You're Safe. I've Got You.


“You're safe. I've got you.”


Obi-Wan didn't have the strength to lift his head off the ice, but he didn't need to. Qui-Gon's heavy body pressed down on top of him. Qui-Gon's strong arms wrapped around him. And Qui-Gon's warm chest covered his face. Obi-Wan knew this was a terrible time to sneeze, but he could do nothing about it. The only thing that had kept him alive this long had been his ability as a Jedi to slow down his body, conserve his strength, and slip into a meditative state. Now that his master had released him from that, every complaint in his body was back—the pounding headache, the sharp pain of the wound in his leg, and the niggling need to sneeze.


//Mas... ter... excuse...// It was all the warning he could provide before “ihhhptuhhh!” right into his master's cloak. It was wet, strong, and embarrassing. He tried to pull away from his shame, but he couldn't move. And another sneeze was already upon him. “ihhPuhxshh!


Obi-Wan tried to catch his breath, but the very effort of breathing was almost too much. He didn't know how long since he was struck down and left to die on the ice. He didn't know how long since the battle and the betrayal. He didn't know how long since he realized he was coming down with a cold but told himself it wouldn't interfere with his ability to investigate the trail. All he knew is that now that his nose felt warm again, all it seemed to want to do is tickle madly.


ih-ih-Pitchhuhh! Ihgnishhhh! Ih-yihguhtchhh! Ihhftshhh! ih-hihyesh-uh!


“Bless you many times over, Padawan mine. I'm not surprised your cold has gotten worse. When we're back at the residence, I'll make sure you get all the hankies you need to catch all those terrible sneezes. But, until then, use my robes all you like.”


Still unable to summon the strength to lift his head, Obi-Wan did manage to turn it this time. It was enough to allow him to rub his nose against the dry fabric, which was enough to drive the tickle out momentarily. He snuffled and coughed and gave a sudden, violent shiver.


//Oh, Padawan. Help is right over that ridge. It's already on its way. Just hang on.// Then, out loud for emphasis, he said, “Hang on for me.”


Obi-Wan couldn't lift his hand, but he did turn it in place. It was pale and stiff from the cold, but the fingers buried themselves in his master's warm, thick robes. He wanted to hang on, but all he could do was touch. It was enough for now, though. Sure that his master would not leave him now, Obi-Wan relaxed and passed out.