Title: Aftermath

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Star Wars: Clone Wars

Rating: PG (if that) for violence

Disclaimer: The Jedi, their foes, and their whole universe is not at all mine.

Spoilers: This takes place directly after Chapter 9 of the Clone Wars series

Summary: Short, in which a drenched and tired General Kenobi suffers from the after effects of fighting Durge





     'I'm fine.' That's what he'd told the clone sergeant, before turning it all into a bit of a joke. And at the time, he'd actually believed it himself. As though even a Jedi could be 'fine' after swimming through a two-thousand year old, mentally unstable Gen'Dai like Durge. Obi-Wan took shelter in one of the attack gunships, tossing the helmet of the now dead Durge across the bay.


     He fell against the back wall with shivers and harsh coughs into his fist. Before his chest could finish seizing with coughs, his nose tickled. It had been like going for a swim in a horribly unnatural, viscous liquid. Not only was he warn out, but it felt like there was water up his nose. Obi-Wan shuddered, knowing full well it wasn't water. He scrubbed miserably at it with his fist, then cupped his hand over nose and mouth, preparing to allow his nose to rid itself of the irritation.


     "You should get out of those clothes, General Kenobi," said a clone. Not at all used to being startled, the urge to sneeze tore away from him, settling uncomfortably in the back of his nose. Obi-Wan wished desperately for a handkerchief, or at the least a moment of peace and quiet with which to sneeze uninterrupted. But the battlefield was not a place for either.


     The clone entered, walking in to put down a pile of weapons. The others seemed to have understood he needed a few minutes alone to collect himself after it all and went off the round up the other chief members of the banking clan. There would be interrogations, Obi-Wan knew, in hopes of drawing out the whereabouts of Count Dooku. For as hard as the Jedi tried and as much as they fought, the Jedi-turned-Sith always seemed just one step ahead of them. Yoda was right that the dark side was often hard to see. It seemed even harder for Obi-Wan, who had never quite seen eye-to-eye about the time his own master went against the wishes of the council. He had found his own master's actions difficult to understand at times, and now he was trying to understand his master's master, who was exponentially more contradictory and rebellious. And now the apprentice of a dark Sith lord. Try as he might, Count Dooku slipped away at every possibly opportunity to be confronted. Thus the interrogations would be one of their main hopes for closing in on him. Obi-Wan would be expected to lead these of course, and he couldn't do that coughing and sniffling like this.


     "Thank you, yes I will," said Obi-Wan, hoping the clone picked up on the hint of irritation in his voice for he felt it quite rude to order the man away just because he felt a little sneezey.


     To his annoyance, the clone didn't leave, continuing to take an informal inventory of the weapons that remained after the battle. "There are some clean uniforms in that crate," the clone said, gesturing. Obi-Wan nodded, scrubbing again at his nose. The tickle was starting to come back and Obi-Wan was caught between holding it back to keep his noble appearance and breaking down in a sneezing fit in front of one of the soldiers. "Do you need anything else, General Kenobi?" Obi-Wan shook his head and closed his eyes. Briefly asking the force for guidance, he realized that it was best to put his health above his pride. "General Kenobi?" the clone probed again. "Are you all right?"


     Dripping wet with the thick, sticky insides of the Gen'Dai, Obi-Wan nodded. He could feel the pink goop dripping from his beard down his neck, and from his hair onto his shoulders and back. It chilled him, making him shiver violently. "I'm... I'm fine," he breathed in a way that easily broadcasted the fact that he was not at all fine. Having no handkerchief with which to cover his nose, he cupped both hands to his face and leaned back, preparing for the onslaught. The tickle crept from the back of his nose to the front, filling it with the urge to sneeze and tickling maddeningly in his nostrils. Behind his hands, his nostrils flared and his mouth twitched into an open-mouthed frown. His brow furrowed, eyes squeezing shut. Then he shuddered and lost all ability to control himself. "h'ehkshh! h'tzhshh! h'tchxxshh! h'Tchshhhh! huh-h'keftchh! h'etschhhhhhh!" His hands wet from the juicy sneezes, he raised an arm, directing the rest of the sneezes into his goop-soaked, white armor sleeve. "huh...huh-KIHTchhhh! h'ktchhh! huh-kefchhh! kihtchhh! ehhhhh... heh-hih..." he broke off, swaying, willing the sneeze to come out. The tickling was full in his nose, and all he could think to do was to stand and wait for he felt he would go mad if it didn't come out.


     Patience, however, was a part of the force he had mastered long ago, unlike his Padawan. Ignoring the on-looking clone and all thought of embarrassment, he simply stood and waited as his breaths hitched and pulled at him. "heh-heh-eh...heh...hih...hih-heh...ehhhhhh..." Relaxing, he put all hope of helping the sneeze out of his mind and simply allowed it to happen whenever it wanted. "hehhh...heh-keh...ehh-HIHTchuhhh! h'ketchh! h'kshxxtt! ehh-tchshhh! Hihhhh-KEHSchhhh!" Sniffling and giving a deep sigh of relief that it hadn't taken any longer, Obi-Wan lowered his arm.


     "Sir? Are you sure you're all right?" the clone asked quietly. Usually the clones refrained from showing any emotions at all. It wasn't in their training, or their upbringing, or their nature. This one had not a hint of concern in his voice, yet it sounded different, somehow.


     Obi-Wan scrubbed a finger beneath his nose, glad to find that the tickle in his nostrils had been expelled completely. "Now..." he began, but needed to clear his throat before continuing. "Excuse me. Yes, now I am," he said.


     Obi-Wan began pulling off his clothes, and the clone let him alone, finally. He found a towel in the corner of the box along with medical supplies, and used it to wipe down his sopping wet hair and face before drying the rest of his body, too. His boots, especially, were soaked and squishy, and his leggings were a sopping mess as they were the last to be added to the pile of ruined clothing. He rummaged around to find all the parts of a uniform, feeling slightly odd as he pulled them on. The uniform was constricting and hot, but dry and thus a welcome change. They would certainly do until he could get back to the base station where he had discarded his Jedi outfit in favor of his own uniform for the battle.


     "h'Tkzhhh! h'chishhhh! h'ktchuhhh!" Came a few left-over sneezes, and he shivered again, wrapping the towel around his shoulders and neck to keep whatever was left in his hair from trickling back down his now dry neck. He was sore and bruised, but would heal quickly. He was tired and weary, but had some hours already scheduled for sleeping this night. He was cold and shivery, but would soon warm. There was nothing to do now but wait again, until the troops were back with the rest of the bankers and they could make the journey back to base. "heh-Chumpshh! h'ktchhhh!" He sniffled and coughed a few times, trying to get his throat cleared properly for good.


     General Obi-Wan Kenobi stared at the helmet across the bay curiously. The eyes built into it looked eternally angry but now were cold, lifeless, and empty. Defeat of such an old, regenerative fighter had not been as swift as he had hoped, but it had come in the end. He simply hoped there would be no more such foes to fight in the war any time soon. He wasn't sure he wanted another such swim inside a being for a long time to come. Not that he had minded the task, of course, or felt as though he could not be victorious again. Simply that Master Fisto would be a much better choice in the end. "ehhh-kuh-Tschhhh! Sniff! h'Chahhh!" After all Master Fisto, Obi-Wan guessed with a smile, probably wouldn't have to sneeze so much after it.