The Ondarian Virus

Part 29


This part's rating: PG13 (if that!)

See part 0 for full header

Additional Notes: Thank you to Lady Korana for inspiring me to include one of the elements at the end of this part!



     Qui-Gon emerged from the 'fresher to find Obi-Wan in the common area and dressed in his uniform. So used to seeing Obi-Wan walking around their quarters either in sleepwear or in nothing at all, Qui-Gon was a bit taken aback. "Obi-Wan?"


     Flashing a smile at his master, "I missed putting this on," he admitted. Absentmindedly, he reached up and fingered his braid, twirling it around his finger. "I miss looking like a Jedi."


     "One's importance is far less important than how one feels," Qui-Gon said wisely.


     "I know," Obi-Wan said, having heard it enough. Though he also knew his master liked when Obi-Wan looked his best. A Jedi's appearance was a reflection of his master as well as the order as a whole. "But how one feels is almost always not as important as how one speaks and conducts one's self."


     Qui-Gon gave this a moment of thought then his eyes narrowed slightly. "Except in the case of those who are most clearly ill and should neither be keeping up appearances nor conducting themselves in any way other than nursing their colds."


     His nose tickling, Obi-Wan lifted a finger to rub at it, then held it up to signal Qui-Gon wait for him for a moment. "ehhh... YihKShooo! ehhhTShooo!" No matter how good he looked, Qui-Gon was right. He was still sick. He sniffed and wiped his nose on his sleeve as discretely as it was possible to do. Then Obi-Wan rocked on the balls of his feet for a moment before motioning over to the kitchen area. "I was just going to make some breakfast."


     Smiling, Qui-Gon nodded. "Excellent decision." He pitched in a bit and set the table. While he was partial to breakfast in bed, it was nice to feel a bit of their routine returning early like this. Not to mention that he'd missed Obi-Wan's cooking.


     "Do you know what the first thing is that I want to do when I'm well again?" Obi-Wan asked between bites of the syrup-drenched flat cakes and accompanying pieces of sliced fruit.


     Qui-Gon could bet it wasn't making breakfast. And though he had a few ideas, none of them seemed more likely. So he shook his head and used a look to invite Obi-Wan to tell him.


     Though he had just stabbed a piece of fruit with his fork, he ignored the desire to eat in order to explain. "First I want to go on a very long walk," Obi-Wan said quickly and Qui-Gon could tell his padawan had given this particular matter considerable thought. "I want to visit everywhere. The arboretum, the library, the cafeteria, the ship hanger, the concert hall, the training rooms, the lecture halls, the planetarium. I want to walk through the whole temple and the city's main streets for starters." He set down his fork, abandoning the food entirely. His breath caught and he closed his eyes. "hehh-IHChh! EhhhhKChoo! hehhShuhhh!" He dug a neatly-folded handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped his nose. "Excuse me," he said automatically. Obi-Wan knew he did not really need to apologize for his sneezes, but sneezing during a meal compelled him to do so.


     "Sounds like a good plan," Qui-Gon told him, finishing off one of his cakes. "Certainly well thought out." He did not bring up the fact that Obi-Wan had practically mentioned every place in the temple apart from the healing dome.


     Obi-Wan grinned. "And when I'm well again I'd like to go visit Bant, too," Obi-Wan said, going on about the subject while Qui-Gon sat and lent an ear.


     When they were finished, he cleared and then excused himself in order to get ready to leave. Obi-Wan settled on the couch, watching Qui-Gon gather the things he needed. Then Qui-Gon bent over and kissed Obi-Wan's forehead in parting. "You will be all right today while I'm gone?" He could sense some sort of reluctance from his padawan... which could just as easily have been restlessness.


     Obi-Wan had been fidgety since he'd woken that morning. Qui-Gon had let him participate during morning meditation and then morning katas. Obi-Wan had tried to appear fine throughout, even if he had been a bit winded by the time Qui-Gon stopped after the intermediate level forms. He had made breakfast for them while Qui-Gon showered and changed into his uniform and his leg had bounced up and down while they sat and ate. Qui-Gon's reassurances that there were only a few more days of this fell on deaf ears as Obi-Wan seemed distracted on some level throughout the morning.


     Apprehensive about leaving, Qui-Gon had done everything he could think of to get out of his appointments today. He had even called Mace to beg the senior Jedi Master to attend one of the meetings in his stead. But when all was said and done, there were things he simply could not be excused from and things he could not, with good conscience, let pass without voicing an opinion or giving his expertise.


     "I'll be fine," Obi-Wan said with a sigh. He flicked his hand towards the door. "Go on. And have a good day."


     Qui-Gon hesitated for a moment, then left. But something in the Force made him uncomfortable about going. He sensed something was wrong about the situation. So he leaned against the hallway wall, facing the door, hoping whatever was wrong would reveal itself to him. If anything, a few moments to collect his thoughts and reevaluate his options might be enough.


     It hardly took a minute before the problem revealed itself. As he watched, the door to their quarters opened, revealing Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon, who had expected something of the sort though he wouldn't have admitted it, started forward, his eyes wide and his expression serious. Obi-Wan, who realized at once he was in trouble, and who had apparently not even bothered to sense his master's location.


