The Ondarian Virus
This part's rating: PG13
See part 0 for full header
Qui-Gon crept into the dark bedroom, sensing that Obi-Wan was fast asleep. The room had become quiet after a long time of being loud. He had procured a holovideo for Obi-Wan several days ago, and Obi-Wan had finally asked to see it today. Qui-Gon had tucked him into bed with a steaming mug of tea and a box of tissues before he turned the video on. He'd taken the opportunity to catch up on work, listening to the sniffling and sneezing from the other room. After calling out to Obi-Wan multiple times to see if he was all right and always hearing back that Obi was fine, Qui-Gon had resigned himself to working while Obi-Wan watched the video. He knew that if his padawan really did have a problem, Obi-Wan would let him know.
But now the room was silent. The video had finished and the projector had shut off automatically afterwards. The tea had been finished and the mug lay on top of the blankets with Obi-Wan's fingers loosely holding the handle. Beside his head on the pillow, just inches from his other hand, was a datapad.
Qui-Gon shook his head and picked up the datapad and mug. He held the former carefully not to change the display, and he tucked the latter between the crook of his arm and his chest. Then he reached down and gently stroked Obi-Wan's forehead. The temperature was nearly back to normal, in what was the fastest recovery during this cold yet. Usually his bad cycles lasted a few days at least before he started to recover.
Qui-Gon slipped silently from the room and set the mug softly in the sink to be washed later when he wasn't worried about waking Obi-Wan up. Then he sat down at the desk, intending to do more work. Instead, he felt compelled to inspect the datapad Obi-Wan had been looking at. "I thought he said he did not feel like working... today..." he trailed off, reading the datapad.
As explained several other times in this report, I am not especially fond of the concept of relaxing. Jedi, by nature, are always busy, if not physically then mentally. And even in meditation there is always an active element that defies the proper definitions of relaxing. I have tried not to let my bias influence this report, however.
Through my exploration of the topic during my current illness, I have learned there are a number of different methods for relaxing and I tend to favor some to others. These less objectionable ones are usually the more infrequent and uncommon, much to my disappointment. And I believe that during the second half of my illness an in-depth exploration of these methods would prove most enlightening.
The communications terminal in front of him lit in announcement of an incoming message. Qui-Gon decided to leave it be and replay the recording later. He shut off the terminal altogether and turned his attention back to Obi-Wan's report.
Another matter I believe bears mentioning is how sleep factors into the concept of relaxing in general. This method of relaxing is certainly well known and highly recommended. It is well documented that sleep does more to benefit the mind and body than simply resting them. For someone with an illness it seems additionally helpful in the healing process. However, for someone with a cold it is not always easy to achieve sleep.
I have observed that sometimes other symptoms seem to have a priority over all else, including relaxing. For example, during my sneezier days, one of which is well documented in a case study, I am able to do little else but sneeze and deal with the associated nose problems (e.g. having a runny nose, rubbing my nose, blowing my nose). Most every attempt to sleep is thwarted by a sneeze or even two or more. That need to sneeze is relentless, haunting, and comes just before I drift off to sleep. It snaps me awake and commands me to rub or blow my nose afterwards. Even when the sneezes are not as often, the stuffiness in my nose makes it hard to get comfortable. Everything rushes to one side of my head or the other when I'm lying on my side. And when I lie on my back it's a little harder to breathe all around. So I end up tossing and turning as much as sneezing, and none of that makes it easy to relax or fall asleep. Even when I do manage a little bit of sleep, I wake up sneezing again in no time.
Therefore, I find it the easiest to relax and to sleep when I am running a fever. When I have a fever I don't feel like doing much of anything, even working. My mind, which races impossibly as though begging to be assigned work as I would normally have as a Jedi padawan, slows on its own when I have a fever. I am able to slip, exhausted and primarily unaware, into sleep and stay there for much longer periods of time.
During my current illness, however, I am not able to always rely on the uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous presence of a fever to allow me to sleep. And apart from certain forms of relaxation with my master on good days which tire me out sufficiently to send me right into sleep, I have found few methods that assist me in falling asleep.
