to overwhelm her control. With Obi-wan?s help she quickly stripped off the old sheets and had the new ones in place in no time flat. While they worked, she pushed away her childhood memories of running into the room to leap up onto the bed, of giggling when her father had rolled over to tickle her, or the times she had come in crying from a nightmare in search of comfort. More recently, there had been times when she?d perched on the foot of the bed and had long serious talks with them about school or careers. It wasn?t easy, but she walled away the pain and loneliness any memory of her parents brought with it.

    ?There you go, Mr. Jinn.? Debrah smiled at him as best she could, but she knew that it was a rather sickly and weak looking thing that she plastered
     
  16. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Great! Yes, another bit. Thanks Lilith!

    Kithera
     
  17. The Butler

    The Butler Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 18, 1999
    Reading this story again is like sitting in an air-conditioned room and chatting with an old friend. (I suppose "sitting next to a cozy fire" would be more appropriate, but, hey, I live in the tropics!) I love the detail in this story, the way Debrah IS real, the way every plot twist is worked in the story. I can't wait for the sequel!
     
  18. mouse2

    mouse2 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 1999
    I had almost forgot how much I enjoyed this story. Thank you so much for reposting. Now I get the wonderful chance to reread it!
     
  19. LadyJedith

    LadyJedith Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 6, 2000
    Oh!
    What an excellent idea it was to repost the story!
    I'm so happy to read it again!
    Post more, Lilith, please, I miss it so much!
     
  20. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    Wow, I'd almost forgotten how nice all you people are, when it comes to feedback! :) And on behalf of all fanfic writers everywhere, thank you so very much for responding. We are all very self-conscious and your praise and encouragement is all that keeps us going!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Later that morning, Debrah awoke to the familiar sensation of small warm bodies nestled up next to hers. The only cat that had stayed small enough to curl up between her shoulder and neck was little black Portia and the hot lump against her side could only be Koshka. The felines complained with muted rumbles and muttered meows as she sat up, keeping her head low to avoid the bottom of the upper bunk, and reflexively looked at her watch to see if she had over slept. Groaning in dismay, she flopped back down when she realized that not only had she not over slept, but had no reason to get up at such an ungodly hour. Unfortunately her body had other ideas. It was still trying to get her up in time for classes she no longer had to attend. On top of that was the fact that Provo was an hour off from Los Gatos. It was barely after five-thirty in the morning and her body wasn?t going to let her go back to sleep.

    Debrah opened the cupboards that her father had salvaged from a demolished house after the earthquake of ?89 and dug out some old sweats. She changed out of her stale, slept-in clothes and padded silently down the hall to check on her guests. In the dim lighting of the false dawn that seeped in through the windows, she could see that Qui-gon lay on his back in the middle of her parents? bed. His hands were folded neatly over his stomach, long hair still tidy as though he had not moved since laying down his head. In the next room over, Obi-wan was sprawled face down, his head and one arm hanging off the side of the mattress. He?d kicked off his blankets and the sheet was half pulled out and twisted around the young man?s legs. Since both were still sleeping soundly, she crept quietly down the stairs.

    The blond woman plunked herself down in the middle of the family room floor and began her morning routine. First she stretched every muscle in her body. Then, starting at the most basic technique she knew and working her way up to the most difficult ones, Debrah practiced every punch, kick, block and strike she knew. After moving out to school, she?d neglected her martial arts training, but this last year she had found it a wonderful way to reduce the mounting stress brought on by classes she desperately needed to pass in order to graduate. She didn?t want to fall back out of practice, so every morning she went over everything she knew. As the old adage goes: Use it or lose it. It also gave her time when she could turn her mind off completely and just let her body move. She didn?t have to think, didn?t have to feel. She could just do and just be. These last few weeks that had been important.

    In between exercises, she would pause to pet the assorted felines that had decided they had been without human companionship far too long. Portia, Koshka, and Malephicent all took turns pestering her for attention.

    As soon as Debrah was done drilling herself in Tae Kwon Do, she tied on her discarded tennis shoes and stepped up on the tread mill. Much as she hated running, she hated aerobics even more, and it was one of the fastest ways to keep her cardio-vascular system up to snuff, so she started the infernal machine up and hopped on for a morning jog.

