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Another hour-fic - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Another hour-fic
I'm going to try and make a habit of these things, though not always in the midnight hour. In fact, I'm going to try and do them over lunch hour, rather than pigging out at a restaurant. Kind of an abstract workout, I guess...

Anyway, sarah531 asked for a Qui/Obi. Let's see what happens.



It was twenty paces from the lake to the base of the nearest staircase in the Jedi Temple garden. Obi-Wan had counted it. He could squeeze in thirty paces if he walked heel-toe-heel-toe, and make it in twelve if he used his widest stride, but it was twenty even if he made no special effort.

It was a rather useless thing to know, but figuring it out had taken the better part of the last hour--one experiment after another, different speeds, different strides. He'd lost count once when some younger boys had run and jumped into the water.

But it was official.

Twenty paces.

If Qui-Gon didn't finish his meeting with the Council soon, Obi-Wan realized dimly that he'd be pacing out the perimeter of the room next.

Settle. Find your center. Feel the Living Force.

He took a deep breath, tried to meditate, and found himself pacing again.

Fine. Then at least change direction.

He picked a spot along the far wall, figuring that at least it would be a longer path, and had gone about halfway when the turbolift came down with a hum. Obi-Wan no longer needed to wait for the doors to open; he knew Qui-Gon's presence well enough to know that the meeting had finally ended. He abandoned the path he'd chosen, and stood in front of the lift's door, his hands behind his back, trying for at least an illusion of calm.

"Did you have a good walk?" Qui-Gon asked as he came out. He was grinning slightly.

"Yes, Master."

"The ability to meditate in motion is an important one for a Jedi."

"I... I didn't meditate much."

"I know."

"So, what did they say?"

"Hmmm." Qui-Gon sat down on a rock. "The Council disapproves of my actions on Illahea, which isn't surprising."

"You knew they would?"

"I was acting outside the boundaries of our mission," Qui-Gon said. "And I involved myself with local politics against the explicit directives of the Council." He reached into a cloth sack he was carrying. "Utriti fruit?" he asked, tossing one Obi-Wan's way.

Obi-Wan caught it, careful not to squeeze too hard--the skin of the fruit was hard but brittle, and the soft, juicy meat inside would spray every whichway if he broke it. "Is there... a consequence?"

"There are always consequences when you make a choice, Obi-Wan. Had we not acted, the consequence would have been more severe. The students who had barricaded themselves in the monument would certainly have been killed when it was torn down if we'd done nothing."

"What if we'd just gotten them to leave and let the wrecking crews come? You know, not taken sides?"

"Ah, but that would have been taking a side. To take any action would be to take a side. I chose to take the one with which I agreed." He broke off a bit of fruit and scraped the meat from the skin with his teeth. "The Council understands that something needed to be done. At least I think they do."

"What are they... well, are you in... Are you in trouble, Master?"

Qui-Gon grinned. "A bit. Nothing unusual. I just realized... this is the first time I've been called before the Council since I took you as my padawan. You've been a good influence on me, apparently."

"Master--"

"I'm restricted to Temple work for three months," Qui-Gon said. "Teaching, gardening, a bit of repair. It sounds relaxing, actually."

"And me?"

"They recognize that you did not have control over my choices. There are no consequences for you."

Except for being stuck on Coruscant for three months, Obi-Wan thought before he could stop himself. He looked away from Qui-Gon, out across the lake. Siri was leaving tomorrow for a mission with her master, Adi Gallia, and at lunch she'd been full of information she'd been gathering in the archives. In three months, she'd undoubtedly go on several more.

And she would certainly let him know about it.

"Padawan?"

Obi-Wan looked over his shoulder, ashamed at the run of his thoughts. "I'm sorry, Master. I am... worrying about unworthy matters."

"Siri Tachi?"

He nodded.

Qui-Gon smiled broadly and took another bite of his fruit. "Maybe you can find some trouble to get into on Coruscant so you can compare notes."

"Master, I don't wish to be in trouble."

"Ah. I see. Was that a rebuke?"

"No!"

Qui-Gon raised his eyebrows. "Are you certain?"

"Of course. You're my Master. It's not my place to rebuke you."

"And yet everything you're doing is a rebuke." Qui-Gon sighed deeply. "I'm afraid that part of being my padawan is going to be dealing with these bouts with the Council. We see things differently."

"I understand."

"And yet, I see that it isn't fair to you. How much will you be learning from me, repairing the plumbing in the Temple?"

"I'll learn about plumbing," Obi-Wan offered. "It's not a subject I have any experience with."

Qui-Gon accept the offer with a smile. "Always a useful skill. You never know when you'll need to depend on yourself for basic needs."

"Well, then. There's good to it. And I'll wager Siri won't pick that skill up."

Qui-Gon laughed, then grew serious. "Sit down, Obi-Wan," he said, pointing to a rock bench across from him. "Please."

Obi-Wan sat on the bench. "What is it, Master?"

"You are right to feel cheated. You are accepting consequences of a decision you didn't make, and it will have an impact on your life."

"It's all right, Master."

"No, it isn't. I have a responsibility to you. I neglected it, and I am sorry."

Obi-Wan didn't have the slightest idea how to respond to this. He toyed with his utriti fruit.

"I can't--and won't--make a promise that I won't decide to defy the Council again. But perhaps we can make a bargain."

"What sort of bargain?"

"If I believe that the Council needs to be defied, rather than acting immediately, I'll talk to you about it. You will have your say, and if in the end we still choose to act, at least it will be your own choice for which you're accepting consequences."

"And if I disagree with you, you won't do something?"

"I haven't worked out all the kinks yet," Qui-Gon said with a slight grin. "But we'll figure it out."



Eh. Time's up. I'm pretty sure I've got the JA timeline really screwed up here, but I haven't got my books to check. If I post it anywhere other than my LJ, I promise to check it against them.

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Comments
sarah531 From: sarah531 Date: March 13th, 2004 11:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved it! :D Excellent!
leelastarsky From: leelastarsky Date: March 14th, 2004 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Perfectly in character once again. :~)
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