Title: Do Not Defy the Council. Not Again.
Fandom: Star Wars, very very pre-TPM
Disclaimer: Definitely not my world and I don’t make a dime from this! But the character of Tala is totally mine.
Summary: Two initiates who occasionally defy the Jedi Council for one reason or another.
Bunnies: #20, #28, #29
Feedback: I’d love some, thanks :-)
Do Not Defy the Council. Not Again.
The corridors of the temple were cold and drafty, lit at night by dim strips of lights on the sides, illuminating the path just enough to allow one to navigate it. He walked quietly, peering around each corner before rounding it; the temple was silent at night so he might have heard anyone’s approach, but that didn’t mean one of the Jedi masters might not be standing in the hallway. He did not want to meet anyone but, more importantly, he did not want to run into anyone.
He wore slippers instead of boots. He took the stairs instead of the lift. He took the side passageways instead of the main ones.
At a door, he pulled the hood of his green robe up over his head and shoved his hands into the front pocket. With a deep breath, he ventured through the doorway into the elements. It was so cold out that he could see the puffs of his breath before his face. The rain pelted down on him in sheets, catching his leggings in the gap between the tops of his boots and the bottom of his robe.
He walked for ten minutes on the outside paths, finally finding himself on one of the landing pads. There was a small station on the side that he made straight toward. Even through the whipping wind and booms of thunder, he could hear the young man coughing. When he got closer, he could see a white cloth clutched to his nose and mouth. And he could see the whites of the young man’s eyes as he looked up with gratitude. But that lasted for just a few seconds. Eyes shut tight, head snapped forward, body rocked. “uhhhKitschhh!”
“Bless you, Qui-Gon.” That got a smile out of his fellow young Jedi initiate.
He scooted over to make room under the overhang. “Thank you for coming, Tala.”
Tala nodded and squeezed beneath, folding himself up, wrapping his arm around his legs to keep them in place. He pushed the hood of the green robe back from over his head. “You’d better get something for that sneeze. We can’t keep coming out here like this.”
Qui-Gon nodded. “I wish I could. But the masters…”
“I know you want to prove yourself to them, but this is ridiculous.”
“Then I guess I’ll just have to be able to sneeze without sounding ridiculous.”
“Good luck with that, my friend.” Tala chuckled and dug a few fresh handkerchiefs out of his pocket. He handed them over. “I think you’ll need these.”
Qui-Gon nodded. He cleared his throat and shook a handkerchief to unfold it. Then he cupped it to his face. “uhhhKTchoo! uhhhhTchuhh! Ugh… Sometimes I wish hankies were as big as tablecloths.”
Tala sighed. “The masters are crazy to make you do guard duty up here every night for a week on top of classes. You got, what, three hours of sleep total yesterday?” He tried to remember what time it had been when he had heard Qui-Gon stumble in that morning and realized the sun had just been rising, the window in their shared room had shown a light glow from it.
“Master Dooku says it builds character. Master Yoda said one of the tamer punishments it is. And Master Tyvokka just looked at me like he was disappointed at me but knew I wouldn’t do it again.”
“You barely violated curfew! It wasn’t your fault that the demonstration match went longer than expected. They should have made an exception.”
“Like they would make if they found you here looking after me right now?”
Though he knew no such exception would be made and knew he’d face a much worse punishment if anyone found him here doing what he was here to do, Tala grinned. “Since when have we obeyed all their rules exactly? I’ll risk it for you.” He pulled a small bottle from his pocket. “Chew this pill. It will help you stay awake. I’ll have another waiting for you at the room when you get back so you can make it through your classes.”
Qui-Gon took the bottle with hesitation. “Tala, you shouldn’t have taken these for me.”
“No one’s going to miss them at Healing Dome. I took them days ago and no one found out. Besides, they’re training me to be a healer. I’m supposed to use my skills to help people. What good is it if I can’t help my best friend?”
With a grateful smile, Qui-Gon popped the pill into his mouth and began chewing. “Th-thanks, Tala.” He tensed up, taking a deep breath. “uhhh… uhhhh-HITChhuhh! Uhtchhh!”
“Bless you.” Tala repressed a yawn, wishing he had one of those pills for himself. “I’d better go. I need to get back before the midnight room check. Are you going to be all right?”
“I’ll be fine. Now you’d better go.”
Nodding, Tala stood up. He pulled the hood back on over his head and stuck his hands back in the front pouch of his robes to keep them dry and warm. With any luck, he’d stay dry on the trip back and slip into bed before the crèche masters started their rounds.