Day 2

Title: Day 2
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Star Wars pre-TPM
Rating: PG
Pairing: Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my 'verse. I don't get paid a cent to play. Please don't sue and make things worse.
Summary: Qui-Gon is ill and the treatment is something neither of our boys wants.
Note: Part of the 12 Ficlets in 12 Days project 2011-2012. Requested by unicornpearlz


Day 2

It had started with a few dozen sneezes. Though, if Obi-Wan was honest with himself, it had started before that with a sniffle and a yawn. At first, they thought Qui-Gon was merely rundown after a long mission offworld. Then they thought he had caught a bit of a cold. Before they found out it was more than that it had been nearly too late.

And now Qui-Gon lay, unconscious, on the floor of a cargo hold, en route to Coruscant.  Obi-Wan lit his lightsaber and ran it over the blanket to keep it warm. He had offered to slide under the blankets to keep his master warm using his body heat, but Qui-Gon had refused in the presence of others.

It had been another story a few days before, when it had seemed that Obi-Wan was coming down with the cold as well. Obi-Wan had snuck out of his guest quarters and joined Qui-Gon in his at the Presidential Palace. They had snuggled up together in bed, going through a single tissue box. Obi-Wan hated feeling ill, but it felt good to be with Qui-Gon. He loved being close to Qui-Gon and sharing one more thing with him. Later that night, however, he had been away from Qui-Gon, getting food for them, and realized he had felt fine. It was then that he had put up the first wall, just a small division in their bond. It was then that he realized Qui-Gon was somehow transferring his illness to Obi-Wan. And it was then he realized this wasn’t as simple as a little cold.

“It’s all right, Master,” Obi-Wan whispered, his words echoing in the large cargo hold. “We’re landing now. Once you’re at the Healing Dome, we’ll find Tala and he’ll fix you right up. You’ll be better soon, I promise.”

Obi-Wan pushed a surge of reassurance through the bond, hoping his master could feel it, even unconscious. He was rewarded with a tiny squeeze of his hand. Maybe Qui-Gon wasn’t unconscious after all. Obi-Wan lowered all his shields again, briefly, and felt Qui-Gon there. The man was weak, latching onto their bond through the Force for strength. Obi-Wan gave it willingly, and tried not to let his master know he was terribly worried.

The ship shook as it touched down on the platform. When the bay door opened and Obi-Wan saw the team of healers standing by, relief swept over him. They came on board and performed a quick evaluation, then levitated him onto a stretcher and took him straight to the Healing Dome, just as Obi-Wan had known they would. Obi-Wan had to run to keep up with their pace, but his training with Qui-Gon served him well and he was not even out of breath when he arrived there on their heels.

But when he got there, he found a door that would not open when he approached. He pressed his hand to it, but it would not slide open. Obi-Wan considered raising a fist to it, but he feared damaging the glass or making noise. This was a place of soft comforts and quiet healing.

“Padawan Kenobi?”

Obi-Wan spun to find a healer standing there. Just who he needed to see. “My master was just brought in. I need to see him.”

“I’m sorry, but that won’t be possible for a while.”

Obi-Wan gave a start and looked back at the woman. “What?”

“Qui-Gon is quite ill. He needs our help.”

She was speaking to Obi-Wan as if he were a youngling, which he was not. His braid was all the way down to his shoulder and he had passed all the required courses. His bond with his master was well-established now. It had taken years upon years, but he had finally grown into someone his Jedi Master could rely on for anything. He loved being that. And it was because of that that he needed to go through that door and get to Qui-Gon. “I understand. He needs me with him. He needs my strength.”

However, the healer remained unmoved. “I understand your need to go to your master right now, but there’s nothing you can do for him. The healers are working on him and no one will be allowed in until he is in isolation.”

A cold chill seized Obi-Wan. Isolation sounded dreadful. “Is he… going to die?”

The healer shook her head. “We don’t believe so, but he’s very ill. We’ll know better after we run some tests. If you’d like to go to your quarters, I can have someone contact you when they have a better idea—”

“No,” Obi-Wan interrupted. “I’m staying right here until you let me in to see him.”

The healer frowned. “Padawan, you’ve been through a lot. And you did an excellent job getting your master here. You deserve to rest.”

Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes. He couldn’t possibly think of resting until he knew Qui-Gon was well. “I’d like to speak with Healer D’Marke.” Tala would understand. Tala would let him go inside.

“Master D’Marke has been detained elsewhere at the moment.”

It figured. Obi-Wan looked around. Nothing but potted plants and sand-colored walls. Preparing to stay here as long as he needed to, Obi-Wan chose a spot by the door, plopped down, and wrapped his robes around himself for warmth.

“Now, Padawan, you’re being unreasonable.”

Obi-Wan looked up, eyes full of the anger he was only barely managing to contain. A Jedi must always be in control of his emotions, Qui-Gon had taught him that. But Qui-Gon had failed to teach him about what to do when Qui-Gon wasn’t around to teach him. “If you don’t want me here, heal Qui-Gon. I’ll leave once he’s well. Until then, my place is with my master—as close to him as I can get.”

The healer sighed and shook her head. “Then I will not move you.” She turned and left him sitting there, staring at the closed door.


Qui-Gon came to with a violent sneeze. “ehhhh-ERSCHHHHHH!” The nightmare of pain and misery returned to him as all the symptoms of his illness came back to him. He reached out through the Force, trying to contact his padawan. //Obi-Wan?// He felt nothing. Their training bond was closed. No… severed. Even more than the awfulness of the illness was the thought of being alone and completely cut off from his padawan learner. //Obi? Padawan? Obi-Wan!// He knew reaching out was useless, but he had to try.

hahh… ehhh… ehhhTChhhhhhh!” He felt a hand on his shoulder, easing him down against somewhere soft. But it wasn’t his bed. And the touch wasn’t from his padawan’s hand.

“Arnup t’chow.” Qui-Gon opened his eyes to see Tala smiling down at him. “Would you like a tissue?”

 Qui-Gon barely had time to nod before one was thrust into his hand. But his arm was too heavy to lift for some reason. Restraints? A tight blanket? He raised his head and tried to look down, but his head spun and he closed his eyes against the extreme dizziness.

He felt the tissue being pulled from him and rubbed against his nose. It felt good, but not as good as when Obi-Wan had taken care of him on the cargo ship with a handkerchief or two. The realization hit Qui-Gon at once. “Obi?”

Tala did not answer immediately. “He won’t be allowed to see you for a while, Qui-Gon.”

Qui-Gon coughed and closed his eyes. “This isd’t just a cold thed, is it?”

“I’m afraid not, my old friend. You’re in isolation.”

ehhh…” Qui-Gon tried to lift his hand again, this time to cover his nose and mouth, but his arm was still too heavy to lift. He turned his head, hoping to aim into a pillow or his shoulder, but found another tissue at his nose again. He felt childish and useless but accepted the tissue. “ehhh-EHPTSHhhhhhhh! Kuhshuhhhh!” He waited a second, feeling the tissue leave, but knowing he still needed it. His nose tickled fiercely, wrinkled, flared. “hah-CHOOO!

“Oh dear! Sorry.”

The tissue back in place, Qui-Gon nuzzled into it, breath catching in his throat. “eh-heh-heh-hehShhhhh! Ershuhhhhh! Ehh-Shuhhh! Hehh-Eh-EHSHUHhhh! Ehptchhhhhh! Ehgtshhuhhhh!” At last, he felt the tickle back down. He gave one last, stuffy “ehrschhh!” and then relaxed.

“Force, Qui, what sneezes! How long have you been this bad?”

Qui-Gon couldn’t answer. His head throbbed and nose ran and his throat felt all scratchy and sore.


Qui-Gon nodded.

A soft, warm cloth was pressed to his forehead and a small cube of melting ice was slipped into his mouth. He pressed it to the flaming roof of his mouth, where it dissolved in an instant. He coughed. “Cod… cod-huh-huhAhshhhhhh! Codtageous?” he asked, wondering about that isolation Tala had mentioned.

“Yes, but only to Jedi.” He gave an embarrassed sort of smile. “Which means, I get to look after you for a while. Just one more benefit of being expelled from the Order.”

Qui-Gon’s eyes went wide. “Why ab I at the Jedi Teble?”

