Title: Pushing Too Hard
Fandom: Star Wars
Pairing: Qui/Obi could certainly be assumed but doesn't have to be
Disclaimer: These boys are not mine. I'm okay with that, even if it means no right and no money. Because being sued would mean even less. So, yeah, these boys are NOT mine!
Summary: Obi-Wan pushes himself hard to prove himself... Qui-Gon looks on
Pushing Too Hard
Obi-Wan walked through the door to their quarters, moving with all the speed of two very old land turtles mating. Qui-Gon hid his smile of amusement behind his datapad until he could control it enough to disappear completely. "Good morning, Padawan," he said pleasantly. Pleasant turned to almost sickly sweet. "Did you have a good night out?"
Lifting his head slowly, he glared over at his master on the sofa. Qui-Gon was in his bathrobe, enjoying a morning cup of tea and reading the morning news. He looked warm and cozy and altogether too comfortable. Obi-Wan, on the other hand, was feeling none of those things. This was, he was sure, the closest his master would get to actually saying 'I told you so'.
Obi-Wan couldn't waste energy on a sigh or on much speaking either. "It's over and I'm back now," Obi-Wan answered tiredly. His legs and arms ached every time he tried to move any one of them. All he wanted to do was get to the bedroom, collapse onto the bed, and not move until he felt better. However, the couch seemed much closer and the bedroom quite far away. Of course one was currently occupied and the other not. He looked from one to the other, trying to decide which to go to.
Before the decision could be made, his shoulders raised and his body tensed. He reached out, realizing the back of the chair was too far away to grab to hold himself steady. So he waved his hand in the air a moment, signaling that a sneeze was coming on, and as though he were trying to fan it away. "ehh-heh-hummm...uhh-huh-HIH..." The sneeze built Obi-Wan swayed in place under its considerable force, face screwed up, jaw dropped. "hehh-ihhhhh-HEH-HUH-KUHSHHhhhhh!" He sneezed freely, bending in half and stumbling forward a step.
It was a step closer to the couch, and Obi-Wan felt the need to go all the way over and lie down on it. "Bless you, Padawan," Qui-Gon said calmly, ignoring the dramatic display which had just transpired. "Would you like to have a bit of a lie down? You look terribly exhausted."
Obi-Wan lifted his head, rubbing his nose with the side of his hand. He glanced at the bedroom and how warm and comforting the bed looked. Then he crossed the distance to the sofa in a second. Obi-Wan knelt down on a cushion as Qui-Gon was talking up most of the couch with the way he was lounging. Qui-Gon shook his head with a soft smile and held his arm out. With a deep breath, Obi-Wan leaned forward and into Qui-Gon's arms. He lay on top of his master, Qui-Gon's arm wrapped around him, his head against Qui-Gon's upper chest and shoulder. His hand rubbed at his sniffling nose, and then came to rest against Qui-Gon's bathrobe-clad chest.
Qui-Gon shook his head again. "Oh, Padawan," he sighed.
"You don't need to say it," said Obi-Wan tiredly. "I should have stayed home to take care of my cold. I shouldn't have tried to do my work last night. I shouldn't have been trying to prove myself." He closed his eyes, calling to memory the hours he spent shuffling cargo and flights and then reshuffling pilot assignment and ship placements. It was enough to make him feel exhausted just thinking about it. "I like to know when I'm doing well and I thought I might... I thought I might try to prove how tough and diligent I am by doing this."
"And instead you pushed yourself to exhaustion," Qui-Gon said wisely.
Obi-Wan nodded and buried his nose in the white terrycloth robe. "huhhhh..." Qui-Gon's arm tightened around Obi-Wan and patted his shoulder softly. "ehh... ehh-hup... hemmm... ihhhkk... ihhh-IH-YIHShhhhhhh!" He shook weakly under its power, but Qui-Gon held him tightly, and he clung to his master as a second one struck. "HUHShhuhhh!" Obi-Wan groaned deeply.
"Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon said, his voice stern.
"Sorry," he said, lifting his head and sniffling. "I did't bead to coblaid."
"I know," he said, kissing Obi-Wan's fuzzy head. "But you came close to it. Now..." He took his arm from Obi-Wan and reached into the pocket of his bathrobe, taking out a handkerchief. "The question is if you would like to blow your nose first or whether you'd like the tea first."
Obi-Wan looked up at the handkerchief in one of Qui-Gon's hands and the mug of tea in the other. "I dod't wadt to drik your tea..."
Qui-Gon smiled. "I made it for you just a few moments before you walked in. It contains some healing herbs, and it should be cool enough to drink by now. So which first?" He raised and lowered his hands alternatively as though there were on a balance.
The young padawan reached up and took the handkerchief. He gave a one-handed blow of his nose. Then he took the tea and sipped a bit... and then a bit more.
"You see, Padawan?" Qui-Gon said as he watched his padawan drink. "I was able to be aware of my surroundings and in contact with the living force to know what to do. It is not the way we push ourselves to do our duties that make us Jedi but the way we live in tune with ourselves and our obligations."
"I understand now, Master," Obi-Wan said, resting the tea on Qui-Gon's chest and his head there as well.
"Just because you are ill does not mean I will hold off on the lessons. And you needed to learn this one on your own. I tried to reason with you, but I feared you would not learn the lesson if I pushed too hard."
Obi-Wan had understood this, about halfway through his work that night. Qui-Gon had told him he should stay home but left the decision up to Obi-Wan in the end. "I know, Mah... Master..." Obi-Wan tensed again and Qui-Gon slid a hand around Obi-Wan's to keep the tea steady. "Sorry... hah...have to... ehhh... heh-hihhh... ehp-hupp-uhhhh-" He froze just on the verge of the sneeze, frowning, panting, squinting, straining. "hehh...-EHH-HEH-UHSHHH!"
Qui-Gon stroked the back of Obi-Wan's head, as Obi-Wan recovered the handkerchief and emptied his nose. "Bless you," Qui-Gon sighed. Obi-Wan nodded his appreciation wearily, and moved to drink the rest of the tea down quickly. Obi-Wan looked weary and warn out, which was to be expected having been awake all night on transport duty. "Would you like more tea?" he asked, nuzzling his face into Obi-Wan's fuzzy hair. Obi-Wan shook his head. "Well, then, I suppose you'll be off to classes and sparring and--"
Wanting to groan at this, Obi-Wan merely shook his head. "I would like to formally request... heh... a break from duty due to illness, Master." He scrubbed at his nose, and then buried it in the handkerchief. "huh...uhh... uff... hup...ihhp... ihhh-yihhhhh-huh-KShhhh! HihIHHHShhh! HehCHISHHH!"
"Suspension of duty is granted. Very good, Padawan," Qui-Gon said with an approving nod. "Would you like me to help you to bed or perhaps you would like a shower?"
Obi-Wan sniffled and yawned. He lifted his head to look over at the bedroom. Somehow, the bed looked much less inviting than snuggling on the couch with his master now. "Can I just stay here? Would you mind?"
"I would not mind at all, Padawan," he said, kissing Obi-Wan's forehead, then the top of his head. He shuffled around a little, redistributing the weight of his padawan lying on top of him. "Are you warm and comfortable enough here, then?" His hand followed the path his kisses had, going from forehead to the top of his head with gentle strokes. Obi-Wan nodded and yawned again. "Well, then relax and let your body rest. Let me know if you need anything more."
Obi-Wan nodded, feeling so tired he was sure he would go right to sleep. He could barely keep his eyes open a moment longer. He rubbed his cheek into the terrycloth robe and closed his eyes. Qui-Gon tightened his arm around Obi-Wan in a hug. "Good lad," he said with soft approval. Obi-Wan smiled.