Title: Jedi Don't Worry
Fandom: Star Wars, years before TPM
Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Tala D'Marke
Spoilers: I can't think of any
Disclaimer: Star Wars, contrary to popular belief, is actually not mine! Can you believe it? And accordingly, this is all in fun and I don't' get a cent J
Jedi Don't Worry
"Roll over, Qui. I've got some juice for you," the kind voice whispered in the darkness of the room.
The young one in bed stirred with a snort, and pulled the covers up to his ears.
"Come, now, you've got to drink something." He eased the covers down slowly, gently. "Come on, Qui-Gon." Still no reply, save some snuffling under the covers. "Qui-Gon Jinn, roll over and take a drink of this right now or you will not be left alone the rest of the night." He reached out and poked the man. Qui-Gon did not move. He poked again, and again, and again, prodding constantly, annoyingly.
Giving into persistence, or just to get the man off his back, Qui-Gon rolled over, grabbed the glass out of his roommate's hand and took a few gulps. As the liquid settled against his taste buds, he winced, then shoved it back. "You put medicine in that!" He wiped his mouth with the cuff of his sleeve.
With a soft smile and a softer rub of the arm through the blankets, "Would you have taken it otherwise?"
The answer was clear as Qui retreated back beneath the covers with coughs and more sniffles.
With a sigh, "Blow your nose, you'll feel better, I promise you." He eased the tissue box closer to the Jedi initiate in hint.
The young man shoved his head under his pillow, calling back with muffled words, "I just missed my first off world trip and Marshall got to go instead, I failed my saber skills test, I'm too dizzy to even sit up to meditate and I just want to die I feel so bad. You think blowing my sniff, sniff! nose is going to make me feel better, Tala?"
Lifting the pillow off Qui-Gon's head, Tala nodded. Of course it would. "You won't know until you try." He guided two tissues to Qui-Gon's nose with the command. "Now blow." Qui-Gon struggled a moment, trying to pull back from the absurd. When he found there was no way to move and nowhere to go, he gave in. Surprisingly, Qui-Gon noticed he difference at once. "There now, was that really worth fighting over?" Tala tucked the covers around him more tightly.
Qui-Gon grumbled an honest "No," and closed his eyes with a yawn. He seemed so terribly tired lately; maybe it was from the sickness, or maybe it was what Tala had slipped into the juice. Whatever it was, it was making him feel warm and relaxed at the same time... and that made him feel terribly sleepy.
Comfortingly, Tala put his hand on Qui-Gon's forehead, not to feel the warmth but to administer a brief but powerful shot of healing energy. He was young, but his healing powers even at this age could not be denied. "There now, a bit of rest will do you wonders. That's it." His voice was so soft now that it barely made a sound.
* * *
"There now, a bit of rest will do you wonders." Qui-Gon stroked the young man's arm gently with a thick, strong hand. His other hand held a datapad and rested on the other thigh where his padawan's head wasn't.
The young man shivered in his robe, curling in a ball and closer to Qui-Gon for warmth. "Why's it always so cold on these cruisers?" He sniffled, "Sniff! Sniff!" and rubbed his nose against his shoulder. "And dark." That was the case, indeed. The belly of the ship where they were resting was lit only by a single yellow light which had been growing dimmer since their arrival, but in increments so small that only Qui-Gon took any notice of that. He fidgeted, wiggling his nose. "And stiff." There were no beds, there were no chairs. What there was happened to be a bench on the side of the wall which Qui-Gon sat and Obi-Wan lay, curled just enough so that he did not fall off the end.
"Why do you always complain about the temperature when you want to change the subject?" Full of reason and logic and a kind tone in his voice, the Jedi Master had him there.
But any snippy reply Obi-Wan might have made was barred in an instant when his curled-up body tensed and recoiled. "hehhkkk...kehhh..." the feeling built until his eyes snapped shut and his body retracted. "KEHT-chhhhh! Heh-HEKT-chuhh!"
"Blesses." His hand stroked the young man's back, easing him back into a state of relaxment, gilding his head back to Qui-Gon's thigh. "Go to sleep, my Padawan. Please try."
Obi-Wan protested. "I'm too cold. Sniff, sniff! And my nose keeps running."
With a sigh, Qui-Gon set down the datapad, picked up the handkerchief carefully by the dry areas, and set it up in front of Obi-Wan's face. "Give your nose a blow and I'll lead you in a healing trance."
Obi complied, blowing his nose into the handkerchief and the closing his eyes. "Do I have to get up?"
Qui-Gon shook his head. "Just relax and let me in." He laid his hand on Obi-Wan's forehead, pressing gently, sending gentle, soothing waves of the force.
