Title: Sweet Medicine
Fandom: Star Wars
Spoilers: none, really
Disclaimer: Contrary to what you might think, I didn't come up with the Star Wars universe or its characters, George Lucas did, even if he's still a little fuzzy on some of the details. But as such, I get no money from this, only innocent enjoyment.
Summary: Off-world, Qui-Gon falls ill and Obi-Wan is left to play nursemaid, friend, and lover all in one. But he does a bang-up job of it.
It smelled revolting, that much was true. And the sticky, slimy part of it didn't make it any more appealing. It was difficult to pour for that reason, but Obi-Wan measured out exactly a tablespoon, leveled and perfect. To be sure, he held it up to the light in the center of the small hut they had been assigned to stay in while on the planet. "All right," he said, using the force to help him cross the room without spilling a drop. He climbed up onto the bed and kneeled upon it, hovering over his master. "Time for a second spoonful."
However Master Qui-Gon Jinn had other plans. Keeping his mouth closed tightly, he shook his head. Then he rolled over onto his side, facing away from his Padawan. He gave a very wet sniffle and reached up, pulling a tissue out from the box. Another popped up in its place, and he took that one too. He brought them both to his nose with one hand, rubbed for a moment, then gave a soft, wet blow that was supposed to make Obi-Wan cringe or be sympathetic or feel something other than the need to shove a spoon of icky green medicine into his mouth.
"Now, Qui," Obi-Wan said, his hand on one of his master's pecs. "You're due to take some, and I'm going to see to it that you do." He pushed Qui-Gon onto his back, then straddled him at the waist, still kneeling and looking down from above with the spoon at the ready.
Qui-Gon shook his head but found he could neither roll away nor push Obi-Wan off with what little amount of strength his ailment had left him with. He could, however, keep his mouth tightly pursed and glare angrily up at his apprentice.
"I know it mustn't taste good, but it's good for you." Qui-Gon did not budge. "I want you to feel better. Can't you just take some for me?" There was a momentary flash in Qui-Gon's eyes, as though he thought that asking this of him was playing unfairly, but even it did not sway him. He shook his head again. Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes. "I didn't want to have to resort to it, but you leave me no choice." Quickly his hand found the special spot on Qui-Gon's side and his fingers raced over it with tickles.
Qui-Gon squirmed with laughter until the spoon was thrust into his mouth. Then he frowned and pulled a face as he swallowed. "That wasn't... very nice... Padawan," Qui-Gon whispered, his voice strained even so.
"Well, it was very childish of you to refuse. The medicine is meant to make you feel better. It cannot do so if you do not take it." Obi-Wan used the force to levitate the spoon back across the room so it could offend Qui-Gon no further for the moment. Then he reached down to his master's bare chest and let his fingers gently swim pleasantly with the skin and hair there.
"I do not think it is doing me any good," Qui-Gon said, his voice soft and harsh all at once, and deeper, sounding much unlike himself. "Besides, it tastes disgusting."
"The best medicines usually do," Obi-Wan said wisely for he had had his fair share in the past. "That's how you know they work. Too much sugar and sweetness and there would be no point to the syrup."
Qui-Gon grabbed Obi-Wan's hand tightly at the wrist to stop the rubbing. "As this one is not working either, I would rather take the one which tastes of sugar and sweetness if it were all the same."
Obi-Wan could have spoken about how appearances can be deceiving, or about he should be patient and give things an unbiased chance. He could have spoken about how one should not claim to know things that are not one's business and that the healers had said it would help. He could have spoken about trusting the ways of the force that had brought them to this planet and to this end. He thought of a million lessons he had been taught over and over again which he could easily repeat to his master. But now did not seem the time for any of it. "You should be resting your voice," he said instead. "Do not speak out loud unless you must." Obi-Wan retracted his hand and pulled himself off Qui-Gon's lap.
