Title: Keeping You Warm

Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Star Wars, after Episode II

Characters: Anakin, Padmé, Obi-Wan
Rating: G
Spoilers: Watch Episodes I & II

Disclaimer: They're not mine! I have no affiliation with George Lucas and I don't get a cent from this!
Summary: Anakin has a cold, simple as that. He's a bit arrogant, but a bit cold a needy, too.

Comments: I'd love 'em J



Keeping You Warm


     "Mmm... hrm..." Obi-Wan made a nice array of thoughtful noises as he poked around Anakin. "Erm... right." He lowered a hand from the young man's chest, looking into eyes with a bit of worry and a bit of annoyance behind them. He had given an ultimatum, either Anakin would be marched straight down to the healers to be examined, or Obi-Wan himself would do it. Naturally, Anakin chose the latter. "I'll make your excuses for you while I'm out." Obi-Wan told him, checking his Padawan's eyes, nose, throat. "I want you to stay in bed the rest of the day."


     "I'm really not that bad off," Anakin complained as Obi-Wan hovered above him, fussing. But he shivered quite violently and retreated under the blankets a bit more, not pressing the complaint.


     Obi-Wan tucked another blanket over his middle, pushed another pillow behind his back, then settled down on the bed beside him. He put a gentle arm around his Padawan's shoulders. "I still don't want you up and about for a while. You're sick enough to need to stay in bed." He placed a worn, rough hand gently against the young man's forehead, rating the warmth. "And you need rest, time to let your body heal."


     Anakin grumbled in response, then snapped a hand to his nose and mouth with lightening reflexes. "ehh-Chushh! huh-Shoo!" He sniffled and opened his eyes, to find Obi-Wan brandishing a handkerchief at him. He took it reluctantly and gave his nose a good rub. "I'll be all right, Master. It's just a cold." Albeit a bad one, one that even he with all his healing powers had been unable to prevent.


     He'd been coming down with a sniffle all day yesterday, and woke this morning to the full-blown thing. Despite adamant insistence that he would be well enough to attend classes, training sessions, and fulfill his other duties, Obi-Wan had not let him leave their quarters all morning. In fact, the Jedi Master had confined him to bed just after lunch when Anakin suffered from a rather forceful bout of sneezing. Thus he'd spent most of the afternoon lying restless, sniffling and sneezing but otherwise all right. Anakin was sure he would have been able to get through a normal day but, sick, had not the energy to fight Obi-Wan on this count.


     Softly, sympathetically, Obi-Wan looked down at him. "Try to get some rest while I'm gone, Padawan." Obi-Wan pulled himself up and dawned his cloak. He strode to the door, paused, then looked back in on Anakin. "Don't get out of bed," he commanded, sure that the moment he left, that was just what the young man would do.


     There was a grumble from Anakin which sounded suspiciously like "holding me back."


     Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. "I'm sorry?" And Anakin shook his head and waved his hand with a 'never mind' sort of expression. With a sigh, Obi-Wan added, "Take care of that cold." He restrained himself from shaking a finger in warning, turned, and left.



     Anakin waited a few moments, sensing that the man was gone before springing from the bed. He took a blanket with him, and settled on the couch, pulling the communications unit down to the coffee table. He lay down as communications linked up, snuggled into the blanket with his head and good arm sticking out.




     He looked up at the soft, gentle face of the now Senator Amidala. "Hello," he said, his voice smooth, full of a much happier tone than the one he'd used with Obi-Wan. "How are you?"


     She smiled back. "Fine," she told him, quickly adding, "But how are you? You look..." She reached a hand up and made as if to stroke him from afar.


     Anakin could nearly feel the touch, and held a hand to his shoulder as if to hold her hand in his. "It's just a bit of a head cold, nothing serious." But it certain didn't feel like nothing serious as his nose tickled again. "heh...ehhShushh! EhhChushh!" with his nose buried deep in the handkerchief to muffle the sound of the sneezes.


     And Padmé seemed concerned. "Oh, Ani... I wish I were there to take care of you, keep you warm."


            He nodded, rubbing his nose, giving her a weak smile. "I wish you were here for any reason." She'd just left two days before, but it already felt like years. They were able to see each other often, as some of his duties took him close to Naboo. And she returned to Coruscant for Senate hearings, though with one man as supreme ruler over it she didn't need to be on world as much. Despite this, they found it harder and harder to make excuses to see each other. And it was a rarity that an entirely intimate moment presented itself. "I miss you already." He tried not to sound sappy, but it was true. He wanted to smell her, hold her, touch her, be with her. He wanted to roll in the grass, to bathe beneath a waterfall, he wanted to lie beneath her and allow the worlds to spin around them.


            Seeming to sense his thoughts, she lay down on her side, too, so they could look into each other's holographic eyes properly. The projection did not show the loving sparkle in the eyes, but both knew it was there. "We'll be together again soon." But there was no telling how soon was soon. And for Anakin's current suffering, even soon was not soon enough. "Ani, I need to go."


            He nodded, rubbing at his nose miserably. Just one moment more of her soft face, gentle eyes, fierce spirit. But he knew they must be brief. Too long and the transmission could be intercepted, and they could be found out. Too long and a call traced between the two of them would be suspicious. "I love you, Padmé," he whispered, coughing shyly, then blowing her a kiss.


            She blew one back, "And I you. Feel better my Jedi." And the last image he saw was her reaching up to turn off the communicator.


