Title: The Translator

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Star Wars

Rating: G

Disclaimer: Lucas! Not me! It's all him, baby!

Summary: Short PWP in which Obi-Wan's off world, miserable and sniffling

Note: I was taking my aggressions towards translating out on this fic, sorry!



The Translator


     "Just because I have a gift for it, doesn't mean I have to like being dragged across the galaxy." Obi-Wan crossed his arms over his chest, then reached up and dragged a hand back and forth beneath his nose roughly, then went back to crossing his arms. He sent a glare his master's way, but Qui-Gon, busy speaking pouring over navigational plans with the co-pilot did not see it.


     Obi-Wan raised himself up on tip-toes to try to see the plans over the shoulders of the two men, but though Qui-Gon did not see the nose rub or glare, he did sense that and shifted them so Obi-Wan could not see. Obi-Wan had heard that in order to make it to the meeting on time, they would need to go at top speeds, and pass through less desirable systems. But though the specific details of it all had been kept from him, he figured that if he waited it out and paid good attention, he'd find out soon enough without needing to be told. Still, it made him feel a bit lost and restless, two things he constantly had to reach out to the force to center himself against. But that was easier said than done. He scrubbed his hand at his nose again.


     "There's no need for you to complain yet again," Qui-Gon replied, turning his head so his soft words went further over his shoulder, but he didn't look back. "Why don't you just go try and rest until we land? Try to stay warm- that will help with your sniffling."


     Back to the cargo hold, that was his advice, his order, rather. It had taken Obi-Wan nearly ten minutes to clear his nose and head well enough to go to the cockpit and speak in the first place. He supposed it was only fitting that it had done no good. They were still going, and there was nothing he could say to change Qui-Gon's mind when it was made up. Obi-Wan turned from the cockpit and headed back to the hold. "It won't help that much, especially since it's colder back here than it is up there in that stuffy little area with three warm bodies." He looked apprehensively back as the door slid shut behind, hoping for even an instant Qui-Gon might lift his head and see how badly he was starting to look. Or, rather, supposed he was looking.


     "ahhh-IHHKshhhh! TChuhhh! Ehh-TCHUHhh! Ughh..." Obi-Wan rubbed the cuff of his robes at his nose. "I wasd't cobladig," he grumbled, taking a seat on a small crate he'd designated a chair and leaning up against another for support. He had found an itchy, industrial sort of blanket covering one of the crates but decided he wasn't quite so desperate. So, instead, he sat, sniffing and curling into himself. His hood came over his head, hands retreated into the big sleeves of his robe, his hands traveling up his arms to rub them warmer. "I'b sdiffley add code add-ahh...ahhh-IHHkgshhh! ehhKutchhhh! Sniff! Add I dode wad do be here. Sniff! Dow thad's coblaidig."


     He eyed the translation books on the crate in front of him which served as a table, then snapped his eyes shut as the sight of them only made him feel worse. "Afder lasd tibe, sniff, sniff, you'd thig he'd thig twice before takig be od a bissiod whed I'b sig." He was true that it was only a little sniffle that was bothering him, but it wasn't being helped much by the cold of the cargo hold. "Sniff, sniff! As if I could bossibly do a good job tradslatig whed I soud lige dis?" He pulled his hand out from the warm sleeve and rubbed at his nose, miserably. With one last peek in hopes that Qui-Gon might be coming to check on him, he sighed and resolved himself to be utterly alone for the rest of the journey.


     Obi-Wan pulled one of the fatter dictionaries to him, and set it down on his crate. Then he lay sideways and curled up, using the book for a pillow. He could not remember feeling less comfortable, even including the time he had slid down a precipice and hung from his ankles, hurt and bleeding for two hours, until rescue came. "ahhh-IHKushhh! IHChuhhh! ehhChuhhh! Ehhh...ehhh-CHUH! Sniiifffff! Oh Sith," he said, closing his eyes and retreating in his cloak so completely that not a bit of skin was exposed to the cold and there was just enough air for hot, stuffy breaths through the fabric. "Eved by sdiffles soud cogested." He sighed and closed his eyes. "Baster Qui-God is goig to kill be whed he hears." Pleading with the force to make him sound better, if not feel better, by their arrival, he let himself fall to sleep for the rest of the journey.


     Obi-Wan woke with a thump and a shake. One hand reached out to steady himself at, what he thought must be the ship landing, but found no crate beneath him. When he reached up to feel for the book, it was not there either. While his first reaction was mild confusion, the other was fear that he might have lost the book. It was on loan from the delegation and he was not supposed to have mistreated it. Panicked, he sat up and pulled back his hood to look for it.