Letting him in was not a problem, as the young man was not feeling strong enough to put up any sort of blocks what-so-ever which greatly attributed to his catching a cold on Endor in the first place. "Yes, Master."
* * *
"And even when ill, maintain the ways you must, hmm?"
Another nod. "Yes, Master Yoda." Obedient in his answer, trying to make it sound and feel genuine when all he really felt was sick.
"Expect to see you this afternoon in my quarters I do. With your work done." Master Yoda, standing eye-to-eye with Qui-Gon who lay sideways in bed, tapped his stick on the floor a few times, then waddled out with a few mutterings.
When the door had closed, Qui-Gon relaxed, giving a frustrated sigh. "Tala?" he motioned for the box of tissues. "Can you get...?"
Tala rolled his eyes and waved his hand. The box jiggled a little, unsteady for a moment, then floated across the room, landing on Qui-Gon's lap. "Do you feel well enough to do the work, Qui-Gon?" If the man couldn't get a simple box of tissues for himself, he had little hope of creating a moving, to-scale model of the current galaxy using only light particles by this afternoon. Master Yoda was being quite unreasonable in his assignment and demands.
Qui-Gon shook his head, giving his nose a blow. "Is that an offer to do it for me?"
"Hardly." Tala grinned. "It's an offer to make you feel better so that you can do it yourself." He paused. "Unless you want Master Yoda to tap more than the floor with his stick." He raised an eyebrow. "Step one, sitting up." He had all intentions of getting up to help, but for some reason he stayed put to see how Qui-Gon did on his own. Tala was reclining on his bed on one side of the room, with datapads and models surrounding his bed. Master Arnoch had given him a few challenging healing puzzles, but there was something to be said for hands-on learning.
Qui-Gon struggled to sit up, shivering as the cold of the dark room hit him. He snuffled, pulled back, and bent forward. "ehhhShooo! ehhhKetchhh! HahChuhhh!" As if moving in slow motion, he brought his hand up to his face, then rubbed his nose with the back of his wrist. Then he reached for a tissue.
By then, Tala was beside him, sitting on the edge of the bed, offering one from the box, as well as administering a pat on the back. The sick roommate looked disoriented, and Tala could sense the dizziness coming upon him. Perhaps if he didn't mention anything, Qui-Gon would simply ignore—--
Qui-Gon collapsed against Tala, out cold. The man did not faint, he did not swoon. He simply... passed out. Not so gracefully, but suddenly, heavily, and without warning.
Tala pushed him off, jumping up instinctively. This was not a good beginning, and this was supposed to be the easiest step of the bunch. He pulled the blanket up, draping it over Qui-Gon's body. "We'll try again when you wake."
* * *
"Did you say something about my waking, Master Qui-Gon?"
He nodded, easing the boy off him. "I only wanted to get up. I need to speak with the pilot. I sense a disturbance--"
Quickly, "I feel it, too, Master."
Qui-Gon nodded, rising. So it was strong enough for a sick, sleepy padawan learner to sense. This was not a good sign at all. The mission to Endor had been routine enough, and they had enjoyed the luxuries of food and warmth while there. But it undeniably had been winter, and Obi-Wan had slipped on the ice and broke his leg. Of course, it was in the name of heroism, saving an Ewock child from slipping of the edge of a rather perilous cliff. But it was broken, just the same. Qui-Gon had set it back in place, and instructed Obi-Wan to rest. With pain shooting through him, and cold winds upon him, Obi-Wan had not been at his best. And by the end of the two remaining days, he'd caught a bit of a sniffle, indeed. Departure had been routine as well, save for Qui-Gon carrying Obi-Wan aboard. The ride had been smooth and problem-free until now. Obi-Wan attempted to rise as well, but Qui-Gon held him down with his hand. "Stay, rest. I'll be back in moments."
Qui-Gon headed through to the cockpit, bending over as the ceiling sloped to a wide window of view. "Anything out of the ordinary, Captain?"
The man, an Alurian with blue skin and four arms, nodded. "There's a ship on our tail. Thinks we have cargo, jamming our communications, echoing all of my course changes."
"Course changes?" He had not been informed on this matter.
"Standard procedure in this neck of the woods when there's a stalker. Don't worry, we won't settle down anywhere, just trying to confuse him. We wouldn't be in any condition to fight, anyway, we're unarmed."
"Hmmm," Qui-Gon raised an eyebrow in thought. "Please inform me as soon as there is a change in the situation."
