The Ondarian Virus
This part's rating: PG
See part 0 for full header
Qui-Gon pulled some of his hair back into a ponytail and tied it off. He glanced at his padawan's reflection in the mirror. Obi-Wan looked pale, but the flush in his cheeks had faded. His fever had left sometime during the night, and they had both woken a few hours ago to find the sheets soaked in sweat. Qui-Gon had wrapped Obi-Wan in a blanket, then put fresh sheets on the bed. If things continued like this, he would have to move laundry day earlier in the month than normal.
But though pale, Obi-Wan looked better. Apart from tinge of pink at his nose, Obi-Wan's eyes looked normal and he was sneezing far less than he had been during the previous days of his cold. He still sneezed and coughed, and he still sounded terribly stuffy, but he seemed better all around. Qui-Gon was glad for the slight improvement as he had a meeting with the council. He had delayed the presentation of his report about Ondari for as long as possible, not wanting to leave his sick padawan, but he could not delay all of his work indefinitely because of Obi-Wan's cold. Nor would Obi-Wan have him do so. Obi-Wan knew the importance of their work and did not want their last mission to go to waste just because of this virus he'd picked up.
“Now I made some food for you. It's in the fridge in a blue container. But feel free to eat anything else if it looks good to you. And be sure to drink a lot, all right? Just because your fever's down doesn't mean you shouldn't keep drinking.”
“Yes, Baster,” Obi-Wan replied almost automatically.
“And if you need me, just call.”
Obi-Wan gave a soft but unmistakable sigh.
Qui-Gon chose to overlook it. “However, if there is an emergency and I am in the council meeting, use the communicator and get Tala to come right over. Understand?”
Busy pulling tissue after tissue out of the box, Obi-Wan nodded. Before he'd finished collecting the tissues, he sneezed. “ihhhk… ehhhKuh… heh-heh-EHHShhhh! hehhKIHShhhh!” He folded the tissues and tried to blow his nose. He was so stuffed up, however, that it did not do much good.
Qui-Gon listened to his padawan's heavy, congested breathing for a moment, watching Obi-Wan rub at his nose. If not for his duties, Qui-Gon would have stayed in bed with Obi-Wan all day. But he had a responsibility to his padawan as well. And the guilt over leaving was already starting to get to him. Qui-Gon turned, looking concerned. “Padawan, are you going to be okay while I am gone?”
Obi-Wan shrugged and nodded reluctantly, though he did not make eye contact with his master and he kept his shields up. He tried blowing his nose again to no avail, then pitched the tissues over the side of the bed, missing the trashcan.
“Obi-Wan?” Qui-Gon said softly, trying to sound open and inviting. “How are you feeling?” He had not asked the question very frequently, as the answer had been easy enough to figure out. But his guilt made him pause and ask, even though he knew he had to leave.
“Awful,” Obi-Wan said, following his answer with a moist cough. He took the glass of water from the nightstand and drank a little, then forced some coughs to clear his throat.
Concerned, Qui-Gon walked over. Remembering but ignoring the fact that Tala had wanted him to change before leaving their quarters because of germs, Qui-Gon sat down on the bed in his clean clothing. He pressed his palm to Obi-Wan's forehead to check for fever. Obi-Wan felt cooler than he had since the beginning of the illness. Qui-Gon's fingers curled, his fingertips dragging across the forehead. Then they slid down and gently caressed Obi-Wan's cheek. “Tell me what's wrong, Love.”
Obi-Wan shook his head. “You dod't deed be to coblaid. You deed to go.”
“I would not bother asking if I did not want to hear it. So come on. Complain.”
Though Qui-Gon had continued to stroke Obi-Wan's cheek, Obi-Wan turned onto his side and pulled away from Qui-Gon. “I hurt all over… add I feel all shivery add hot at the sabe tibe.”
“Hmm. That does not make much sense as your fever broke,” Qui-Gon said, narrowing his eyes a little in confusion.
“Actually, it's by throat,” Obi-Wan said. “It's sore add scratchy add it hurts terribly whed I swallow.” He cleared his throat again to demonstrate.
“I see,” said Qui-Gon, thoughtfully. “Well, if that is all, I will get you something cool to drink before I leave.”
