The Ondarian Virus

Part 2


This part's rating: G

See part 0 for full header



     "ahhh-Chiffff!" The sound was muffled into the handkerchief, but still caught Qui-Gon's attention. Obi-Wan had been dozing on and off for most of the trip and last Qui-Gon had seen, it had been off. However, the strong blow of his nose that followed the sneeze signified that he was more than just sneezing in his sleep.


     Though the autopilot was on, Qui-Gon kept hold of the controls out of habit. He took a hand off to reach over and squeeze Obi-Wan's shoulder. "Hey, good morning," he said with a soft smile.


     Obi-Wan blinked sleepily and sat up in the co-pilot seat. The cockpit was small, but there wasn't room for much in the rest of the ship apart from a standard maintenance and navigation droid and space for their bags. So he had no choice but to stay in his seat. His eyes focused on the instrument panel in front of him, and he realized that it was indeed mid-morning by Coruscant time. Space was dark and cold, and the onboard overhead lights were the only things that made it otherwise. Obi-Wan yawned deeply and gave his usual morning grin. "Morning. How are we doing?"


     "We are doing just fine. We are en route and an hour ahead of schedule due to the fact that I sped up to race along with an abnormally fast comet for a little while during the night."


     Obi-Wan smiled and set his arm on the slight window ledge to his side. His hand formed a fist and he rested his head upon it. "You should have roused me. I would have liked to have seen that."


     "I did wake you," Qui-Gon explained. "I shook you awake when calling your name did not work. You opened your eyes and watched the comet for a while. Then you made mention of how much dust there was in the comet's tail and how one of your astronomics professors would have liked to have been so close. Then you fell right back to sleep again."


     Looking concerned, Obi-Wan tried hard to remember. But he had no recollection of the event in whole or in part. "Oh," said Obi-Wan simply. "Well, thank you for waking me." He coughed a few times and cleared his throat. Then his eyes fell again on the instrument panel and he smiled. They were nearly halfway home. "And I am pleased everything is going fine.


     "*We* are doing fine," said Qui-Gon with a nod. "And I am a bit tired but otherwise fine, as well. You, on the other hand, seem to be doing less than fine."


     "Master," he tried to protest. "I'm..." But he did not get far at all. His breath hitched, his eyes closed, and he buried his face in his handkerchief. "ehhh... ehh-HIHShhhh! hehChhhh! ihhKshhhh!" The sneezes helped proclaim that he was certainly not fine in no uncertain terms.


     "Blessings," Qui-Gon snuck in just before Obi-Wan blew his nose. Qui-Gon turned away but watched his padawan out of the corner of his eye. It was probably his imagination, but Obi-Wan looked worse than he had when they'd left Ondari. He watched as his padawan shivered and crossed his arms over his chest. The ship was warm inside, especially with both awake and moving around a little. There was only one reason for Obi-Wan to be shivering. "You're shivering."


     Obi-Wan pulled his cloak around himself more tightly and nodded. "I'm just a little chilly. That's all."


     Qui-Gon watched him lift a hand and rub at his slightly glistening forehead. "Yes, but you're shivering *and* sweating. At the same time. That's not a good sign." Qui-Gon reached over to feel if Obi-Wan had a fever. Obi-Wan moved his head at the last moment to avoid the touch. "Obi-Wan!"


     Feeling that he deserved the angry tone of voice from his master, Obi-Wan moved back over. "I am sorry," he said. "I was startled," he lied. "But I'm fine, really."


     Qui-Gon was skeptical but said nothing. It was not wise to begin an argument in a tiny ship during a trip that would last another day. Though Qui-Gon certainly would have preferred a well shipmate, a sick one was far preferable to a sick and angry one. He pressed the back of his hand to Obi-Wan's forehead, but he pulled it away after a split-second. What he had on his hands here was a *very* sick shipmate. "I think you had best try to get more sleep," he suggested, trying not to show his anxiousness in his voice. Still, he suggested it very strongly, with every Jedi sense that he had.


     Obi-Wan, however, thought he should sneeze first. "ehhh-HIHShhh! hihhKShh!"


     Qui-Gon stiffened and stared down at the controls again. "Obi-Wan, I want you to go see the healers when we get back."