Qui-Gon returned to the belly of the ship, and to Obi-Wan. The instant he saw his Padawan, he melted. The young man was sitting upright in as much as he could, sneezing constantly. "ehh-KEHHTchhhh! Hehh-EKKTshhhh! Heh-EKKKT-chooo!"
Obi-Wan looked up, face buried in the handkerchief for the most part. "What... ehhh...heh-KESHHHhhhhh! Ekkk-KET-chuhhh!" He sneezed, unable to finish his thought.
"There's a ship off starboard which is displaying some hostile intentions. They're being watched, but their intentions are unclear and they've blocked all com... Obi?"
The Padawan was not in the mood for a troubling conversation. He was sure everything would be fine, and a Jedi never worries, but better not give Obi-Wan any reason to. "Blesses, lie down again, please." They resumed position, Obi-Wan using his master's leg as a pillow again. Qui-Gon's comforting hand soothed him in strokes and pets and soon they were both a little more at ease.
* * *
"Lie down again, please, Qui-Gon."
The strong-willed young man protested. "Master Yoda..."
"... will be made to understand. You're ill, Qui!" He patted Qui-Gon on the arm. "Besides, Jedi don't worry, right?"
Qui-Gon nodded, still a little worried about not being able to do his work.
Tala finished. "I may not be a Jedi Master, and I may not be a healer yet, but I'm still your roommate and I can still sense your ailment. And when I say you're unwell, you're too ill to work, and that you're going to get better only by staying down in bed then you're damn well going to listen and obey!"
A little stunned at the speech, Qui-Gon simply gave a nod. "Since when are you in charge of taking care of me?"
Tala tucked the blankets around him tightly. "Since I needed to. Since when are you in the position of needing me to?" Tala punched the man playfully, albeit affectionately, in the arm.
Qui-Gon sniffled. Some things were better left unsaid.
"I'll go see Master Yoda and explain your condition--"
"My condtion?" the ill initiate grumbled.
"--Yes, your condition. And I'll get you an extension on your project."
Qui shook his head. "This isn't basic learning. They don't grant sniff, sniff, extensions."
"He will this time." Tala reached over, plucked out two tissues and handed them to Qui-Gon. "You're about to sneeze. Bless you in advance."
"I'm not!" protested the young man. But as soon as the words had left him, a sneeze began to brew in his nose. It tickled its way up, brining the sneezey sensation on him in such sudden force that he had to snatch the tissues away blindly as it began, lest he sneeze right in Tala's face. "ehh-Ihhshhhhhoo! HehhhChishhhhooo! Cheshhh! Chooo! Hept-Chooo!" Finished for the moment, he blew his nose and rubbed his forehead with his palm.
"Light-headed?" Tala asked, well knowing the answer.
Qui-Gon nodded, snuffling in self-pity.
No mocking, no joking, no simple muttering- Qui-Gon needed some help. "I'm calling a healer over to see you."
Panic crossed the man's face. "No, no. I'm fi... fine... " he faded with uncertainty to sneeze again, "ehhhUhshhhh! Cheshhhooo! Heh-hehhh... heh-CHIIshhhhh!"
"Bless you again. And no, you're not fine." He patted Qui-Gon's arm through the blankets. "You need someone to check you out."
Sniffling, "But Tala... can't you just...?"
In simple, clear answer, he shook his head. "I'm just an initiate, Qui. I wouldn't ask you to save my life fighting off a monster with your light saber right now, would I?"
With a shrug, "I guess not." Qui-Gon rolled over onto his back, and Tala plumped his pillow a little to give him a better range of breathing. "Stay with me?"
Nodding, "Don't worry, I'll make sure you're comfortable with the healer before I go see Master Yoda."
* * *
"Stay with me?"
Qui-Gon stroked the young man's cheek gently, understanding all too well what it was like to feel hurt and ill so many light years from home. "Of course, Padawan. Can I get you something else?" He draped his robe over the young man and remained in simply a tunic and tight pants. There wasn't exactly anything else to get, but he felt the need to offer anyway.
Obi-Wan shivered and cuddled up against Qui-Gon for more warmth. "Just hold me... Master?"
There was silence a moment as Qui-Gon stared out at the nothingness of the cabin. Finally he shook his head. "Thought I sensed something." He hugged the young man against his chest. "Warm enough?"
A nod, a sniffle, a rub at his nose. Nothing else.
Qui-Gon reached down, handing the handkerchief over. "Take it, you're about to sneeze."
Obi-Wan stirred beneath the blankets, pulling out his hand to take it, but looking terribly confused. Then all of a sudden, "heh-KESHhhhh! Kehh... kehh-Ehshhhhh! KET-Chuhhhh!" He sniffled into the handkerchief, keeping his eyes closed.