But Obi-went on, quickly, “Thed there's the coughig add the sdeezig. Sniff! By dose is all stuffy add I cad't breathe. I bead, listed to be! Sniff! Sniiiff!”
Having never known his padawan to complain quite this much, Qui-Gon was a bit on edge. He set his hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder and eased the young man back onto his back. He studied Obi-Wan for a moment, sympathetic but concerned. “And you really feel so awful?” Qui-Gon questioned.
Obi-Wan nodded, looking quite miserable indeed. He sniffed again, pathetically, and rubbed at his nose with his palm.
Qui-Gon gave it one more moment of consideration, then nodded decisively. “Well, in that case I should call Tala again. The healers ought to be told if it is so bad. They can make up a bed for you and I'll stop by the healing dome to see you on my way back from the council meeting.”
“No, Master!” Obi-Wan exclaimed, his eyes wide.
But Qui-Gon would not be moved. “If you are truly so sick, you need to be looked after more closely. There is no use in arguing. Had I known your situation was so dire, I would have called the healers already. But I will wait until later to scold you for hiding the severity of your illness.” Qui-Gon stood to head straight over to the com terminal on the desk in the main room.
“Qui, wait!” Obi-Wan called out to his master's back. Qui-Gon stopped in his tracks, waiting for more. Obi-Wan closed his eyes. “I'm all right, really. I just… I wadted you to stay add I thought… I'b sorry.”
Qui-Gon turned with a small sigh. Obi-Wan risked a peek, opening one eye to look up at Qui-Gon. He found his master grinning and relief flooded through him. “Oh, my Obi-Wan,” Qui-Gon sighed and shook his head. “It was a very good attempt. You did have me worried for a moment or two.”
“You're dot agry?” Obi-Wan asked timidly.
Shaking his head, “I knew what you were doing.”
“I did dot wadt you to worry,” Obi-Wan explained as Qui-Gon settled back onto the edge of the bed. Obi-Wan sniffed a few times, not needing to fake that particular symptom. Nor did he need to fake the sneezes that were upon him again. He turned his head away, not wanting to sneeze on his master, but otherwise he sneezed freely. “HahhChhhh! Hehhh-KUHShhhhh! Sniff! Ughh…” Qui-Gon plucked a few tissues out of the box and rubbed them gently at Obi-Wan's nose, a nose which was starting to look a bit chapped. Qui-Gon made a mental note to get something for it on the way home.
Obi-Wan nuzzled into the touch, snuffling into the tissues a bit. He could tell his master was deep in thought and through their training bond he felt a rush of sympathy and regret. Obi-Wan echoed it and let Qui-Gon know he truly was sorry. His nose stuffed up, Obi-Wan spoke telepathically, appealing to Qui-Gon. //I wanted you to stay in bed with me and help me relax like yesterday. I have gotten used to being able to spend so much time with you. Now I just feel awful for making you worry.//
//I would have been worrying about you a little anyway,// Qui-Gon replied. //I do not like seeing my padawan learner and lover sick. Especially when I can do so little to help.//
//Oh, but you do help!// Obi-Wan insisted. //I realize I was being selfish, and that is not a quality a Jedi should
possess, but that is why I wanted you to stay. I may be sick, but I feel so
much better when you are with
//It is all right,// Qui-Gon said kindly, bending over and kissing Obi-Wan. He let his lips linger against his padawan's for a moment or two, then he kissed Obi-Wan's nose as though that might help heal it. //But I really must go now. You must share me with others who need my help. I will return as soon as I am able and then I'll get into bed and you can snuggle with me all you like.//
Obi-Wan nodded, resigned to sharing his master who was a Jedi first and a lover second. “I'll be all right while you're gode,” Obi-Wan reassured him. “I'll keeb drikig add I'll stay id bed as buch as bossible.”
Qui-Gon beamed and patted Obi-Wan's cheek. Then he reached over an inch or two and gave the padawan braid an affectionate tug. “That's the Obi-Wan I know and love.” He pulled the covers up a little, though they did not need it, and patted Obi-Wan's shoulder through the blankets. Then he got up to leave by way of the 'fresher so he could wash up again first.