Title: The Comforts of Company

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Star Wars

Rating: G

Pairing: Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan

Disclaimer: The great G.L. Not me by any stretch of the imagination.

Summary: Feeling sick, Obi-Wan finally relaxes after a hard day of work, but realizes he could use some company.



The Comforts of Company


     Obi-Wan slithered out of his uniform and straight into the shower. The occasion called for hot water, instead of just a sonic shower. Grateful for it, he let himself relax for the first time that day. The hot water poured down on him, caressing his skin, soaking into his hair. With it, he didn't notice the way his body ached or the congestion in his head. The need to sneeze and cough, which had plagued him all day, vanished almost completely. He still felt his fatigue, however, and leaned against the stall wall so he could stay in and enjoy the spray a little longer.


     After two saber classes and drills on governmental politics between meals and meetings with masters and the council, Obi-Wan had barely stopped moving all day. With a full list of symptoms on top of that, the day had been quite a trial in and of itself. But now, with his body enveloped by the steady stream of water, the difficulties of the day vanished to make room only for the wish to stay in the shower forever. It felt fantastic to be able to finally relax a while before turning in to bed early. With luck, a bit of rest, and some help from the force, he would be feeling better by tomorrow.


     Like all good things, the shower had to end. Within seconds of shutting off the water, he wrapped up in a thick towel which stretched from shoulder to thigh. Shivering and sniffling, he snuggled into it for a few moments. Then he began drying himself off completely, starting with his face and working down to his feet, then finishing with pats to his hair.


     Not long after he stepped out of the shower stall, his nose began running. And he paused several times during his drying routine to grab a tissue and blow his nose briefly. A few times, however, he was forced to stop completely to sneeze and not resume until the fits were over. By the end, he was shivering more than anything else. "ehhhShhooo! ihhhKShuhhhh!" And his supply of tissues was growing thin.


     He cringed and rubbed at his nose as his teeth began to chatter in addition to his shivers. Quickly he set the towel aside and pulled on a loose-fitting sleep tunic and sleep pants. Not alone in his quarters, he was used to wearing clothes to bed, even if he preferred going without when sleeping. But, when feeling sick and miserable as he did now, he had no intention of strutting around naked whether he was alone or not.


     The common area was empty as he walked from the 'fresher to the bedroom. The master's bedroom was on the right, and padawan's on the left. Obi-Wan went right. He closed the door behind and tossed his uniform into the laundry bin for washing. His sleeve had been used a few too many times in the absence of a handkerchief and he loathed the idea of wearing it again until washed.


     Coughing a little, and shivering still, he climbed into bed and straight under the covers. They were cold against his body at first, but soon grew warm with him beneath.


     "Did the shower help you feel any better?" Obi-Wan looked up at his master, who was sitting up in bed, his back against the headboard.


     Obi-Wan shrugged lightly. "For a little while. But this cold is relentless. I... oh..." Realizing another sneeze was on the way, he lifted his hand as his face fell. "I... ehpp... hep-ehhhChhhhh!" This time, it seemed to stop on one, though his nose still tickled a bit and he rubbed his hand at it.


     "I see," Qui-Gon said. He leaned forward, concerned. "Have you a handkerchief?"


     Obi-Wan nodded. He reached over and pulled one out from the drawer in the bedside table. Relaxing back against the pillows on his side of the bed, he blew his nose hard until the tickling stopped for the moment. "At least I managed to get through the day properly, with all I had to do."


     Qui-Gon beamed. "You are always your strongest against adversity." He said nothing about being proud of Obi-Wan for his accomplishments, but Obi-Wan wasn't expecting it in so many words.


     He tried to smile back, but more sneezing got in the way. "hehhhShihh! YihShooo! EhhShooo!" They shook Obi-Wan and made him shiver as the covers jumped on and off him. "ehh... ehhhPhshhhh!" When the small fit had passed, he blew his nose and looked up at Qui-Gon. "I'm sorry you should have to see me like this, Master," he whispered.


     "I've seen you under far worse conditions, my Obi-Wan. I'm simply sorry that you're feeling unwell."


     Obi-Wan smiled as he curled up on his side, facing his master. The man could always find ways to comfort and reassure him. This time, his words were great, but just Qui-Gon's presence there was an improvement. Feeling another sneeze on the way, Obi-Wan rubbed at his nose. "I feel better with you... ihhh... here... hah-hehhEpishhhh! hehhTchhhh! IhhhKshhooo!" He quickly blew his nose again and inched closer to his master, instinctively.


     "Bless you." Qui-Gon slid down on the bed so he was lying face to face with his apprentice. They were so close they could whisper softly and still hear each other. "I know you don't like being alone when sick."


     Obi-Wan nodded, sniffling. Looking hopeful, "Will you stay with me, then?"


     Qui-Gon smiled warmly. "Oh, my Obi-Wan..." He sighed and reached a hand out to caress the younger man's cheek. Obi-Wan closed his eyes and tilted his face towards the touch.


     A sudden sharp knock on the door to the bedroom made Obi-Wan jump in surprise. He sat up and cleared his throat before calling out, "Yes? Come in."


     The door opened to reveal a young boy bathed from behind in light from the common area. Obi-Wan blinked as the light hit his eyes. He raised his hand to shield them from the light and, understanding, the boy closed the door behind. "Anakin," Obi-Wan said, rubbing at his nose as he dropped his hand back down. "I thought you went to sleep hours ago."


     Anakin nodded. He walked slowly towards the bed and his master. "I did."


     "But you had another nightmare?" Obi-Wan guessed. Anakin nodded at this, too. Putting aside his worries about the fact that Anakin's nightmares were as frequent still after years of training and living on Coruscant, he tried to be sympathetic. "I'm sorry."


     "Can I sleep in bed with you again, Master?" he asked timidly. "Please?" Then added quickly, before Obi-Wan could say anything, "I know you're sick." Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. "You've been sneezing all day, especially in the 'fresher when you think I can't hear. And you were coughing the whole time you were drilling me on the line of succession on Darlina. I woke up from the nightmare and didn't want to be alone. But something told me... something made me feel... well, maybe you didn't want to be alone either. Maybe we can keep each other company?"


     Obi-Wan smiled, knowing precisely which part of the force was responsible for Anakin's being there. He silently thanked his master for it. "Of course, my young padawan." He reached over and patted the empty side of the bed. "There's plenty of room." Anakin climbed up onto what had once been Qui-Gon's side of the bed. Obi-Wan lifted the covers for the boy, then tucked them around him snugly.


     A moment later, he pulled back, face falling. His breath caught but he raised a fist in time. "yihhh-HEHShhhhhh! hehh-Ehhhshhh!"


     "Bless. Do you have a handkerchief, Master?" Anakin asked, looking back over his shoulder.


     Obi-Wan smiled. "Yes I do, Padawan. Thank you." He picked it up and rubbed at his nose, making sure moustache and beard were equally dry. "I'll try to keep quiet while you sleep."


     Anakin returned the smile, then curled up on his side. "No need. I can sleep through anything. Goodnight again, Master."


     Nonetheless, Obi-Wan resolved to keep his sneezes and coughs to a minimum, at least until Anakin was asleep. Despite having to worry about being too loud, it felt nice to have company through the night. It was nice to know he was being watched over by someone again. And he had to admit the warmth in the bed beside him was nice to feel again. Obi-Wan reached over to his padawan, his hand hovering over the boy's cheek. Instead it settled on Anakin's upper arm, stroking gently. "Goodnight. Pleasant dreams."