“Obi-Wan!” Qui-Gon yelled as he ran toward the boy, his heart beginning to pound in his chest as if someone was beating a drum inside of him. He had just watched the man violently shove the teenager down the ramp and then shoot him with his blaster. He couldn’t lose the boy now. He had just found him alive.
It seemed to take longer than it should have, to run the short distance that separated the Jedi Master from his former Padawan. Qui-Gon, Adi, and Siri reached Obi-Wan as the small freighter began to lift off. The boy’s hand, still on the end of the ramp, fell limply to the ground. He looked up at Qui-Gon with pain filled eyes.
Qui-Gon knelt down beside the boy, checking over the wound. To his relief it was not bad; he had been hit in his right shoulder. “Obi-Wan,” he said.
“I know you; don’t I?” Obi-Wan asked starring up at the Jedi Master kneeling beside him. Qui-Gon could see the pain in the boy’s blue/green eyes, but there was no recognition in them.
“Yes, you do; I am Qui-Gon Jinn. Your wound is not bad, but we need to get you to the healers,” Qui-Gon told the boy. He turned toward Adi Gallia and noted that she had already used her com-link to call for help. Obi-Wan nodded, and looked up at Siri who stood near Qui-Gon.
“It hurts,” Obi-Wan murmured.
“The healers are on the way, and the authorities are on alert to find Obi’s kidnappers,” Adi explained as she switched off the com-link.
“I dreamed about you. I think it was a memory,” Obi-Wan told Qui-Gon, looking into his deep blue eyes.
“That is possible,” Qui-Gon’s heart ached at Obi-Wan’s words, and he wondered if it was a good memory or a bad memory.
“Let me get this off of you,” Qui-Gon said, reaching for the device around the boys neck. He was surprised when Obi-Wan stiffened.
“Will I get sick?” Obi-Wan asked.
“Sick, what do you mean?” Siri questioned, glancing from Qui-Gon to Obi-Wan.
“Avery and Hultz told me that I am sick and that I need this medical brace to regulate my medication. Was that a lie too?” Obi-Wan looked from Siri to Qui-Gon for an answer.
“Yes, Obi-Wan. This is a Force suppressor, it’s used to prevent you from having access to the force.”
“The Force,” Obi-Wan repeated, “I read about that in the library. If they used it to block out the Force, then does that mean that I’m a Jedi?”
Qui-Gon smiled slightly at the innocent question and responded, “Yes, you’re a Jedi Padawan.”
“I was right about the braid then,” Obi-Wan mumbled.
“Can I take this off now?” Qui-Gon asked reaching for collar around his neck.
The teen nodded, still looking nervous. Qui-Gon, used the Force to gently unlock the clasp of the device and remove it from Obi-Wan’s neck.
He immediately used his left hand to examine the part of his neck that he had not been able to touch in weeks. “I feel different,” Obi-Wan confessed, “Somehow it feels like I’m whole now, except… I can’t remember who I am.”
“Obi-Wan, I’m going to use the Force to accelerate your healing. I need to touch your arm,” Qui-Gon said quietly.
“Ok,” Obi-Wan nodded, taking a deep breath.
Qui-Gon gently reached out, putting his hands on the boy’s arm just below his injured shoulder, and closed his eyes. Calling again on the Force, Qui-Gon directed it so that it surrounded the boy.
“Obi-Wan, you gave everyone a real scare, we thought that you were really dead,” Siri told him. “Bant, Reft, and Garen will be very glad that you’re still alive.”
“Who are they?” Obi-Wan asked.
“They’re your best friends at the temple. They were very upset when they heard you were dead.”
“What about you, are you my friend too?” Obi-Wan asked innocently.
“Yes, we were not as close as you and the others, but yes I consider you a friend,” the girl admitted to him. Qui-Gon smiled remembering Adi’s comment about Siri liking Obi-Wan but not wanting to admit it to him.
A group of security officers, and healers quickly approached them, led by, Yoda and Clee Rhara. Yoda, who sat on Clee’s shoulder said, “Good to see you alive it is, Padawan Kenobi.”
“You’re the little green guy with the pointy ears that I talked to in my dream,” Obi-Wan smiled up at him.
“Humph, Master Yoda, I am.”
Qui-Gon smiled as his former apprentice blushed. Obi quickly realized that he had said what he was thinking out loud to the “little green guy”.