"Bless you, Padawan."
"Thank you, Master." He cuddled affectionately. Qui-Gon hugged back, wrapping his arms around as much of the man as he could, squeezing, keeping warm, keeping calm.
All of a sudden, there was a great disturbance, and not simply in the force this time. The ship rocked, and both men were thrown to the floor. Obi-Wan had to bite his lip to keep from crying out as his leg was smashed against the wall. Qui-Gon pulled the man out and turned him, his back to the wall. "Stay, lad." Then hurried back to the front.
It was the ship, and this time it was attacking, and broadcasting. "Surrender your cargo to us, disable your ship, and we'll spare you to abandonment on the next planet if we're merciful. If you resist you will be destroyed."
Qui-Gon scanned the computer panels. There was nowhere near enough to land, and no ship near enough to help. They were sustaining great amounts of damage. Quickly, he grabbed onto the headpiece of the pilot chair as the ship was blasted again.
"Severe damage to the port side. Ship still intact." The pilot was beginning to loose his cool, even with four hands it did not seem to be enough and Qui-Gon was at a loss as far as ideas. "The first shot took out our blasters, we're completely defenseless. It looks like we're out of options. We can't outrun them, we can't hide, we can't fight back."
Qui-Gon nodded. "A solution will present itself. Be patient."
The captain looked up, green eyes turning blue, then orange, then red. "Patient? We're going to be killed!"
Qui-Gon shook his head. "If they board, they will not be allowed to leave alive."
The pilot still looked flustered. "That's if they board! It rather looks like we'll be destroyed first!"
The ship was hit again, harder this time, managing to get both droids who were working on repairs. Qui-Gon closed his eyes a moment, searching out for his Padawan. //Obi, are you all right?//
And very faint came the reply, //I am, Master.//
* * *
"Who is standing outside my chambers waiting?" came Master Yoda's voice as the door opened automatically.
"I am, Master," Tala answered, stepping in as the door closed behind him.
"Initiate D'Marke..." Yoda muttered, circling him with narrowed eyes. "Expecting Initiate Jinn, I was. Come to speak on his behalf, have you?"
Tala knelt, staring down at the floor in respect. "Yes, Master."
"Come to make his excuses for him? Sent by him to make these excuses?"
"Neither, Sir. He did not come because I would not allow him out of bed."
Yoda's voice took on a curious tone. "Oh?"
"He is ill, and has trouble sitting up. Five times we tried, and he is too dizzy to meditate for even a simple healing trance. He has chills and congestion, coughs and sneezes. It is in his best interest to remain in bed. He wanted to come, but I would not allow him to leave bed." A little nervous, he cleared his throat. Strongly, he put forward, "I will not allow him to leave his bed until he feels considerably better." Going against a direct order was terms for banishment; perhaps he could spare Qui-Gon this by putting the blame on himself. He was partially responsible after all.
Master Yoda stopped pacing and sat, looking very pensive for a while, his green ears twitching atop his head. Finally, "Leave him alone did you when you came here to me?"
Tala shook his head. "Of course not, Master. I called a healer for him and made sure the healer did not leave until I returned."
Yoda nodded, hopping back up to his feet by use of his stick. "Passed this test you have, Initiate D'Marke." He reached out and patted Tala's head with his hand. "A fine healer one day you will make. Now go tend to your roommate."
Stunned, and a little shocked, Tala gave a nod. "Yes, Master. Thank you, Master. May the force be with you."
"And with you, Initiate D'Marke." Tala rose and started out, pausing as Yoda added, "Oh, and Initiate D'Marke, tell Initiate Jinn that your request for his extension on this project and all others is granted until he makes his recovery."
With the surprise, he'd forgotten to even mention it! Tala nodded. "Thank you, Master Yoda."
Tala hurried back on air. He couldn't seem to remember when he had felt so good about his choices, his actions. Many times he got in trouble, or was scolded for disobeying the rules. Staying too long in the library after it closed. Missing lectures to administer some bedside manor to a patient in the infirmary. Skipping saber training because he fell asleep reading medical journals.
He returned to his quarters. Qui-Gon did not look so good, curled up under the covers and sniffling rather constantly. The healer went to him, holding out a small jar of herbs, to explain what needed to be done for Qui-Gon. "What is that?" he asked in a medically curious sort of way.
* * *
"What is that?" Qui-Gon asked as a rather large gold blob appeared on the tracking screen, closing in on their location.
"Looks like another ship," the pilot replied, stating the rather obvious.
The ship, clad in golden plating swarmed in, firing on the attacker, hitting first the weaponry then the engines. In a matter of minutes, the ship was not only disabled by retreating as fast as it could go.