    *******

    When Obi-wan awoke faint light was seeping into the room from the window. Dawn was slowly approaching. It took him a moment to orient himself. Where was he? Oh yes, the hyperspace accident, the strange transport, the woman. The young man slipped out of his room and moved the short distance down the hall to his master?s door. He knocked softly. ?Come in, Padawan,? Qui-gon called.

    ?Sorry if I disturbed you, Master, but-? he broke off. He could sense that the older man was not in the least disturbed so he stopped his unnecessary apology. ?Master,? he smiled
     
  21. Abbi_Cee

    Abbi_Cee Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2000
    You know I had actually forgotten that they couldn't feel the force, but it's nice to know that it is coming back. I wonder now just how far off they have been thrown if the force moves differently. Wouldn't it be the same everywhere? Could they have been thrown into another dimension where the rules are slightly different? Inquiring minds ya know. ;-)
     
  22. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    Section 4

    More than three quarters of the way through her morning jog, Debrah heard the stairs creak, heralding the imminent arrival of at least one of her guests. She glanced over her left shoulder and caught sight of bare feet and a pair of unidentifiable legs in off-white pants coming around the corner of the single switch-back landing. The panel on the treadmill beeped at her. The timer showed that there was only three minutes left to go. When she looked back at the stairs, Obi-wan had descended into full view. Debrah staggered and had to grab the hand rails to keep from falling. As it was, her jaw hit full extension and was reluctant to return to its normal position.

    //Men, no matter how young, who look like -that- should not be allowed to walk around shirtless without a verbal warning and clearly posted danger signs.// Those would have been her thoughts if her mind had been organized enough to produce coherent thoughts. His short-cropped hair was sleep tousled and his lips were pulled into a slight, mischievous grin, but that was the least of it. There was not a single ounce of extra flesh on that body. His muscles were all clearly, beautifully defined. From his trim, flat stomach, to his broad shoulders, to the ends of his corded arms he was a complete and utter drool fest. And Debrah was having a hard time concentrating on putting her feet down on the moving track belt in the proper order.

    Tearing her eyes away with difficulty, Debrah prayed with all her being that he hadn?t seen her make a total fool out of herself. As the time ran out and the track belt slowed to a stop, Qui-gon came down the stairs and joined his young friend. She admitted to herself that he looked pretty damn good too, though in a more mature, sophisticated way.

    //And they?re in my house!! Sleeping just down the hall from me!// she thought with prideful glee.

    Debrah stepped down off the tread mill and walked off the weird sensation of the floor moving beneath her that she always got from a tread mill. Then she sank to the floor and did her cool down stretching. After a few moments it registered that they were just standing there, staring out the sliding-glass door at the scenery. The sun was up high enough that the sky was light, but not high enough to have cleared the ridge above the house yet.

    The woman leaned over to look into the kitchen past the breakfast counter and glanced at the time display on the microwave. It was hardly even seven o?clock. ?I hope I didn?t wake you guys with the tread mill going??

    ?No,? Obi-wan replied. ?We are used to rising early.?

    //Rats,// she shook her head and mentally condemned them to one of the worst categories she could conceive of. //Morning people. I knew there had to be something wrong with them.//

    ?Are you ready for some breakfast?? she inquired.

    ?We would appreciate that, thank you.? Qui-gon?s voice was always so calm, so even.

    The blond woman levered herself up off the floor and walked into the kitchen. Pulling pans and bowls out of cupboards and hauling out one of the industrial-sized bags of ez-baking mix that her father was so fond of buying, she began preparing pancakes and eggs. Debrah was always a better cook when she was cooking for someone else. Her father had been right when he?d worried about her starving at school. It just wasn?t worth it to her to put a lot of effort into cooking for just one person.

    ?So,? she began, trying to make conversation. ?I heard Obi-wan call you ?master?, Mr. Jinn. Are you some sort of martial arts instructor? A monk or something??

    ?Yes, Obi-wan is my student. And, please, just call me Qui-gon.?