* *** * *** *
Qui-Gon impatiently paced up and down the waiting room floor while he waited to find out about Obi-Wan. He knew that none of the boy’s injuries were life threatening, but he wasn’t sure what would happen between them now. Would Obi-Wan accept him back as his master? Would Obi forgive him for refusing to take him back sooner?
“Qui-Gon, you’re going to wear a hole in the carpet,” Clee commented.
“He’s going to be alright Qui-Gon, it wasn’t a serious wound,” Adi assured him. Clee and Adi sat on the two chairs near the doors of the waiting room. Siri slept on the couch on the other side of the room, and Yoda sat meditating on the floor in the middle of the room. They waited patiently for some word of Obi’s condition.
“I know, I just can’t help it,” Qui-Gon sighed, as he stopped his pacing to look at them. Suddenly the door to the waiting room slid open, and one of the healers entered the waiting room.
“How is he?” Qui-Gon immediately asked the healer.
“His shoulder wound is not very bad, his knee is bruised and he has a broken rib. We were concerned that he had lost a lot of blood from the stab wound on his arm, but after being put in the bacta tank, he is healing nicely. We found traces of a sedative called Letill in his blood stream. Obi-Wan told us that his kidnappers had given him the drug three weeks ago,” the healer continued. “In order for the drug to still be in his system, it would have to have been given to him in very high doses and more than once. Letill, if taken more than four or five times, can have very serious side effects, one of which is amnesia. Master Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan is lucky that the memory loss seems to be the only side effect that he has suffered. Every other patient that I have had, with that much Letill in their system, was sent to the morgue.”
“Is the memory loss permanent?” Clee asked getting up from her chair.
“No, it shouldn’t be. He is already beginning to regain some of his memory. I’m sure that if you tell him about his past it will help. When you get him home, the familiar surroundings should help even more. Sometimes a patient will regain their memory gradually over time, and sometimes it will return all at once, or within a few days time.”
“Can I see him?” Qui-Gon asked impatiently.
“He is resting right now, but yes you can sit with him. It may help when he wakes up, if he is not alone. He will be allowed to leave tomorrow, but I suggest that you take him to see your own healers as soon as you reach the Temple.”
“Thank you,” Qui-Gon nodded, “I’ll see that he does.” Qui-Gon then quickly left the room, headed for the recovery room that he sensed Obi-Wan was now in.
He was lying on the bed when Qui-Gon entered. He was awake and staring out the window on the far side of the room. Qui-Gon stood in the open doorway watching him for a few minutes before Obi-Wan finally turned his head in Qui-Gon’s direction.
“Hi,” Obi-Wan smiled weakly.
“How do you feel?” asked Qui-Gon as he slowly entered the room.
“Better. Thank you for trying to help me Master Qui-Gon.”
Qui-Gon noticed that Obi-Wan looked sad, “Is something bothering you?” he questioned.
“I remembered some things while the healers were in here. I was at the healers in the temple because I had broken my arm on a mission. The healer was complaining to Master Craydin because I had been released from the healers only five days before, after I injured my knee during a sparring match.”
“Oh, so you’ve made visiting the healers a habit then,” Qui-Gon smiled.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Obi-Wan replied looking down at his hands as Qui-Gon sat down on the chair nearest the bed. “He’s dead isn’t he?”
“Who?” Qui-Gon asked although he had a pretty good idea who the teenager was referring to.
“Master Craydin. He was my Master. I remember many different things now. I remember that he took me as his Padawan after you…after Melida/Dann. When Avery shot me, it brought back memories of all the shooting that I saw there.”
“Yes,” Qui-Gon sighed, “He was killed in the explosion of the Capital Building. Before he died he said to tell you that he was glad to have had you as his Padawan.”
A single tear escaped the boy’s eyes before he could stop it, “What will happen to me now?” Am I going to be sent to Agri-Corps?”
“No,” Qui-Gon said, lifting the boy’s chin so that Obi-Wan had to look at him. “I would like you to be my Padawan learner, we can try again. Obi-Wan would you be my Padawan again?”
Obi-Wan’s eyes grew wide hearing Qui-Gon’s question, and after thinking for a moment he answered, “No.”