“We didn’t know your condition until you were already here. Obi-Wan wanted you treated by the best.” Sheepishly, “Too bad you’re stuck with me instead.” He gave Qui-Gon another small cube of ice to suck on. “This virus is shared through the Force. And while I do have some familiarity with that, it is not as strong with me as with a Jedi. Or your padawan.”

Qui-Gon was glad to have a friend there, but isolation and a highly contagious disease… what if he somehow transferred it? What if it swept through the temple? What where they telling Obi-Wan? He glanced over at the door, wishing it would open but knowing it wouldn’t.


ih’hshh!” Obi-Wan sneezed into his forearm. His nose had been running all night and rubbing at it with his knuckles was irritating rather than helpful. He had a handkerchief in his pocket, but he’d used it with Qui-Gon on the shuttle and he didn’t think it was a very good idea to use that. So he sniffled and shivered on his own.

The floor was freezing cold. One of the healers had brought him a blanket, but he’d refused it… until he got too cold and wrapped it around himself later. One of the healers had brought him food, but he’d refused that… until his stomach rumbled and he couldn’t help but nibble a bit at it. One of the healers had brought him a cup of tea… but he’d accepted that at once, grateful for it.

Coruscant was colder at night, with the sun down. The Healing Dome was always kept at a moderate temperature, but just outside and on the ground, meant Obi-Wan was freezing. He drifted in and out of sleep for hours, calling out to his master through their bond, only to find it severed.

He knew this was foolish. Qui-Gon wouldn’t get better just because he was here. If Qui-Gon knew, he would probably laugh and order Obi-Wan straight to bed. But his place was here and he wanted to be nearby so that he could see Qui-Gon as soon as he possibly could.

“Padawan Kenobi?”

Obi-Wan looked up in mid-yawn. Master Windu towered above him. Obi-Wan sprang to his feet. “I’m sorry, Master. I didn’t sleep well.”

“I’m sure you didn’t. Your quarters seem like a much better choice.”

Shaking his head, “I want to stay near my master.”

Mace cocked his head in thought. “Want?”

Obi-Wan thought about that. It was what he wanted. But, as a Jedi, he wasn’t really supposed to want anything. It was much more than just want. It was his duty to be near Qui-Gon.

“Padawan, I think we need to have a conversation about attachment. You know it’s forbidden for Jedi.”

“Qui-Gon taught me that.”

“And do you not think this might be a side effect of attachment? Padawan, don’t you understand the importance of not forming attachments?”

Of course Obi-Wan understood. Being a Jedi meant doing what was necessary for the good for the universe. Sometimes that meant killing. Sometimes that meant sacrificing. Sometimes that meant making the hard decisions. And you could do none of those things if you had a personal attachment to someone involved.

“I…” Though he started to answer, he stopped after he realized his answer was the wrong one. After some thought, he took a deep breath. “Forgive me, Master Windu, but I have never fully understood that directive. In order to learn the ways of the Jedi, the Council assigns padawans to masters and they form bonds—strong bonds. Isn’t that attachment?” Obi-Wan didn’t give the Jedi master time to respond. “Jedi are taught to love so that we can be caretakers of the universe. We use the Force to promote peace and harmony. How can we do that without being attached to life around us?”

“These are precisely the sorts of issues you need a master to help you reconcile.”

Nodding, “And so I’ll wait here until I can see my master again and let him guide me.” Obi-Wan Kenobi was a stickler for the rules. He never defied the council; he would never dream of defying the council. But when it came to Qui-Gon, he was more sure about his place than anything else. So he gathered the blanket and sat back down on the ground outside the door. After a few moments, Master Windu took his leave.

Obi-Wan watched him until he turned the corner at the end of the walkway and passed out of sight. Then he drew his legs up, bent at the knees, and hugged them to his chest. Was what he felt really the sort of attachment the Jedi were warned against? It was normal to need to trust his master. It was important to want his master to get better when ill. And it was crucial to help in whatever way he could. Attachment? Yes, he was guilty of attachment. But if that was all he was guilty of in his effort to help his master, he told himself it was worth it.


//Obi-Wan?// He knew Obi-Wan was far away, but it made him feel better to try to reach his padawan. It was just about all he could do, while lying there in isolation, “heh-Shuhhh! Snff!” apart from sneeze. //Obi-Wan?//

“Qui-Gon, I told you that won’t work.”

