Series: Yes, Sequel to "If At First You Don't Succeed"
Summary: Pre-TPM. Obi-Wan must deal with the after affects
of their latest attempt to get away for some time alone. Obi-Wan is around 20
Feedback: Please, to Siobhancl2@aol.com
Disclaimer: I don't own anything or anyone, otherwise we can all agree that TPM would have ended very differently. All the characters and their universe belong to George Lucas. I am just playing here for a little bit.
Notes: Everything in // // is Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan talking through their bond
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There, he felt it again. This time he was positive, a small almost imperceptible tugging at the bond he shared with his Padawan. Desperation and loss flowed together barely touching his awareness through the connection before being snatched away. No, not snatched away, shielded. Instinctively the Jedi Master came fully awake. Quietly he got up and entered Obi-Wan’s room. The young Jedi lay on his side his back to his Master. In his sleep he had twisted most of the bedding around his body. His muscular legs tangled in the folds of blankets, his abdomen wrapped tightly in the soft fabric. Easing down onto the edge of the bed Qui-Gon leaned gently over the sleeping form checking visually what his bond with the young man had already told him. Obi-Wan was having a nightmare. Placing one hand on the bare tensed shoulder of his apprentice he gently turned Obi-Wan onto his back. The young Jedi’s breathing was shallow and fast, his eyes moved restlessly beneath eyelids that were normally relaxed and peaceful.
“Obi-Wan?” The Jedi Master called softly, kneeling beside the bed noting the small tear tracks tracing down the planes of his students cheeks.
“No.” It was just a whisper, barely loud or coherent enough to be heard. And the voice that uttered it was pleading and broken.
Qui-Gon readjusted his position and focused inwardly through the force.
The young Jedi had fully shielded his mind even in sleep so as not to disturb his Master, causing Qui-Gon to wonder how long his student had been plagued by nightly visions. The shields were nearly perfect, but his sleep weary mind wasn’t as strong as it would have been were he fully awake, and Qui-Gon was able to penetrate them through a tiny crack of grief even as the body of the younger Jedi shook with a silent sob.
//Padawn// He filled their bond with as much peace and calming as he possibly could. //Obi-Wan I need you to wake up young one.//
//Master?// The confusion and longing in the voice caused his heart to seize in his chest catching his breath. Obi-Wan’s breathing began to slow imperceptibly with the break in his dreams.
//Yes Padawan, it is I. Please I need you to wake up now.//
The shields in Obi-Wan's mind shattered into bright pieces of the force and sparkled into the flow of feelings and emotions that washed over Qui-Gon. Relief. Joy. Contentment. A desperation and longing that was finally filled in the touch and sound of his Masters voice.
As Obi-Wan struggled toward consciousness, Qui-Gon stilled. Blue-green eyes large with now subdued fears opened and locked solidly onto blue ones. Obi-Wan didn’t move for several minutes working on calming his breathing and driving away the last cobwebs of confusion that the nightmare had trapped him in. He slowly unclenched one fist that had been locked tightly on the sheets around him and began to sit up. Qui-Gon felt the last of the tension leave the young body before him as the student became more aware of his surroundings.
//It is you.// The words held just the slightest hint of surprise.
“Yes Padawan. You were having a nightmare.” Qui-Gon moved back slightly in order to look directly into the eyes of his student. Eyes he found shut as the young man breathed deeply in relief shunting his negative feelings away.
It hadn't been a question but Obi-Wan knew the tone demanded an answer. Looking back into the older Jedi’s eyes he replied softly, “Yes Master.”
Qui-Gon’s eyebrows arched questioningly. “And you’ve been having them a lot haven't you?” Trying to forestall the inevitable conversation Obi-Wan averted his gaze letting it roam around the room soaking up the familiarity of home to ground himself. His Masters fingers gently redirected the apprentice's gaze, pulling his face back to focus on the other.
“Yes Master.” The voice was quiet and small. “Ever since we returned from Ryliss.”
“What? That was weeks ago. What troubles you so Padawan that you thought to shield me from you?” The question was unnecessary, Qui-Gon was fairly certain he knew the answer, but it would do the young man good to speak it aloud.
“I didn’t want to wake you.” Obi-Wan looked down again.
“Obi-Wan", his tone was gentle yet stern, there would be no escape from this line of questioning. He knew the younger man's fear and how hard it was for the independent Jedi to admit it, but this was something that they needed to deal with and now was as good a time as any. “I am right here now. Don’t shield yourself from me. There is nothing you could feel that you need hide from me.”
“Master, I almost lost you.” the words were sad and soft. “When I couldn’t feel you on that ship I wondered if I would ever be able to feel anything again.
“And that is what your nightmares have been?”
“Yes Master, that and I could not find you. And….and that I was too late.”
Making up his mind the Jedi Master sat on the edge of the bed. Obi-Wan faced him expectantly the moonlight casting soft contrasting shadows on his pale skin.
“Padawan there is something I want to show you. I need you to relax and find your center.”
Obediently Obi-Wan complied, closing his eyes deepening his breathing and focusing inward to touch the force. Qui-Gon watched until he was satisfied his apprentice was ready. Closing his own eyes the older Jedi reached out to his student through their bond touching his mind and redirecting his focus.
Obi-Wan felt the familiar brush of his Master against their connection and submitted to his touch allowing the other to redirect his inner vision and align himself more fully with his teacher. Ripples in the force cascaded around them shimmering with warmth and light.
//Now Padawan, what do you see?//
//The force Master//
//Good and what was the first lesson you learned of the force?//
//That the force binds all things together.//
//Good. Now let go Obi-Wan, and tell me what you feel.//
Obi-Wan breathed deeply and opened himself further to the current of swirling energy. The jolt of emotion and a lifetime of images from his Master hit him like a shockwave leaving afterimages dancing in his retinas while searing emotions and feelings in his mind that would never recover from the imprinting. Love, flashburned into his soul forever. Reeling, his eyes flew open and focused on the man seated on the bed before him. Qui-Gon realizing his student had broken the link refocused on the young Jedi.
“Do you know what that was Obi-Wan?” he asked softly.
The apprentice merely shook his head not daring to speak.
“That young one is my signature in the force. Every person has one. You can find me wherever you are, no matter how separated we are from one another. It is imprinted on your own signature now, I did that for you. You will never be alone Obi-Wan. You never were. All you need to do is go to the force and you will find me. I will be as close to you as your next breath.”
When Obi-Wan still did not speak his Master stood, pushing him gently back down onto his bed laughing. “What no questions?” He teased playfully looking down at the young man. “It’s not often I can catch you off guard. This is nice.”
“What Obi-Wan, what is it?” Seriousness tinted the elders voice as the young Jedi simply lay there staring up at the man. Gui-Gon hesitated in the doorway waiting for his student to respond.
“I never knew Master. Thank you.” A small smile graced his lips.
“Your welcome Padawan. Now come, it’s time to rest. Morning will be here quickly and I hear Master Yoda has some new assignment for us.” The older Jedi turned and headed for his own room.
//No more shields Padawan.// The gentle reprimand sounded through their bond.
//Yes Master, no more.//
//And no more nightmares.//
“No Master, no more nightmares.” The promised words were the breath of a whisper as the young Jedi fell soundly asleep.