The Ondarian Virus

Part 5


This part's rating: G/PG

See part 0 for full header



     As Qui-Gon would have predicted, had he been given the chance to do so, Obi-Wan climbed straight into bed when he came home from the healing dome. What was slightly troubling was that he had not moved from the bed since that point in time the day before. He had refused most food and drink, and generally decided that the only thing he felt like doing was to be to lie in bed feeling sorry for himself. After a night of restless misery and a morning of complaining, Qui-Gon decided it was time to try something.


     "I don't have any cream puffs this time, but how about sitting up and having some soup with me?" Qui-Gon said, settling on the edge of the bed with a tray in hand. "I brought two spoons."


     His body half buried under blankets, his head half buried in a stack of pillows, his nose buried in a handkerchief, Obi-Wan turned his head to look up wearily. His eyes were bloodshot and his face was pale apart from flushed cheeks. He eyed the bowl of soup in quick consideration, and then he closed his eyes again. "Don't want it." He gave a very long, hard sniffle. Then he breathed out shakily. "Th-thanks, though."


     Obi-Wan sank back into the pillows and tightened his grip on the handkerchief. Apart from sleeping, which he hadn't managed to do much of, the only thing he'd actually been able to do was sneeze. "ehhhh.... Ehhh-HIHHHKShhhhhh! HehhhKShhh!" He rubbed at his nose and then relaxed as though trying to go back to sleep.


     "Bless you." Qui-Gon sighed and set the tray on his lap, holding it with one hand to keep it steady. He reached over and stroked Obi-Wan's cheek with the back of two fingers. "How about a cool cloth for your head? Maybe that will make you feel hungrier."


     "No. I don't feel like it." He tugged the comforter up, trying to get it from his waist to his shoulders. But as Qui-Gon was sitting on part, it wasn't going anywhere. Obi-Wan pulled hard, squinting and breaking into a sweat, but it wouldn't budge. Finally he whimpered in frustration and shoved the blanket away. "I cannot manage to do anything anymore!"


     Qui-Gon set the tray down on the nightstand, then stood. He gathered the blankets and then climbed beneath the covers with him. No matter how frustrated Obi-Wan felt, he still snuggled into Qui-Gon the moment Qui-Gon's arm wrapped around him. "I cannot survive this," he whispered into Qui-Gon's side. "I mean... thirty days? It would be kinder by far to kill me than to try to feed me."


     Qui-Gon stroked Obi-Wan's head soothingly, trying to help. "It is only twenty-five more days, actually... assuming you don't count today."


     Obi-Wan groaned. The trip home had been such a blur to him that he had already lost count. He had been hoping more days had passed, however. He rubbed at his nose , feeling another sneeze coming on. As he started to go get his handkerchief ready for another sneeze, he pulled back from Qui-Gon a little. Not far enough, however, as the sneeze came out a moment too soon and he only half caught it in the handkerchief. "HAHHKShhhhhff!" He looked uncomfortable and embarrassed about sneezing on Qui-Gon and pulled back more.


     "Bless you. And it's okay, Love," Qui-Gon whispered, petting Obi-Wan's back. "I can't catch this from you, remember?"


     "That doesn't mean you want me sneezing on... on you... ehhh..." Obi-Wan said, sounding depressed and sneezy all at once. He completely covered his nose and mouth with his handkerchief this time. "iihhhKShhff! ihhhChuhhfff! hehhhKShahfff!" He blew his nose several times, folding the handkerchief after each to get a dry spot until there were none left. Then he tossed the now useless handkerchief over the side of the bed with what little energy he had left. "I cannot do this for another twenty-five days, Master," he repeated softly.


     "Oh, Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon sighed. Placing two fingers beneath Obi-Wan's chin, Qui-Gon made the young man lift his head so they could kiss. He sent a soft wave of reassurance through their bond along with it. "Of course you can endure this. You are much stronger than you think you are."