“I did’t ask you to listed… id. Huh-Ehh… ehhh-HITShooo!

Tala plucked a few tissues from the box and held them to Qui-Gon’s nose to help him blow his nose. “I wasn’t listening this time. I know that look in your eye. You were trying to contact your padawan again.”

Qui-Gon did not meet his friend’s gaze. Tala knew him all too well, knew things that he shouldn’t know.

“The healers have blocked your bond with Obi-Wan and have diminished your connection with the Force to keep the virus from spreading within the Temple.”

Qui-Gon looked up at Tala. “I thought doctors were subbosed to heal, dot hurt.”

That comment made Tala wince in pain, as though Qui-Gon had thrust a lightsaber into his stomach. “I’m doing everything I can to make you comfortable while you fight off this virus. The meds I gave you are already starting to kick in. All you need is to be patient for a little while longer.” He rubbed Qui-Gon’s arm. “Do you think you can do that without calling for your padawan every few hours and using up your strength needlessly?”

Rolling over onto his side, he shook off Tala’s touch. He had never felt so alone. Even when he’d been alone before, he’d always had the Force to connect to. Now he couldn’t even feel what was in his own blood. Tears were so close to the surface, and he tried to fight them off. But Tala was right about using what little strength he had left for the wrong reasons. So they spilled from him, racing down his face. “I’b sorry,” he sobbed. “So sorry.”

“Think nothing of it. I know you feel dreadful and cut off from everything and everyone you care about.”

Qui-Gon reached back and caught hold of Tala’s hand. He squeezed. “Dot everyode.”

Tala squeezed back. Then he set to work drying Qui-Gon’s face. Luckily, there were plenty of tissues on hand.


Obi-Wan’s fantasies of charging his lightsaber and storming through the doors faded with each hour. He’d been there for three days now, and no one had been able to give him an update because no one was allowed to go near Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan hated to think of Qui-Gon alone, being tended to by drones.

The wait was not only tedious but pointless. Even Obi-Wan was starting to doubt his purpose there.

And that was when the door opened. Obi-Wan jumped up immediately, shocked to see the door open. He was even more shocked to see Tala and then Qui-Gon. Qui-Gon had a blanket around his shoulders and a tissue box in hand, but there was color in his face and alertness in his eyes. “Master! I’m so glad to see you!” What he wanted to do was throw himself at Qui-Gon, hug him tightly, and kiss him passionately. But what he did was stand there, wide-eyed. “I can’t feel you.” His feelings for his master had not changed, nor had the way he reached out to his master through the Force. But he couldn’t feel the man with their bond because he couldn’t find their bond.

Tala spoke up before Qui-Gon could reply. “Don’t be alarmed. It will take some time for the Force inhibitors to wear off, but they will, just as Qui-Gon’s symptoms will lesson. The good news is that he is no longer contagious. I will release him to your care.”

Qui-Gon laid a hand on Obi-Wan’s shoulder. “Take be hobe, Badawad.”

The walk back to their quarters was a speedy one, despite Qui-Gon’s need to stop and cough or sneeze a number of times. When they got inside, with the door closed behind them, Qui-Gon looked around. Their bags from their trip offworld were just inside the door. Qui-Gon almost tripped on them, surprised. “You did’t udback?”

“I didn’t go home.”

“Oh, Obi…”

He couldn’t possibly resist any longer. Obi-Wan launched himself forward and wrapped his arms around his master. They kissed, noses bumping, until Qui-Gon pulled back, needing to sneeze. This time, he was able to press the tissues to his own nose. “S-sorry, I… I-hahh… hahhhChooo!

Obi-Wan steered him straight for the couch and pulled the blanket there around them both. “Master… about our bond… about us… I realize attachment is forbidden, but I…”

Qui-Gon slid an arm around Obi-Wan and pulled him close, cuddling him. Obi-Wan was stiff at first, but it took only a second for the young man to snuggle against his master’s chest. “Do you wish to chadge our relatiodshib?”

Not even needing to think about it for a moment, Obi-Wan kissed his master’s cheek, his sensitive lips brushing against stubble and beard.

It had started with a few dozen sneezes, yes, but it had ended with a few dozen kisses.