Qui-Gon sighed with relief and began fanning his face. It was hot. Terribly hot. Which made simply walking around uncomfortable and made trying to fall asleep even worse. Especially with a fever. Obi-Wan pressed his palm against Qui-Gon's forehead, and his master smiled pleasantly. Even a warm hand felt cool to him when he burned like this. "Shall I fetch another glass of water for you?" Obi-Wan asked. Qui-Gon nodded.
The water from the tap was hardly suitable for washing one's hands, let alone drinking. So the task of getting water was longer than it should have been. The padawan learner left their room, looking back over his shoulder at his master, wearing nothing but white undies, lying on his back in the small bed. He was pale, but looked less so against the white sheets. Obi-Wan headed across the almost deserted street to the small café. "Two bottled waters please," he said, looking up at the menu behind the counter. "And one cup of soup and bread, please." It was all thrown into a bag and handed back to Obi-Wan with quick precision. Obi-Wan paid and headed back, looking over at the collection of dwellings which were supposed to be some of the most prized in the area. They were nothing more than small huts of wood and thatched roofs. Windows were simply holes in the sides, with no glass and no coverings though at least the door was covered with large palm leaves. There was one small room containing a bed on one side and a small table built into the wall on the other, and a closet-sized bathroom adjoining it.
It was hardly large enough for one person, let alone two. Not to mention two Jedi, one of whom was ill. Obi-Wan closed the door behind and set the bag down on the counter. He took out one of the waters, which had a cup over the top of it. He crossed the room, pouring the deliciously clear water from bottle to cup. He then seated himself at the edge of the bed, right beside Qui-Gon's head, and handed over the cup.
Qui-Gon, needing to sit up, handed it back for a moment before taking it and drinking. He drank slowly but constantly, and soon had drained it. He passed it back to Obi-Wan. //More, please?// Obi-Wan complied, filling the cup again and handing it over.
"The village seems very quiet, Master," Obi-Wan informed him. "I do not expect many of the dignitaries will be arriving until tomorrow." Which was perhaps lucky, as the less time spent in these guest huts the better.
Qui-Gon nodded in agreement, pushing the empty cup back to Obi-Wan. "More, Master?"
Qui-Gon nodded again and began to cough. It was a terrible cough. Moist and harsh which shook his body on the small bed. His face flushed as he coughed, turning away from Obi-Wan and cupping a hand tightly over his mouth. Obi-Wan gently patted his back, not knowing what else to do for him. As the coughing gave way, the pats turned to gentle rubs, then full-out-massages. Qui-Gon stayed in position a few minutes, enjoying the touch, before turning back, lying back against the two pillows propped against the wall. He sniffed hard his eyes squinted closed, hand raising to his face slowly but with half a beat to spare. "heh-Ehkshoo! heh-Tshhoo!"
Obi-Wan reached past him and took a tissue. He folded it in half then held it to Qui-Gon's nose. Without being asked, the man blew his nose hard. Obi-Wan pulled the tissue away with a firm wipe, folded it, then held it up again. After two blows, Qui-Gon nodded and sighed wearily. Obi-Wan handed the cup of water over, refilled. "I've brought back a little dinner for you as well," Obi-Wan said, thinking it was best to ease into making him eat some. "It should agree with your stomach well enough." Qui-Gon looked quite doubtful. "But it can wait a little while if you would prefer." Qui-Gon preferred.
Qui-Gon lifted a hand and rubbed a finger against his nose in silent warning. "Hold on, Master." With Jedi reflexes, Obi-Wan stole another tissue from the box, folded it, and held it over Qui-Gon's nose and mouth. "Whenever you're ready," he whispered.
Qui-Gon's eyes flashed with undying gratitude as he was forced to take in a deep breath. "heh-ehhhShhooo! huhshhhh!" His head snapped forward with each, and Obi-Wan steadied himself with one foot on the floor as the small bed shook. He switched tissues for Qui-Gon to blow his nose until that need had passed. Obi-Wan took care when wiping his nose, making sure his moustache was dry as well. "Thank you," he breathed afterwards, then gave a cough.