     "No," Obi-Wan said adamantly. "I don't need to. It is just a little cold. I'll be fihh... fine-hih... hahh-IHShffff! hehhhChufff! hahKffff! Huh... hehh-Ehshffff!" he directed into the handkerchief. The effort of holding the handkerchief in place was exhausting and he dropped his hand to his lap immediately afterwards. Then he shivered and closed his eyes. "More sleep," he said with a nod before Qui-Gon could bring the subject up again. "That sounds like a good idea."


     Qui-Gon wondered if Obi-Wan would remember this conversation when he woke again later. He pushed a few buttons on the control panel to speed the ship along a bit faster. There would be nothing wrong with getting back home a little earlier.


     Obi-Wan fell to sleep without much trouble, but once asleep he did not seem to find much rest. The padawan tossed and turned in his sleep, his breathing shallow and congested. Qui-Gon leaned over, listening. It sounded like Obi-Wan was struggling to breathe. Had the young man been in bed, he would have forced another pillow on him. But as it was, Obi-Wan was already sitting upright in the seat.


     As time went on, Obi-Wan began to slip into a deeper sleep, a feverish sleep. He moved about restlessly, dangerously, and mumbled about the images his fever-inspired dreams brought to his mind. Qui-Gon quickly locked the controls, for fear that Obi-Wan might accidentally hit something when he moved about in the seat.


     The dreams seemed to take a more violent turn, as an expression of pain crossed Obi-Wan's face. When he began crying out, it was all Qui-Gon could do not to direct the ship towards the closest friendly planet so they could wait this out in a real bed. A simple healing trance could not fix this. Obi-Wan needed medical attention, and he needed real rest.


     Qui-Gon called out Obi-Wan's name repeatedly, trying to rouse him. Though Qui-Gon was already anxious, his concern grew as his padawan thrashed about, crying in pain. He reached over and shook Obi-Wan's shoulder, but that did not help, either. He unfastened his belt and got up, squeezing in between the two seats to get close to Obi-Wan and shake him some more. Nothing woke him, however and Qui-Gon was afraid the fever had taken a permanent hold. Finally he looked straight at Obi-Wan and let the force help reach out to the young man.


     Obi-Wan's eyes flew open and he froze, his breaths racing, his heart pounding. Watery eyes gave way to tears and he leaned into Qui-Gon. "Shhh," Qui-Gon said, rubbing his back. "It was just a bad dream."


     Obi-Wan nodded with understanding though he still felt disturbed from it. He pulled back and dragged a hand against his forehead. "I am sweating," he said, feeling as uneasy as Qui-Gon already felt. "And I'm shivering," he said, crossing his arms over his chest. Then he snapped forward with another sneeze. "ahhh-HIHShhhh! Sniff!" He looked up helplessly towards his master. "Qui-Gon..."


     Qui-Gon hushed him with a gentle kiss. "You're going to be fine," he said, his voice deep and calming. "Remember?" He pulled off his cloak and draped it over Obi-Wan.


     "So cold," he whispered, turning onto his seat and trying to snuggle into the vinyl seat cushions.


     "I know," Qui-Gon whispered. He tucked the cloak around the smaller man and rubbed Obi-Wan's arm through it. "It's just a light fever." He did not have to feel Obi-Wan's forehead to know that it was much worse than that. He kissed Obi-Wan again. "Now I need you to make a decision, okay?" Obi-Wan nodded, eyes closing. "Hey there," Qui-Gon shook Obi-Wan, wincing a bit at the fact that he had to resort to that. "You must stay with me for just a few minutes more, Padawan."


     Obi-Wan forced his eyes open and nodded again, trying to concentrate on his master's words.


     "You need to tell me which you would rather do. We can stop on a nearby planet and ride this out. Or we can continue back to Coruscant." Obi-Wan shivered and nodded at that last choice. "Padawan?"


     "Keep going. Want to get home." He sniffed hard a few times without much energy to do anything else. He looked dazed, feverish, and his nose was running terribly.


     Qui-Gon could sense that Obi-Wan was not entirely sure of what he was saying, but he did not want to cause his padawan extra stress. Qui-Gon took Obi-Wan's handkerchief from him and rubbed the younger man's nose. "All right. I understand you want to keep going then. Now please, please try to rest." Obi-Wan let his eyes close again. "And when we get home, you're going straight to the healers." He patted Obi-Wan's arm and climbed back into his seat.


     Obi-Wan shook his head weakly. "No... don't want... don't need..." Then he proceeded to nod off and on for the remainder of the day.