     Immediately Qui-Gon set aside his things and shut the door behind him. He did not need to ask Obi-Wan what he thought he was doing. He did not have to explain how very wrong it was. He simply squeezed Obi-Wan's shoulder and marched him straight to the bedroom. "Tell me you have not done this before, Obi-Wan," he demanded crossly. Through the force, Qui-Gon closed the bedroom door behind them while keeping a tight hold on Obi-Wan.


     "I haven't! It's only... I think my cold's pretty much gone now. I feel one hundred percent better and did not think it would hurt to just take a quick walk around--" He stopped, seeing his master's expression and knowing there was absolutely nothing he could say to justify his actions.


     "Thirty days, Padawan. You were told thirty days before you could go out. Did you really want others to catch this from you? This virus is highly contagious and you're still sick."


     "I feel so much better!" he insisted.


     "You've sneezed twelve times this morning!" Qui-Gon snapped back. "And those are just the ones I have heard. I have no idea how many you have been holding back- and do not tell me you have not been doing that because I know you were practicing." He sighed with frustration. "Two days. Are you that impatient, Obi-Wan Kenobi? Did I expect too much out of my Padawan Learner?"


     Obi-Wan hung his head as though the shame was burning on his face. Years had passed since his last formal punishment, and his arse still hurt from it. The Jedi code began going through his mind, and he winced at the spots during the recitation where his master's belt typically struck. He would have put others at risk, which would have made him feel even worse than he felt now. But Qui-Gon had stopped him in time, just as a master was supposed to do when his padawan was out of line.


     "I'm not going to hit you," Qui-Gon said with a sigh. "You're too old. You should have known better and you know that. A sore arse will not change things, it would only give you a quick way to relieve the guilt."


     Obi-Wan did not look up. But he nodded. What Qui-Gon had said was painfully accurate. The way his nose was tickling was a sign that his cold was trying to tell him that his cold wasn't quite over yet. He cupped his hand over his nose and mouth, feeling that it would be a bad idea to hold back these sneezes in front of his master. "Ehhhshhh! Hehhhshhh! yehhShhh! Sniff!" He felt slightly light-headed after the sneezes and realized that one hundred percent was drastically inaccurate. "I won't try to leave again," he promised softly.


     "You're absolutely right about that," Qui-Gon said quickly. He forced Obi-Wan onto the bed. Then he reached beneath their pillows. Obi-Wan expected him to pull out Obi-Wan's lightsaber as a reminder of who Obi-Wan was and his commitment to the Jedi. Or even pull out a handkerchief to tend to Obi-Wan's runny nose.


     However, Obi-Wan got a glimpse of something shiny and heard the clicks before he fully realized what it was Qui-Gon had retrieved beneath the pillows. When he did realize it, he groaned inwardly. Handcuffs. It was the handcuffs. Obi-Wan rubbed one hand and wrist beneath his nose as the other one was locked in a pair of handcuffs, the other side of which was locked around part of the bedpost. It was not a new situation to find himself in... he simply was used to feeling more pleasure at the time. "Master..."


     Qui-Gon set the box of tissues down on the bed beside Obi-Wan and checked to be sure there was a full glass of water on the bedside table. "I will be back in an hour or two, in case you need to use the 'fresher. But if I can't trust you I'll not have you in a situation where you could do harm to others. Now, do you need anything else before I go?"


     Obi-Wan shook his head and looked up at Qui-Gon's smile as they both remembered the day before. "No, Master," Obi-Wan said flatly but firmly. He could not blame Qui-Gon for restraining him. He had no intention to even think about leaving now... but if he had to endure this to prove it, he would. He pulled the covers up and rubbed the back of his hand at his nose. He thought telling Qui-Gon to have a good day after ruining his morning was in bad taste.


     Qui-Gon nodded and turned to leave. He got as far as picking up his things before he went back again. He hung off the doorjamb smiling down at Obi-Wan and shaking his head. "Did you really believe I would have left you here like this?"


     Obi-Wan shrugged. He sniffled and pulled a tissue from the box to blow his nose one-handedly.


     With a sigh, Qui-Gon waved his hand and the handcuff around Obi-Wan's wrist snapped open. He narrowed his eyes at Obi-Wan. "You're to stay in our quarters no matter what. And we will discuss this incident further when I get home."


     Obi-Wan nodded. He took another tissue from the box and cupped the two over his nose. "hehh-UHKkshhhh! uhhhhTChhhh!" He blew his nose and nodded again. He had known both directives without needing Qui-Gon to actually say them. But Qui-Gon also knew Obi-Wan was feeling bad already. He bent over and kissed Obi-Wan's forehead again. Obi-Wan did not smile, but came close as the tender lips pressed against his skin. "H-have a good day?" he offered.


     Qui-Gon smiled. "So long as you stay in here, I will. I don't care how well you think you are." Obi-Wan nodded. "Good. Now get back into your sleepwear and work on that report. You've got just two days to finish it up." He paused, his smile broadening. "We'll speak more when I get home. And perhaps find a better use for those handcuffs after that."


     Grinning, Obi-Wan gave his nose another blow. Qui-Gon was gone by the time he finished blowing his nose, and he got right up afterwards. But he changed out of his clothes and then snuggled under the layers of covers with the tissues and his datapad with the report.