"Ah-ah," Obi-Wan said, shaking a finger as he deposited the balled-up tissues in the trashcan they had moved beside the bed. "No talking, remember?"
The Jedi master nodded slowly with a deep, uncomfortable sigh.
"Now," Obi-Wan said, easing Qui-Gon down from a sitting position. "I want you to try to get some slee--"
//I think I'd like to stay up,// said Qui-Gon, looking imploringly up at Obi-Wan.
"You're not tired?" Obi-Wan passed his hand over Qui-Gon's head. Odd, for he sensed the man was exhausted.
//I'd like to stay sitting upright,// Qui-Gon clarified. //In that position I can breathe better, and feel the slight breeze from the window.// So Obi-Wan, with an apology, helped him sit back up against the pillows, adjusting them at his back until he was somewhat comfortable.
It was a hot, sticky evening. One Obi-Wan would have liked to escape from in a cool, refreshing shower rather than taking a sonic shower. And he might have liked a nice cool plate of pasta and a lemonade rather than finishing off Qui-Gon's untouched soup and bread. And he would have liked to have climbed into bed, feeling the cool sheets against his body and the gentle give of the mattress rather than sleeping on the hard wooden floor on a spare blanket.
They, or rather Qui-Gon, had decided that it would be best if he and Obi-Wan slept separately so that the younger man did not catch whatever the elder had come down with. They had a job to do in this hot, sticky part of the universe and the best way to do that was to let Obi-Wan take over as Qui-Gon recovered as quickly as he could.
But plans, even Jedi's ones, no matter how brilliant, had a way of falling through. Obi-Wan woke very late into the night to the gentle prods of Qui-Gon through their bond. //Obi-// "heh-Ushhoo! " //-Wan?// "hah-Ihkshooo!"
"Yes Master?" Obi-Wan said, springing to his feet, rubbing at his eyes.
//I think...// "hehshhhhhh! Sniff! " //...I need...// "hahEhkshhoo!"
"Hush, Master," Obi-Wan whispered with understanding, sitting back down on the side of the bed and leaning back against the wall. Qui-Gon was still upright, and sneezing into a handful of tissues. Obi-Wan wrapped an arm around his master's shoulders, holding him securely as he shook with sneezes. His other hand directed Qui-Gon's head to his own shoulder, thumb stroking the stubbly cheek. Qui-Gon, feeling weak and miserable, snuggled closer as the sneezes subsided.
//Thank you, my Padawan.// He said softly.
"Master, you're really burning up," Obi-Wan said, moving his hand from cheek to forehead. Qui-Gon's hair was soaked in sweat as well. Obi-Wan pulled away with a gentle kiss to his master's forehead to tell him he would be back quickly.
And he was, with a cup of water and a cloth which had been the sleeve of one of his shirts in a past life. He sat back down on the bed and before he could draw Qui-Gon close, the man had already done the job for him, leaning against Obi-Wan for support and comfort. Obi-Wan gently dabbed the wet cloth against his forehead. The intense burst of coolness made him shiver, but he made a sound rather akin to a whimper when Obi-Wan pulled back. Obi-Wan pulled his hair back, lifting it up off the back of his hot neck to rub there with the cloth. He held the cup between his thighs to keep it from spilling, dripping on his sleep pants as he moved the cloth from cup to Qui-Gon's neck and chest and forehead again. Qui-Gon drifted off to sleep sometime soon thereafter, but Obi-Wan did not stop for that. He summoned the bottle of water over and poured more in the cup, continuing to dab and rub until he fell asleep as well over an hour later, arms wrapped protectively around his master.
But neither had a sound sleep. Whatever had woken Qui-Gon the first time did so again, causing him to sneeze and cough and wake Obi-Wan as he had before as well. //Sorry,// he managed in between coughs.