            He sighed, then reached over and turned his off as well. The room seemed entirely too quiet when it had just since been filled with her beautiful voice. There was no Obi-Wan, no Yoda, no Padmé, no one there except for Anakin, left alone to his cold and his thoughts. If Obi-Wan really wanted him better, why had he so hastily left? Master Qui-Gon certainly would have been more motherly. But then, Obi-Wan had never been the fathering type the way Qui-Gon had been in the brief time he had known the wise Jedi Master.


            Anakin curled on the couch, hugging the blankets to his chest, head sinking deeper into the couch cushion. "heh-Cheshh! eh-Chushh!" The handkerchief was growing damp, and he was growing thirsty. With a cough, he raised his golden hand, waving it toward the small kitchenette in the quarters. A glass pulled itself out of the upper cabinets and filled as a carton of juice floated out of the fridge and began to pour. Then the glass levitated over to him, resting just above his hand. As if it took no effort at all, he grasped it and smiled. There were benefits to not having his master around. He toasted his ability to use the force well despite illness, and sipped the juice, trying to decide which holovids would constitute a restful afternoon. He ended up simply popping one in and falling asleep before it was even half over.





            Anakin awoke hours later to a rough, familiar hand placed on his forehead. He snuffled, rubbing his nose, and sat up with a yawn. "Good evening, Master Obi... Mas..." His face fell, breath hitched and he pulled back. "heh-ECHhhh! Uhh-Cheshh! ehh-Chushh!"


            Obi-Wan picked up the handkerchief and held it out for him again. "Good evening to you, my Padawan." He squatted by the couch as Anakin blew his nose. When the young man was done, he spoke again, sternly, "I thought I told you to stay in bed, hmm?" But he was smiling. He reached over and rubbed the close-cropped, dark blonde hair affectionately.


            Anakin shook his head, sniffling. "Master... I..." but he needed to sneeze yet again. "I... sneeze... ehhh..." This time, he gripped the handkerchief tightly, shaking amidst the blankets. "ehh-CHISHhhh! uhhKeshh!" He sighed, rubbing at his nose miserably. "Master, I think I need something for this cold." He opened his eyes, giving his nose a blow, and looked longingly over at his comfortable bedroom. The couch suddenly seemed small, confining, stiff. And staring up at the communicator made his heart fall.


            "Come, let me help you. I've brought you some things." He helped the young man up, holding onto his arm firmly. Then Obi-Wan wrapped the blanket around his Padawan's shoulders and ushered him back into the bedroom and into bed.


            Another blanket was added to the bed, where Anakin snuggled warmly under the covers, trying to block feelings of wanting to be warm in bed with Padmé beside him. He yawned, but found sleep much more difficult to get a hold on as he sniffled again. "eehh... ehhChushh! Heh-Chishh!" Light, wet sneezes which rocked him. He closed his eyes. "I cad't seeb to fall asleeb," he complained, rubbing more at his nose.


            Obi-Wan sat down on the bed beside him, and handed over a small cup of tea. "Drink steadily. It'll help." And he put his arm warmly around the young man as he drank a bit.


Too bad for Anakin that Ryanth Root did not come in anything other than a tea form, for the Padawan Learner did not seem to enjoy the taste of tea. He pulled a face after a few sips and coughed. Then he made to drink more. But the pause was long enough to make his nose tickle violently, and it was all he could do to let go over the cup and command it to hang in mid air as he sneezed. "heh-Ehshhh! ehhhCheshh! Heh...ehhhChishh! EhhhKeshh! HehChishh!" Anakin cupped his hand to the lower half of his countenance and continued to sneeze. "heh-CHISH! Ehh...ehhh-Keshh! Chishh! Cheshh! huh-Chishh!"


            Obi-Wan smiled, taking the tea, which tipped a bit as Anakin's control faltered a bit during each sneeze. He held a hand on the man's back and brought the cup to his mouth. "You must keep drinking, or you'll have more fits of sneezing like this."


     Anakin managed to drink, and soon the tickle in his nose died down. He yawned and looked up at Obi-Wan. "You could have ward be about that."


     Obi-Wan, exercising great self restraint in not laughing at the young man's congested speech, replied, "And you could have followed my directions more closely." He watched the man yawn again. "It'll help you sleep as long as you need to, my Padawan." He took the empty teacup in exchange for the handkerchief. And, sensing the young man's feelings to some extent, he offered, "Blow your nose and come here. I know I'm not as lovely as Senator Amidala, but I can keep you warm." He patted his thigh and helped shift the blankets.


     Obeying, Anakin snuggled up to his master, resting his head in the man's lap. Obi-Wan stroked his Padawan's arm soothingly through the blankets. While they two had never enjoyed a relationship as close and as caring as Obi-Wan had had with Qui-Gon, they were close in other ways. And Obi-Wan hoped that as Anakin recovered from this illness, he would be able to reflect fondly on this closeness.


     "Thadk you, Baster Obi-Wad," he said softly, just before another yawn.


     Obi-Wan patted the man's arm, then stroked his head a few times. He picked up Anakin's braid, wrapping it around his finger a few times, remarking as to the length. He remembered the first time he'd ever braided it for the boy. Young, scared, alone. Both of them. "I just want you to get better, Ani. You do that for me, all right?" He sent a gentle wave of reassuring healing to his Padawan, who nodded. Anakin closed his eyes with yet another yawn, draped his good arm over Obi-Wan's legs in a sort of lose hug, and quickly feel into a deep, assisted sleep.