The Ondarian Virus
This part's rating: G (or a very timid PG)
See part 0 for full header
He knew he should leave to work, but simply could not make himself rise from the bed and leave the room. Obi-Wan looked angelic when asleep. His eyes were closed and his eyes still behind his eyelids. His chest rose and fell with steady, deep breaths. His nostrils flared slightly with each breath even though he breathed through his open mouth. Even his snores were soft and precious.
Qui-Gon felt drawn to Obi-Wan when asleep, just as he was when awake only for much different reasons altogether. He sat by Obi-Wan's side and softly stroked his padawan's cheek as though that would make the bad dreams go away. He knew Obi-Wan had them when sick but wouldn't tell him about them. But so long as Obi-Wan was able to reconcile them when awake, Qui-Gon wasn't worried.
He was, however, worried about the state Obi-Wan was in just now. Obi-Wan had come down with what they both hoped would be the last fever he would have to endure during this virus of his. It was the mildest yet, though evidentially gaining slowly in severity. Qui-Gon had hopes that it would stay mild this time and pass without incident. He did not need his padawan fainting when trying to cross a room or thrashing about when unconscious.
It was enjoyable to watch Obi-Wan sleep, so long as the sleep was a restful one. As the young man was not running around, concerned with his duties, Qui-Gon was able to fully appreciate his padawan's looks. The round cheeks on the not-so-round face. The dimple in his smooth, shaven chin. And the perfectly shaped lips. And nose. And eyes. He was handsome now. He had always been adorable as a child, but as Qui-Gon had watched him grow from a boy to a man, the handsomeness was impossible to miss, even if some of the adorable still showed through in his mouth and eyes every time he even came close to smiling.
It was, too, impossible to miss the flush in his cheeks and the sweat beading on his forehead. Qui-Gon wiped that away with a cool washcloth. The corners of Obi-Wan's mouth twitched up, registering the cooling touch on some level. Qui-Gon turned it over and pressed the colder side to Obi-Wan's forehead, holding it there for a moment.
Obi-Wan stirred a little, his nostrils flaring as he took in a strong breath. "Obi-Wan?" Qui-Gon said softly, expecting to see Obi-Wan's eyes open. Qui-Gon could sense the tickle in Obi-Wan's nose, and pulled a few tissues from the nearby box for him.
But Obi-Wan did not open his eyes. He did not even wake up. Instead, he sneezed in his sleep, shaking helplessly as though with spasms. "KFShhhh! UPSHhhhh!"
Slightly taken aback by them, Qui-Gon rubbed the tissues at Obi-Wan's nose curiously. He had never known Obi-Wan to sneeze in his sleep before and hoped it wasn't because Obi-Wan was too feverish to regain consciousness. Though he felt glad to have been there to help him this time, and was determined to stay if he could help Obi-Wan in the slightest. "Obi?" He hated waking him when he looked so peaceful, but he wanted to know how high Obi-Wan's fever was. Furthermore, he wanted to be sure Obi-Wan could actually wake up.
Obi-Wan's snores stayed steady and his eyes stayed closed. Qui-Gon scooted a little closer to Obi-Wan on the bed. He took the washcloth off Obi-Wan's forehead. "Obi?" He stroked Obi-Wan's cheek. "Padawan?" He shook Obi-Wan's shoulder. "Love? Wake up..."
Obi-Wan stayed asleep. His nose twitched, however, and he drew a sharp breath. Qui-Gon pulled more tissues from the box and held them to Obi-Wan's nose. "UhFshh!" With a cough and a snort, Obi-Wan's eyes flew open and he found himself staring into a handful of tissues. Disconcerted, he froze. But his head pounded with congestion and his nose ran.
Sending a reassuring feeling over to Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon said sofrly, "Just blow your nose." The Jedi master sounded rather relieved just to see Obi-Wan awake. He reached down and petted Obi-Wan's head, easing it up towards the tissues.