"Don't you dare apologize." Obi-Wan shook his head and lifted the bottle of water to Qui-Gon's lips, tilting just enough to allow him to drink but not flood him. He wiped a tissue against Qui-Gon's mouth, then his nose gently. "And don't think about ordering me back down to that floor because I'm not leaving you for anything." Obi-Wan was sure Qui-Gon was not aware of how badly off he actually was, though Obi-Wan was not going to inform him. He gave Qui-Gon a tight, one-armed hug.
They were both hot and sweating, and Qui-Gon nearly naked at that. They stuck to one another like this, but neither seemed to mind. Obi-Wan held him comfortingly, cooling him with more water. He tore a strip from the cloth and used it to tie Qui-Gon's damp hair back and up to keep it out of his face.
Qui-Gon breathed heavily in and out of his mouth. He drew a labored breath and a hand tightened around Obi-Wan's wrist anxiously. "Going to sneeze?" Obi-Wan asked, and Qui-Gon shook his head, though motioning to his nose. Obi-Wan held two tissues up and let Qui-Gon blow as much as needed. "Poor Love, just a little more," he whispered, switching tissues halfway through. Qui-Gon was stuffy, and his head pounded with the congestion that ran from the back of his throat to his nose, behind his eyes and into the top of his head. Blowing his nose offered only very temporary relief.
"I hate to bring it up," Obi-Wan said, checking the time. "But you are due for more medicine."
Qui-Gon nodded wearily but did not protest. Which, incidentally, was not a very good sign. Obi-Wan retrieved the medicine and the spoon which had since been washed. He glided another spoonful into Qui-Gon's mouth and the man swallowed it accordingly. He made a face afterwards, however. "It's vile," he whispered, forgetting he was not supposed to be speaking out loud. //Would that there were just a little bit of sweetness to it to make it bearable.//
"My master wants sweetness?" whispered Obi-Wan through the dark across the room as he put the bottle away. He rejoined Qui-Gon, kneeling again on the bed, facing him. "Then I must do as my master wishes." He took an already fever-dazed Qui-Gon's face in his hands and leaned close, placing his lips against Qui-Gon's. Qui-Gon's were dry and struggled against his in surprise. But even sick, they could not be anything but irresistible. Obi-Wan adored them with his own, pressing hard, sucking the lower and upper in turn. And they conformed to him, knowing the sensations all too well to resist for long. Familiarity rushed back along with passion and desire and comfort.
Obi-Wan pulled out of it only when he sensed another sneeze from his master on its way. And sensing that his master wanted to handle this one on his own, he handed the tissues over to him. Qui-Gon cupped both hands to his face around the tissues. "ehhhChuhhhh! ihhhShhhh! ihhShuhhh! ihhkChuhhh!" He took another deep breath, reaching for more tissues during the intermission. "ehhh-heh-Chushhh! hihChuhhh! hehhChihhh!" He gave a sigh into the tissues.
"Done?" Obi-Wan asked, and Qui-Gon nodded. Obi-Wan took the tissues from him, passing them right over to the trash can. Then he caressed Qui-Gon's cheek gently. "I know you're feeling all stuffy and sneezey but I want you to try and sleep a little more," he murmured, wrapping both arms around Qui-Gon. Then Jedi Master turned onto his side and snuggled against his Padawan's soft, warm body, using his upper chest as a pillow.
//Thank you, Padawan,// he said, closing his eyes. //I didn't want to say it before, but I really don't feel so well.// Qui-Gon had never been the type to complain. The type to sit back and trust in the force, yes. The type to decide on a course of action and plow towards it no matter what, yes. But never the type to complain. It took a lot for him now to admit this and Obi-Wan almost wished he hadn't.
Wanting to reassure his master, //It's all right. I know. Just sleep and you'll feel better in the morning.// Eyes still closed, Qui-Gon smiled and drifted off to sleep. Obi-Wan let himself sleep as well, but woke at every snore and snuffle just to be sure Qui-Gon was all right. Every so often he would check the fever and hold the damp cloth to his head again. And he wasn't very rested in the morning but was completely relieved that Qui-Gon's fever had finally broken.