     As he sat, the bed gave way beneath him, bouncing with a gentle, soothing motion. The bed. A bed. Obi-Wan looked about. The room was almost nauseatingly white, from fluffy while comforters and sheets on the bed to the metal furniture around the room, to the very wall and floors themselves. At yet, it did not look sterile, with its white tropical plant in the corner and over the dresser a painting of a white sand beach encased in a white-washed bamboo frame. The only real hit of color was the brown lump on the white couch. It was only a two-seater, but his master had tried to squish himself on it nonetheless. Qui-Gon, who was taller by a lot and broader by far at the shoulders, should logically have taken the bed instead of giving it to Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan continued to look around, hoping to see the books, just to calm himself a bit to know they were safe. They did not seem to be anywhere, however.


     "ahhh..." he breathed, lifting his hand to his nose and mouth, cupping tightly. He did not want to wake Qui-Gon with a sneeze. The man was liable to fall right off the small couch or put his leg through the arm with surprise or something. Obi-Wan threw off the rest of the heavy covers which had fallen down when he sat up, and he sprung out of bed, heading for the door.


     As it shut softly behind him, he leaned back against it, holding his other arm close to his stomach to help steady him as the sneezes tossed him forward. "hahhh...ahh-CHUSHH! TChuhhh! TChuhhhhh! ehhTCHUH!"


     There was a soft clicking sound beside him, and he turned to see what he assumed must be a security guard or a government official, due to the gold trinkets decorating his otherwise glowing white uniform. Obi-Wan nodded, sniffed hard, coughed to clear his throat, and replied in a similar series of clicks and hisses that seemed horribly foreign to his ears despite his amount of practicing.


     The man, whose skin was pale and hair was a dark violet, nodded. Then he reached up and patted Obi-Wan's shoulder, before carrying on down the hallway. Feeling another sneeze coming on, he lifted his hand again.      "ahhh...ahhh...KETChhhhhh! ehKtchhuhhh! ehhhChuhhhh!" By the time he had finished sniffling and looked up, the man had gone round the far corner.


     Obi-Wan wanted to ask about the books, and about their arrival, but that main probably wouldn't have known anything and Obi-Wan had no frame of reference in order to start out exploring to find someone who might. Everything in the hallway, from floor to ceiling to doors, were equally excruciatingly white. And even with the force to guide him back so he would not lose his place in the halls, he feared his senses might be so clouded from his sniffles that it was a foolish idea not to just go back to bed.


     Case in point, he felt the warm hand of his master, and the even warmer body attached to it pressed against his back without having heard the door open. "What are you doing out here? Come back to bed and stay warm." The hand further directed Obi-Wan inside and Obi-Wan followed, hoping for answers.


     But like all hopes, his were quickly dashed. Qui-Gon allowed him just enough time to pull off his boots and belt before smothering him in heavy white blankets. "Is id all you cad say to be every tibe? To go back add get warb?"


     "Mmmm," the Jedi Master murmured, stroking the warm head now digging into a white, fluffy pillow. He pulled back the long padawan braid, twisting it a bit to feel the tiny bumps of the braided pattern against his fingertips. He sat down on the edge of the single bed and Obi-Wan got the impression that he had done so many times before just now. "How about my saying that I was wrong and that just because you can speak beautiful Telmarian it does not mean I should have forced you across the galaxy to translate?"


     It was true that the language was not easily learned by anyone. With every inflection creating different nuances and every sound with double or triple meanings that only made sense in the context of other sounds.  But most humanoids did not have the proper vocal structure to even attempt speaking it. It was rare to find anyone at all to translate it with any quality. It just so happened that Obi-Wan not only had an excellent ear for it, but the ability to speak it. As the happy accident of learning this had come so late, they were forced to journey to the meetings as soon as they had been ordered. Obi-Wan's case of the sniffles, having been ruled by the healers to be of no great risk, had been of no great concern either. Until, apparently, now, when it has taken precedence over the mission.


     At mention of Obi-Wan's mission, the padawan thought again to ask about the books' safety. Or about the important meeting they had rushed across the galaxy to be just in time for. But a hot, soothing wave of the force swept over him as the back of Qui-Gon's hand brushed his cheek. It was the sort of feeling Qui-Gon had given him when he was young and not feeling well and needed some extra reassurance to stay in bed and go to sleep. Obi-Wan did not fight the touch's meaning this time either. He sniffled and snuffled and rubbed his cheek against the soft pillow. It wasn't his sleep couch back on home world, and it wasn't anything like Qui-Gon's bed, either. It was small and made just to fit him. And the blankets were so heavy he couldn't think how to move them but had absolutely no desire to do so. Warm and content, he closed his eyes again.


     "That's it. Good lad. Don't fight it," whispered Qui-Gon affectionately. "Go back to sleep. That will help your sniffles."


     A soft smile crossed Obi-Wan's face, as Qui-Gon knew it would at those words. And with a few more sniffles first, he fell back to sleep, sure that eventually he'd understand what was going on, even if he was never really told.