Qui-Gon grinned, feeling the force flow through him. Before anything else, he made the request, "If communications have been restored, please open a channel to the ship."
The pilot quickly did so. "Do you know them, Sir?"
A nod was Qui-Gon's only answer, as he rehearsed what he would say. No sooner was communication open than Qui-Gon began. "We are most grateful for your assistance, Aesculapius. Since when does a Jedi medical ship carry weaponry, Tala?"
The holographic image of his old friend, Tala D'Marke appeared in front of him. The man was reclining in the captain's chair. "Since we were attacked a few months ago and all our supplies stolen so that we were unable to complete a rather important mission." The image leaned forward. "Since when has the mighty Jedi Master Jinn needed saving?"
Qui-Gon smiled, as Tala always made him do.
"So," Tala changed the subject. "Who's sick over there? You look well, Qui-Gon." One of the few times he did; the last two times seeing Tala had seen one or the other of them ill.
"My padawan is suffering from a paining broken leg, I'm afraid." Perhaps it was best to spare the boy any embarrassment.
With a sigh, "Well, I'm afraid it's unsafe to board in this area, or set down anywhere. But we can send a pod over with some supplies. Something to numb the pain a little, and something to clear up that head cold, all right?"
"I should have known better." Even without full Jedi powers, Tala knew him too well.
"Yes," Tala smiled. "You should have. You'll be back on world soon. No reason to worry about him." The ship grabbed onto the probe, brining it inside. "Though I doubt my word on that subject won't stop you from doing so. Takes after his Master, doesn't he?"
Another nod. "Thanks, Tala. We are truly grateful. I hope we run into each other again soon."
"You can bet on it. Take care!" Communication ended as quickly as it had begun, and the ships went on their separate ways, better for the encounter.
* * *
"Are you sure I'b dot ruddig a fever?"
Tala nodded. "You can bet on it. You're just a little light headed and chilly. Have some tea, it will help."
Qui-Gon took it, raising an eyebrow. "I subbose you slibbed bedicide idto this ode as well?"
With a smile, "You won't even taste it, I promise."
With a grumble, Qui-Gon sipped a little and handed it back. He froze a moment, two, then pitched forward, "ehhIhhshhh! heh-Cheshhhoo! Chishhh!"
"Bless you," Tala remarked, passing over the tissues again. He put his hand on Qui-Gon's forehead once more, sending warm, healing energy waves over.
"Thags, Tala." He snuffled, taking another few sips of the tea and feeling his eyelids grow heavy. "I'b dot keebig you frob work, ab I?"
A shake of his head, and a pat on the arm. "Not at all, Qui-Gon. Just let me know if you need anything else." He pulled up a pillow and a data pad and settled down to work on the floor just beside Qui-Gon's bed. "I'm here for you, all right?"
A nod, a sniffle, a yawn. "Thags, Tala."
"You're welcome. Now just relax."
* * *
"Now just relax..." Qui-Gon's voice was soft, soothing.
"My leg doesn't hurt any longer. Master, I can walk--"
His master's eyes were strong, unyielding. That was the painkiller Tala had given talking. The young man would crumble with pain and embarrassment to the ground if he were to try to put his weight on it. "I don't care, I will carry you anyway." Obi-Wan had been held in Qui-Gon's arms many times before, but never carried. It was amazing the man had such strength- it looked like nothing to the Jedi Master to hold his Padawan in his arms as they left the cruiser and headed down the halls. Instead of going straight home, they stopped by the healing dome for Obi-Wan to get checked out. The young man leaned against Qui-Gon the whole time, nodding off every few minutes as he was poked and prodded. His leg was given some support and strengthening, his cold was given some herbs and strict meditation orders.
Qui-Gon carried him back, and the young man dozed on the ride back home. Before long, Obi-Wan had been tucked into bed and Qui-Gon sat on the edge, exhausted but keeping himself awake until he was assured Obi-Wan was fine. "Are you sure you don't need anything else, Padawan?"
He nodded, breathing in the scent of the pillow as he sunk into it. Familiar home. He suddenly sat up and looked around.
"Yes, Padawan. My bed. I'll join you in a moment if you like, otherwise stretch out and feel comfortable and feel better." Obi-Wan smiled, settling back down, holding his hand out to his master. Qui-Gon joined him in bed, gently holding the man against him beneath the blankets. "Warm enough? Need to blow your nose?"
Obi-Wan yawned, closing his eyes. "I'll be all right, Master. You don't need to worry about me."
"Jedi don't worry," he responded out of instinct, giving the man a secure squeeze and giving into his own fatigue.