    ?Ah, okay.? Debrah smiled at them as they came into the kitchen. ?I?ve had some training in Tae Kwon Do. What style do you teach??

    ?It is a mix of several styles actually. There is no one particular style that even makes up the majority of it.?

    ?Yeah, there are a bunch of hybrids out there. Quite a few of them are highly effective from what I?ve seen.?

    ?Do you have a place we could practice?? Obi-wan asked.

    ?Umm,? Deb
     
  23. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    ?Mind if I join in?? Debrah asked casually. Both men stopped in their drill and turned to look at her as she stood leaning against the sill of the opened sliding-glass door.

    ?You wish to spar with us?? Qui-gon asked. She thought that he looked mildly surprised by her request.

    ?Yeah. I haven?t had a good sparring match in,? Debrah rolled her green eyes upward in thought. ?Oh, three years now. I was hoping to be able to get back into the habit now that I?m home again. You don?t mind, do you?? She looked back and forth between them to see if she was interrupting.

    ?No, not at all. Please join us. In fact,? the tall man offered her one of his enigmatic smiles, ?If you are ready, you can face Obi-wan now.?

    ?Sure.? She kicked off her sandals and stepped onto the mat as Qui-gon stepped off. The simple fact that she was on a mat again was enough to start her heart thumping a little faster. She?d always been one of the best in the school at sparring, even with multiple opponents. She?d been right, this was a great idea. ?Just bear in mind that I haven?t done this in a while and my timing and responses will be rusty to begin with.?

    Obi-wan graced her with that expression she was coming to call his smart-aleck smile. ?Excuses already? We haven?t even started yet.?

    Debrah gave him a mock glare, the exact same glare she would have pinned on Justin had he uttered those words. ?But the point of martial arts is not to have to use it.? she quoted, then bounced on her toes and swung her legs a little to make sure her muscles were still loose enough while the young man stepped off to the side to confer with his teacher who had gestured for him to come close.

    ?Do not take advantage, Obi-wan. I want you to spar her without using the Force to anticipate her moves or to enhance your own.?

    ?Very well, Master.? The shorter man glanced over at where Debrah waited patiently. ?At least she hasn?t the reach on me, the way you do.? he murmured half to himself.

    ?Life isn?t fair, Obi-wan. Don?t expect special favors like level playing fields.?

    ?Yes, Master,? he responded contritely.

    Obi-wan stepped back to the center of the mats with Debrah. She bowed to him in the traditional show of respect before easing back into her fighting stance. Most people she sparred were thrown off a little by her stance. The majority of right-handed people used a right leg back stance, but she used left leg back, right hand low over her leg and open, left hand chest-high and open. It allowed her the benefit of having her faster leg in the faster position, giving her that much of an extra speed advantage. Her hands tended to weave in small circles as well, creating a visual distraction where opponents tended to focus.

    Obi-wan did indeed adopt a right leg back stance, opening their target zones to each other, but it was a shallower stance than Debrah would have expected. She was turned almost side-ways to him, but he was still more than three-quarters facing her, his hands held loosely at about chest height. //This is going to be interesting.// she thought.

    Debrah nodded to herself, a slight bobbing movement of her head, as she took in his stance. Then, she twisted her hips over and swiftly lifting her right leg, posted a side kick out toward his face. She knew that at their present distance the kick wouldn?t land, but it would come pretty close and she wanted to gauge his reactions. Sure enough, the young man was no novice. Instead of stepping backward, he slipped sideways toward her back to take advantage of her unprotected side. The moment he moved she judged how far he would go by the length of his legs and rechambered her right leg, thrusting out behind her in a mule kick that did drive him back.

    Debrah smiled as she let her right leg drop back to the mat and turned to face Obi again. Keeping it up in the air, ready for a kick, like that was a defensive posture for her and there was no need for that right now. It felt so good to be doing this again. This was a framework of interaction with which she was familiar and comfortable.
     
  24. Darth McClain

    Darth McClain Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2000
    Great story, Lilith!
     
  25. Lilith Demodae

    Lilith Demodae Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 1999
    Are you a first-timer here, Darth McClain? If so, Welcome, and thank you. If not, Welcome back, and thank you again. :)
     
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