Qui-Gon felt as if Obi-Wan had just stabbed him in the stomach with a lightsaber. “Very well. If you will excuse me Obi-Wan, I must make arrangements for our return to the temple tomorrow, and you need to rest.” Qui-Gon stood up, leaving the room without looking back.
* *** * *** *
Obi-Wan sat on a chair in the sleeping quarters that he and Master Qui-Gon would be sharing for the trip back to the temple. He was staring out the window at the passing stars, when Siri walked into the small room.
“Obi-Wan,” Siri inquired, “are you hungry? Master Adi asked me to see if you needed anything.”
“No thanks, I’m not hungry.”
“Ok,” Siri said, sitting down on the sleep couch across the room from him. “Master Qui-Gon said that he had asked you to be his Padawan again. He really didn’t say much about it; he is not a very talkative man I guess. I think it’s great though; I just can’t picture you as a farmer.”
“I said no,” Obi-Wan told her quietly.
“I told him no, I’m not going to be his Padawan again.”
“Are you crazy Obi-Wan Kenobi?”
“No, I would rather go to Agri-Corps than to be a Padawan out of pity.”
“You are unbelievable. Master Qui-Gon told Adi that he missed you and realized that he made a mistake by not taking you back sooner. He was going to ask you when we got back to the temple from our mission. However, Master Adi told him that Knight Craydin had already chosen you, and then Master Yoda contacted us and told us about the explosion. Master Qui-Gon was obviously upset when he thought you were dead, but he tried to hide his feelings, I think.”
“Good at hiding how he feels Qui-Gon is,” Yoda said from the open doorway of the room.
“Master Yoda,” Obi-Wan said, his cheeks beginning to turn red as he remembered that he had called the wise Jedi Master “The little green guy.”
“Temporary Padawan, Knight Craydin took. Knew Qui-Gon would change his mind, Craydin did.”
“You mean that Master Craydin knew Qui-Gon would ask me to be his Padawan again?” Obi-Wan asked, his surprise at the news evident by his facial expression.
Yoda nodded his head and said, “Knew also, belong in Agri-Corps you do not. Help you he did, until ready Qui-Gon was.”
Obi-Wan could not believe what Siri and Master Yoda had just told him. Master Qui-Gon really did want him as his apprentice, not because of pity for him.
He felt relief wash over him, like a warm shower. He had accepted Craydin Shaw as his Master, but he still longed for Qui-Gon to be his teacher. Now when he had finally gotten what he wanted, he had thrown it away again just like on Melida/Dann.
“Talk to him you should,” Yoda said leaving the open doorway.
“You really should talk to him, I’m sure his offer for you to be his Padawan still stands,” Siri told him.
Obi-Wan didn’t answer her; instead he lay down on the sleep couch. Why would Qui-Gon take him back after he refused the man again? Siri quietly left the room, leaving him alone to reflect how he had once again messed up his life with another stupid mistake.
* *** * *** *
Obi-Wan awoke later on the sleep couch, to a quiet ship. The lights in the small room were turned off but he could hear the steady breathing of someone else in the room. He guessed that it was Qui-Gon, asleep in the bed across the room from him.
Obi-Wan was tired of lying on the sleep couch. As quietly as he could he swung his legs over the side of the couch, and slowly stood up. He looked over at Qui-Gon, lying on his back with his eyes closed, as he started to walk toward the doorway.
Obi-Wan made his way to the galley as quietly as he could, not wanting to disturb the other sleeping passengers of the ship. His knee still felt very sore, and he had a slight limp as he made his way down the hall leaning heavily against the walls for support.
Once in the small galley he was relieved to find that someone had left some fruit and rolls on the counter in bowls. He quickly filled a bowl with some fruit and two rolls, before sitting down at the smaller of the two tables in the galley.
“I thought that you might get up in the middle of the night for a snack, since Siri said that you didn’t want to eat your dinner earlier,” Master Clee said standing in the
door way. “I remembered Craydin telling me once that you really liked fruit.”
“Thank you,” Obi-Wan grinned hungrily taking a bite of muja fruit.
The Jedi Master smiled at the boy, and sat down at the table across from him. “Qui-Gon said that you remembered Craydin.”
“Yes,” Obi-Wan answered looking up at her. “Master Yoda said that Master Craydin only took me as his Padawan until Qui-Gon realized that he wanted me back.”