Obi-Wan showered and dressed. Then he draped a sheet and a very light blanket over a still sleeping Qui-Gon. //I have to check on the reception plans, but I will be back as soon as I can get away,// he promised, kissing Qui-Gon gently on the lips. The man sniffled and smiled.
Obi-Wan was indeed back soon, as promised. And Qui-Gon awake to greet him. "How are you feeling, Master?" the young man asked, going to his side and feeling his forehead instinctively. Warm but not hot.
"Better," he croaked, then smiled sheepishly. //Better.// Though he quickly brought his handful of tissues to his face. "ehhHushhooo! hehShooo!" He sniffed, rubbing his nose into them rather than rubbing them against his nose. //Apart from the sneezing at least.//
Obi-Wan nodded. "You have more color in your face now. I think you're through the worst of it" He tugged the blanket up a little further so that it went up Qui-Gon's chest a little. "I've brought some more soup," he said. "I'd like you to try at least a spoonful this time."
One the soup was brought out, he lay in Obi-Wan's warm arms, taking spoonful after spoonful. Qui-Gon was very good about it this time, eating nearly all of it before feeling full. And when he was done, he smiled and sighed, turning his head back and nuzzling Obi-Wan. //Thank you for caring for me as I lie here like an invalid.//
Obi-Wan shook his head. "Not an invalid, Master. More like a child if anything."
Qui-Gon glared at him, but realized that he was rubbing his nose rather boyishly and let the comment go. "ehhhIhhhshhhh! Heh-HEHShooo!" he sneezed, snapping forward weakly, one hand cupped over his nose and mouth. His other hand searched blindly for a tissue. Obi-Wan already had one to his nose. "hehhh-Kushhhhooo!"
He took another tissue and wiped gently at Qui-Gon's nose. "And I do this because I love you. You can act however you need to and I will still love you and care for you." He kissed Qui-Gon's forehead.
//And I would do anything for you because I love you,// confessed Qui-Gon.
"That is good to hear," said Obi-Wan, hugging him tightly from behind. "Because it is time for more medicine."
Qui-Gon sighed in frustration and shook his head. "I am feeling better," he whispered harshly.
"Most likely that is because you are taking the medicine," Obi-Wan reasoned, retrieving the bottle and a clean spoon. Qui-Gon did not seem to be moved in the least by this argument, preferring to attribute his recovery to sleep and tender care on his padawan's part. He brought another spoonful over, careful not to spill any. "Now open up. You were so good about it last night."
//Was I?// he said through their bond, keeping his mouth tightly closed. //I have very little memory of last night's events.//
Obi-Wan looked a little disappointed, but perhaps having the fever burn the memories from his head was a good thing. He had seemed entirely too helpless and miserable for words. "You were. And it was sweeter and tasted better last night." Qui-Gon looked as though he found that very difficult to believe. "I'll prove it to you," Obi-Wan said. "Just take it now. Great big swallow."
With a resigned sigh and a bit of a smile, Qui-Gon agreed. But as soon as the medicine was taken, he made the same face of disgust. "H-horrible!" he said, dragging a hand over his mouth. He looked accusingly at Obi-Wan for lying and making him take it.
"Not done yet," noted Obi-Wan with a charming smile. He leaned over Qui-Gon, gripped the bearded chin with his hand, and placed a firm kiss on Qui-Gon's lips.
Qui-Gon struggled to free himself. //Obi! You'll catch my--//
//I'll take my chances. Now stop being childish and kiss me. You wanted sweetness, didn't you?// Obi-Wan said firmly and Qui-Gon had no choice but to kiss back.
The kiss seemed to last for ages, lips moving against each other, slipping and pressing, slurping and probing. And soon the kiss turned to groping, which turned to stroking. And the two Jedi rolled around beneath the blankets getting hotter and sweatier than ever but not minding in the least. And when next it was time to bring the out the bottle of foul tasting, sticky, slimy, green medicine, Qui-Gon grinned and opened wide, his hands already on Obi-Wan's waist, drawing him close.