The Ondarian Virus
This part's rating: G
See part 0 for full header
Despite our agreement, I knew Obi-Wan was holding out on me a little still. It was nothing terribly important, nothing that should bother me, nothing I would even bring up. The only thing that troubled me about it was that it was troubling Obi-Wan and he would not speak to me about it.
Obi-Wan was dreaming again. It wouldn't be the first time the dreams had come to him while he was sick with a fever. From the look of it, these were not feverish, nightmarish dreams. They were, as far as I could tell, normal. Except for the fact that the Jedi did not dream. None of us, not even the masters who did nothing but meditate upon these matters, knew precisely why that was. We could only assume it had to do with the way we were so in-tune with the Force, releasing our conscious and subconscious to it, using it to think, feel, live.
Obi-Wan's current dream seemed harmless enough. The only traces of it were a few unusual twitches, a mumbled word or two, and a strange feeling through our bond. It did not quite feel like when he usually slept. He seemed to be on a different level, a different place. It was a bit off-putting, as was the fact that he had not told me of the dreams.
Though as he did not tell me every time he needed to sneeze or cough, either, I could overlook this. This had gone much better since I had allowed him the freedom to do whatever he wanted within our quarters so long as he felt well enough to do so. Obi-Wan had stayed in bed willingly most of yesterday and I had enjoyed joining him for the most part.
The other part of it was that I was a little worried about him, and worried about the work I needed to do. I succeeded in releasing most of my anxiety to the Force. There was nothing I could do for Obi-Wan, I knew that. He was going to be sick for six weeks no matter what I did for him.
I reached over and touched Obi-Wan's lightsaber. When sleeping, we usually kept them beneath our pillows so as to be ready at a moment's notice. But he had taken his out yesterday to look at it. I knew he missed being able to train with it. A Jedi's life was an active one, and we were attached to our routines and duties. But Obi-Wan was especially good with his saber and took pride in practicing with it during every available moment. Not being able to do so now must make him feel quite miserable indeed.
I stroked my sleeping padawan's cheek gently with the backs of my fingers. Then I bent down and kissed Obi-Wan's warm forehead. He was running a bit of a fever, but nothing at all like the other ones he had been through already with this virus. I was certain it would pass easily with enough rest and fluids. And I could do nothing to help him with that.
What I could do, however, was help iron out the problems the main government of the moon of Phenli were having. They had petitioned to join the federation, and we would welcome their presence. The Force had helped us see that there was nothing but good to come from this. However, the people of the Phenli moon were culturally opposed to treaties of any kind. They never signed their names to anything and refused to write anything of importance or trust anything written. There had to be a way to get through the problem, I was sure of that. I simply had not found it yet.
I left the bedroom and, consequently, Obi-Wan's side. I picked up the datapad which held the treaty the Jedi had drawn up, as well as a set of notes I had taken while researching. Then I sat down on the sofa to, sinking back into the cushions.
I worked steadily until I sensed Obi-Wan waking up abruptly, most likely because of his dream. Or perhaps from his need to cough. I could hear him in the other room, wracked with strong, moist coughs. Though his fever was not high, his congestion today and the day before had been terrible. Apart from when he was asleep, there was hardly a break in between coughs, sniffles, and sneezes. As though confirming my observation, just as soon as he'd finished coughing now I could hear him sneezing and blowing his nose. He sounded awful. And no matter how insignificant the sniffle, each and every one worried me.
Years ago I would have been able to set my mind on my work and keep it there. It was not that I was being distracted by the sounds. Even if our quarters had been silent, I still would have had a hard time concentrating. The problem, if I could call it that, was the fact that years ago I had decided to take a small and somewhat desperate but deserving initiate Obi-Wan Kenobi as my padawan learner. Though I already possessed the title of Jedi master, when I took another padawan I also took on those duties and dedications of a master. And, as a master, I felt incomplete without my padawan beside me. And I felt uncomfortable when unable to be with him and help him.
I sent Obi-Wan a gentle feeling of greeting, welcoming him awake. But I did not move from my spot. I trusted that he would let me know if he wanted me by him. And I trusted that if he wanted me to work, as he could not at present, he would let me do so. I found it hard to keep my concentration on my work when I could be at his side helping. In fact, I was sure I would not feel able to concentrate properly, even with help from the Force, until he was well again. For however little my presence helped, I still felt a bit guilty for not going straight over to my padawan. But, too, I understood the need to try to help the Phenlians and that Obi-Wan would have wanted me to help them.
However, I found myself automatically going towards the kitchen area to put a pot of water on for tea. Obi-Wan wanted some, I could sense that. And I could have used some as well. I caught a glimpse of Obi-Wan in the bedroom, tissues to his nose, as he stroked the cool metal base of the lightsaber he'd constructed. Then he slid it back under his pillow and reached for another tissue as the sneezes struck him. I watched him shake weakly at their force, knowing well that his congestion was much of the reason he had been so tired.
I returned to the sofa and my work, but had not gotten far before a soft shuffle behind me caught my attention. I set the datapad down turned, an arm stretched out along the back of the sofa. Obi-Wan was heading out of our bedroom slowly, looking across our quarters to the kitchen. "You already have water od for tea?" I nodded and he smiled appreciatively. "I'b tired of stayig id bed. I thought I'd get ub for a warb dridk." He sniffed a few times and crossed his arms over his chest. "Are you working, thed?"
I nodded and tapped the datapad. "I am trying to iron out the problems in the treaty with the Phenlians, though I must admit I am not making as much progress as I would have liked." I paused, unsure what to say next.
Above all I wanted to go to him, but it turned out that I did not need to as he offered to come to me. "Would you bide if I stayed out here with you for a little while?"
Relieved to have him at my side and under my watch, I tried not to let my emotions show through fully. I was still hiding things from him as well, but somehow I think he knew how I felt, because he grinned brightly before I could answer. "I would not mind, as long as you go get some tissues and a blanket to keep warm."
By the time he returned, I had two cups of tea ready for us. He snuggled up against my side on the couch, the blanket around his shoulders and the tissue box on his lap. I held his cup as he settled in, and then kept it a few moments longer as he clearly needed to sneeze again. "ehhh-HIHShhh! KEHShhhh!" He blew his nose a little, then accepted the drink.
He looked glad to have it, and drank right away. He sniffled more as the steam tickled his nose, but he kept drinking. "Your congestion sounds a little better. How do you feel?"
"Better," Obi-Wan replied between sips. Then he looked up, smiling at me. "Add you? Are you feelig better? Able to work dow?"
I smiled back sheepishly and set my cup down on the table. I leaned forward and kissed his cheek as I raised my hand and stroked the back of his head. "Yes, much better now that you're here."
He snuggled closer and I put my arm around his shoulders. Obi-Wan closed his eyes, and I could sense how much he enjoyed my presence and my touch. //Master, I feel so much better when you're looking after me. Being near you makes me feel complete.//
Letting him know that I felt exactly the same, I hugged him and rested my head against his. Then, without worrying and without needing to ask his permission, I picked up the datapad and made more progress on the work in ten minutes than I had during the last hour.