Fandom: Star Wars
Pairing: mention of Qbi-Wan/Qui-Gon
Summary: Obi-Wan doesn’t feel well, but he luckily has some tea.
Notes: Written for day 1 of my 23 Ficlets project to celebrate my 23rd anniversary in the community
Leave it to Obi-Wan to come down with the most wretched head cold he’d ever had in a desert. How he’d managed to catch it and who he’d caught it from hardly mattered, though he had no answer to either. What mattered was that he had finally managed to summon the strength necessary to get out of bed and must not waste it now. Clutching the blanket wrapped around his shoulders and trailing behind him, he crossed the room to the small kitchenette. He bent down and searched through a cabinet, and then he stood and searched through another. He was sure he wouldn’t have put it in the third cabinet, but there, in the very back, he found just what he was looking for.
The tin was old, caked in dust that made his already sensitive, red-rimmed nose itch and tickle all the more. Oh, how his old master would have laughed at him now. Hastily burying his nose in his blanket, covered arm, there was nothing for it but to give in. “hahchhhh! Chhishhh!” Rubbing his nose against the soft fabric and keeping it buried there for protection, he popped the tin open. He closed his eyes against the dust kicked up from the action, then looked down at its contents. There were so few tea leaves left. Keeping his nose shielded with the blanket, he tilted the tin and tapped it against the counter, forcing all that was left to slide into a single corner. It definitely wasn’t much, but he thought there might be just enough for one more cup of Tala’s tea.
Obi-Wan truly hated to finish it off with no way of replenishing it, in case a more terrible cold struck him. But Obi-Wan could not imagine feeling any worse than he did right now. His whole head felt stuffed-up with unbearable congestion, not just his nose. Even just breathing in and out was a skill he could not master. And the headache had traveled to other parts of his body, aching in places he hadn’t felt ache since his days as a Padawan in the saber training classes. His throat was so sore and hot he wasn’t even sure he could swallow anything but tea at the moment without incurring sharp pains there.
As he carefully tipped the last of the tea into his small kettle, he wondered if he should save it for Luke instead. What if the boy caught something monstrous? Surely giving it to Luke was more important than using it himself?
With a sigh, he hugged the blanket tighter around himself and leaned against the stove for support. Closing his eyes, he tried to reach out to the Force for guidance, for an answer. Was he being selfish? Was his patience growing thin and his will weak just because he had a few sniffles?
It wasn’t more than a moment into taking comfort in his connection to the Force when he felt the need to sneeze again. He turned, steepling both hands over his nose and mouth. “hahh-Chihhh! HAHshoo! Hehptchooo!” Obi-Wan opened his eyes as his head swam, and he grabbed hold of the oven handle to keep himself upright. He needed rest in order to recover, and he wasn’t going to get that as long as he kept sneezing like this.
Hoping he was making the right choice, he filled the kettle with water enough for one cup of tea and lit the match that fired up the burner. Even as he stood waiting for the kettle to boil, he was filled with indecisiveness and twinges of regret. But he could not unboil tea without using far more energy than he had within him now. What had happened had happened, and he would have to live with the consequences. It was the story of Obi-Wan’s life.
He was careful to not spill even a single drop as he poured the tea into his only mug. And he was mindful of each step as he made his way back to bed. Taking up a handkerchief in hand and setting the mug on the stacked boxes that constituted a bedside table, he prepared himself. Leaning over, he tipped the mug just a little, just enough for a gulp. It was burning hot, and it wasn’t as strong a taste as he remembered, perhaps because of time, perhaps because of the scant amount of tea leaves, or perhaps because the cold had gotten to his taste buds. But he knew at once it was working.
His nose reacted instantly, a familiar, deep ticklish sensation taking hold. With a sharp gasp that hurt the back of his throat and the roof of his mouth, he turned so he would not knock the precious drink over when he sneezed. Hunching forward, he brought the handkerchief up to his face. “HAHTCHH! HAHChoo! Hahchttt! Hah-hahshoo! Hehpchooo! HUHSHOO!” The tickle was still there, as he wiped at his nose, but already his head felt clearer. He readjusted the handkerchief, not feeling one shred of that guilt lingering now. “Hahh-AHShhhhh! Hahshoo! Hehshoo!” His nose ran now, which was more of a relief than a nuisance.
Obi-Wan leaned back, head hitting the wall of his small home, as his bed had no headboard. He missed the comforting plush of his sleep couch, the soft sheets on his master’s bed, and Qui-Gon’s warm arms around him. Even the Force was not a suitable substitute for any of those just now. He would never forget the luxuries that were once part of his lifestyle on Coruscant; the sand and dirt and loneliness of Tatooine could not compare. But at least he had this tea.
Knowing the tea worked best while it was warm, He bent over and took another gulp.