My current experiment is a holovideo in a dark room, with a hot cup of tea to soothe the tickles in my nose and throat. If all goes well, it may become a trusted method of allowing me to fall asleep. It is not entirely practical for all situations, as a video playing late at night in front of the bed would no doubt keep my master awake as soon as put me to sleep. And I fear that if the movie choice is too exciting I might not want to sleep at all. In addition, the tea may very well wake me after not too long, urging me to use the refresher before I am able to attempt sleep again. However, I am hopeful in this current experiment, and looking forward to the possibility of a restful sleep for however long it lasts.
Qui-Gon reached the end of the page and found no more written on the matter. There were dozens of screens filled before this one, however, if not hundreds. And Qui-Gon wondered when Obi-Wan had found the time to write so much without him noticing.
A warm pair of arms and an accompanying blanket came at him from behind and wrapped around his chest. Then there was a rough, stubbly chin scratching his cheek and a soft pair of lips following that nuzzle with a kiss. Qui-Gon turned his face quickly and caught the lips, kissing back in greeting and in love all at once. "So," he said, turning his head back with a smile, but still allowing his padawan to hug him from behind. "Was your sleep experiment successful?"
Obi-Wan peered over Qui-Gon's shoulder and spotted his report on the datapad. He smiled sheepishly. "That depends. For how long was I asleep?"
"A few hours," Qui-Gon replied. "The video finished some time ago and I stopped hearing sneezes from our bedroom at least two hours ago."
Obi-Wan nodded thoughtfully. "I suppose it was a success to some extent, then," said Obi-Wan. "I had hoped for a longer nap, though, truth be told." He bent his head and rubbed his face into Qui-Gon's shoulder.
"Feeling itchy?" Qui-Gon asked, trying not to laugh as Obi-Wan tried to rub without the use of his hands. The situation itself was slightly humorous, but more importantly the way Obi-Wan moved tickled him.
The young man sniffled and finally pulled back one of his hands, cupping it to his face. "hehh-YEHChhhh! IHHGshhhhhhh!" There were tissues on the desk now, and Obi-Wan pulled a few out of the box. Tired of seeing his padawan leaving the tissue box in another room and then having a fit of sneezing, Qui-Gon had placed boxes everywhere around their quarters to see if that helped matters. Obi-Wan seemed glad of this and nuzzled back into his master's neck and head with affection and appreciation. "I had intended to give you my report when my cold was over. I hope you did not read it all yet. It is still incomplete."
"Incomplete," Qui-Gon repeated, not at all surprised at the status, well aware of how thorough his padawan could be in reports. "I read only a few paragraphs, Padawan. And I am glad to have had the opportunity to do so." From Obi-Wan's description of trying to sleep during what he referred to as 'sneezier days' Qui-Gon knew he should invest in vaporizer for their bedroom. "Though I was especially intrigued by... how do you refer to it?" He scrolled up and down in search before spotting the words. "Ah, here: certain forms of relaxation with my master on good days which tire me out sufficiently." Qui-Gon grinned and glanced over his shoulder at Obi-Wan.
"There is a whole chapter of the report dedicated to that, Master," a smiling Obi-Wan told him. "It... ahhh..." His face fell and he pulled back with tissues cupped over his nose and mouth. "hahh-KShhhh! ehhhTChuhhh! KShuhhh!" He coughed and blew his nose quickly, anxious to finish speaking. "What I mean to say is that I have a chapter for that but I could use more first-hand experience in the matter."
Qui-Gon nodded and set the pad aside. He reached up and covered Obi-Wan's arms with his own, tightening the hug. "We should take advantage of how well you feel today. For the sake of research, of course." He turned and nibbled at Obi-Wan's jawbone. It was unusually rough beneath his lips as Obi-Wan had not shaved yet today.
Obi-Wan closed his eyes, tilted his head, and leaned closer to the touch. "Of course," he breathed, smiling.