     Obi-Wan shook his head. "I feel completely miserable, Master. I just... I... oh no..." He quickly cupped a hand to his nose and mouth and sat up. He realized he had no handkerchief but he wouldn't have had time to get one even if he had realized it sooner. His eyes closed. His breath hitched. And, having nothing else to do and trying to steady himself, his free hand gripped the blanket that had again settled at his lap. "hahhhh-AHKShhhhh! Sniff! hahhhKIHShhhh! Chishhh!" He sniffed wetly and groaned again.


     Automatically, as soon as he'd seen Obi-Wan needing to sneeze, Qui-Gon had gone for the tissues. "Bless you," he said, sounding sympathetic and wishing he could do more to help than just supplying tissues. Obi-Wan rubbed his nose into a handful of them. Then he fell back onto the bed.


     Qui-Gon set the box down beside the stack of pillows and then sat down again beside Obi-Wan. He watched as Obi-Wan closed his eyes and blew his nose, then relaxed back into the pillows. "Try to look at the good side of this," Qui-Gon suggested.


     Obi-Wan stared up at him with disbelief. "There's a good side to having a thirty-day long cold? What, my wise old master, would that be?"


     "Watch it with the old cracks, Obi," Qui-Gon said warningly, but he was grinning. Obi-Wan may have been depressed and miserable, but he had the energy for joking, which was a start. "The good side of having to stay in our quarters for the next five weeks is that you have the time to relax."


     Obi-Wan coughed and rolled over on his side to get a better look at Qui-Gon.


     "I know you're not very experienced at relaxing. Most Jedi aren't, which is one of the many reasons we meditate. But this will give you the chance to do a lot of things you do not usually have the time for. Like reading."


     "My head hurts too much to read," Obi-Wan explained. He inched a little closer to Qui-Gon, on the pretenses of taking a few more tissues out of the box.


     "Well, we'll find some of those audio book disks. Or holovids, for that matter. There are hundreds of videos we always say we're going to watch but never do."


     Obi-Wan shrugged and coughed, leaning forward a little at the force of each.


     "You can sleep in as long as you like and spend all day in your pajamas not worrying about classes or meetings or work," Qui-Gon said.


     Obi-Wan did not look thrilled at the prospect. "hahhhh... hahh-Chihh! hehTChihh!" He rubbed at his nose and scooted just a little closer to Qui-Gon. "But I like all that," Obi-Wan complained. "I like the work, Master."


     Qui-Gon understood that all too well. He knew that it had to take something like this to get his padawan to quit working. Jedi were made of strong stuff, and in order to get as far as Obi-Wan had, it took tremendous skill and drive. And to go from that to nothing all of a sudden had to be quite a shock. The fact that he'd been so quiet since yesterday instead of insisting on catching up on work missed during the mission definitely said something.


     But if the young padawan was to survive at all, he'd need to be given something to do. And there was only one thing he could actually do in his condition. "All right then," Qui-Gon said, reaching down and petting Obi-Wan again. "I want you to work on relaxing."




     "No, no," Qui-Gon smiled and slid his palm against the short fuzzy padawan haircut. "I'm your master and you're not to argue with my instructions. I'm telling you that I want you to work on not working. Give me reports on it if you have to. Okay?"


     Obi-Wan nodded and scooted the rest of the way over to the Qui-Gon. He took one of the pillows and set it on Qui-Gon's thigh. His head sank into it. Qui-Gon pulled the blankets all the way up to Obi-Wan's chin, then rubbed the young man's back through the covers.  Obi-Wan settled back down comfortably and closed his eyes.


     Qui-Gon gave it a moment, maybe two, before giving it one last shot. "How about if I spoon-feed you? Then will you have a little soup?"


     Obi-Wan gave another groan but smiled at the silliness and intimacy of the image. "Maybe later. Is that all right?"


     "Of course it is, Love." Qui-Gon said comfortingly. He bent over and kissed Obi-Wan's temple softly. "You just do whatever your body tells you to and let me know if you need anything." He continued to pet gently until Obi-Wan fell to sleep.