Obi-Wan blew his nose several times, then fell back against the pillow with a sigh. "I sdeezed id by sleep?" he timidly asked.
Qui-Gon nodded. "A few times. Are you all right?"
Obi-Wan thought for a moment, fighting to keep his eyes open. "Thig so. Ugh, but stuffy. Cad you..." Qui-Gon nodded again and pulled several more tissues out of the box. He handed them over to Obi-Wan who blew his own nose. "Thags. Sniff! Sorry you had to leave your work because of be. Sniff!"
Sensing a sneeze and anticipating, Qui-Gon pulled more tissues out of the box and handed them over. Obi-Wan's nose would need more lotion soon at this rate. "hehhh-heh-IhKshhhh! ehKShuhhh! KUFShhhh!" He snuffled and blew his nose again.
"I didn't leave my work," Qui-Gon said, petting his head more, his fingers sinking just below the top of the short hair, nearly hiding from view. "I was already here when you started sneezing."
With a cough, Obi-Wan sat up a little more. "You were... but I was sleebig." Instinctively, he tilted his head towards his master's touch, letting the comforting feeling his master was still sending settle in more. The gentle stroking. The warmth. The fact that he hadn't woken up alone. Obi-Wan was grateful for them all. From the look of it, Qui-Gon was glad as well. "Oh," Obi-Wan said softly with understanding. "You were watchig be sleeb, wered't you?"
"You got me," Qui-Gon said, smiling and nodding.
Obi-Wan sat up more and scooted closer to Qui-Gon. "You haved't dode that sidce I was youg," Obi-Wan said almost teasingly. He recalled the years just after he had been taken as Qui-Gon's padawan learner, waking up in the very early morning hours to find Qui-Gon at his bedside, watching over him. Not in a disturbing sort of way... but in a reassuring sort. It was Qui-Gon's way of letting him know that even though they were in a training relationship, he would always be there to take care of and protect Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan had always fallen back to sleep on those mornings, feeling more rested when he woke for his day. He'd always wondered what Qui-Gon thought about while watching him sleep. And he looked up into his master's eyes to see if he could figure it out. What he saw there was something else. "Ah," he said, nodding. "You have."
Qui-Gon nodded and tensed up. "We sleep in the same bed. I cannot help it if I wake up in the middle of the night." He pulled back a little and, not knowing what else to say, tried, "I am sorry." Qui-Gon stiffened. He cleared his throat and quickly changed the subject. "I was going to check your temperature, but maybe you'd like a milkshake first?" he offered, readying himself to get up, assuming Obi-Wan's answer would have to be yes.
Obi-Wan sat up and scooted over to Qui-Gon, pushing down the blankets and crawling on top of them to get right up next to Qui-Gon. //Temperature first, then milkshake. Makes more sense.// The milkshake would throw his temperature off completely. He kissed Qui-Gon's cheek. //Add you cad watch me sleep any time you like. I know why you do it, and I rather like it.//
Qui-Gon nodded again, not wanting to look up at Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan took his padawan braid and tickled the end against his master's chin and the skin between chin and lower lip. Qui-Gon chuckled and grabbed the braid, stopping the tickles. Then he kissed Obi-Wan and rose from the bed. He pulled the blankets up, swirling them around Obi-Wan as he remained on the bed. "Temperature first, then milkshake," he agreed.
He headed out, but paused in the doorway to look back at Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan lifted his handful of tissues. "HEHShhhh!" He coughed, then snuffled into the tissues. Obi-Wan had gone from peaceful and helpless to sick in no time. But he hadn't lost the handsomeness, or the adorability.
Before, Qui-Gon had sat and wondered how Obi-Wan would be when he grew older. But now that Obi-Wan was older and could protect himself, Qui-Gon sat with thoughts of how young he still looked. Obi-Wan was growing close to the day of his knighthood, when their training bond would be severed officially for all time and when Obi-Wan could learn no more from him. He could only hope that after that time Obi-Wan still would not mind his former master silently watching over him from time to time.