“Yes, he did. Craydin knew that you would make a powerful Jedi one day and he also knew that Qui-Gon would want you back, which he did. Craydin was prepared to be your Master on a permanent basis if Qui-Gon didn’t come back for you.” Clee smiled slightly, “He was actually very fond of you. Every time he came to visit me at the Temple, all he talked about was how well you were doing and how eager to become a Knight you were. He was proud of you.”
“But it took so long for us to develop a strong bond,” Obi-Wan replied softly.
Clee smiled again, “Yes, it did. That I’m afraid was my fault. I asked Craydin to wait to form a strong bond so that when Qui-Gon returned for you it would not be as difficult for him to let you go.”
“But if he really wanted me he could have fought for me,” Obi-Wan said swallowing another bite of fruit.
“I’m sure he would have. You see I told him not to allow a bond between the two of you until after Qui-Gon returned from the constant missions he was involved with. Craydin told me that the Force told him to form the bond with you. He told me that he would remain your Master until his death. At first I thought that he just didn’t want to give you up to Master Qui-Gon. We both recognized that in a few months Qui-Gon would be finished with his missions.
“I now know that Crayden had foreseen his death, and most likely anticipated that Qui-Gon would want you back.”
Obi-Wan looked up at her, “But I screwed everything up again,” he admitted, so quietly that Clee could barely hear him, as he lowered his head.
“What do you mean?”
“He asked me to be his Padawan again and I told him no. I thought that he was just doing it out of pity, because of Master Craydin’s death. I would rather work in the Agri-Corps than to be chosen as a Padawan out of pity.”
“And I would never choose a Padawan because I pitied him. The Force directs my choices, although I do have a bad habit of trying to ignore what it’s telling me and this causes you pain,” Qui-Gon said from the doorway of the galley.
“Master Qui-Gon,” Obi-Wan said, raising his head to look at the tall man leaning against the doorframe.
“I think you two should talk,” Clee said getting up to leave the room. Obi-Wan noticed the smile she gave Qui-Gon as she walked out of the galley. After she had left the room, Qui-Gon strolled in and sat down on the chair where she had been sitting.
“I’m sorry Obi-Wan, I should have explained myself better.”
Obi-Wan stared in shock, at the man sitting across from him. He had not expected the man to apologize to him. It was he who had jumped to conclusions about the man’s reasons for asking him to be his apprentice. “No, Master Qui-Gon, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t-“
“Obi-Wan don’t apologize. After Xanatos I promised myself that I would not take another Padawan. The Force was pulling me toward you. I tried to deny what was happening, even though we had begun to form a bond. I won’t lie to you Obi-Wan. You chose to stay on Melida/Dann and I was hurt. I had allowed myself get close to you and then you had. . . .” Qui-Gon trailed off.
Obi-Wan could no longer look into his eyes. Again he lowered his head staring at his half-eaten plate of food. “I never meant to hurt you, I just thought at the time that I was doing what I was meant to do. I thought the Force was telling me what to do, but I was wrong and I-“
“Obi-Wan look at me,” Qui-Gon interrupted him. Slowly Obi-Wan looked up, “Listen to me. I know that you did not intend to hurt me, and I know that you would never turn to the dark side. After you helped me with Xanatos on Telos, I was worried that I would not be a good enough master for you. I was uncertain of my ability to train you.”
“Xanatos was not your fault,” Obi-Wan assured him, “You would have been a great Master, and I would have been honored to be your Padawan again.”
“You know when I found your lightsaber half melted in the debris near the worst hit section of the building, I realized that there was little chance that you could have survived and I felt lost. I thought that if only it had not taken so long for me to realize that the bond we had started was stronger than the one I had with Xanatos and . . .” He trailed off again.
Obi-Wan stared at the man across from him, awed at the emotions he saw on
Qui-Gon’s features, and was at a loss for words.
“What I’m trying to say Obi-Wan is that perhaps we could be a team again. Would you be my Padawan?”
Obi-Wan could not help but smile, “Yes, I accept you as my Master.”
* *** * *** *
“Obi-Wan,” Clee said as she, Adi, Siri, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Yoda sat in the galley eating lunch, just prior to reaching Coruscant. “I contacted the temple to let them know that we would be returning in a few hours and Mace told me that the Vardelli officials had caught the men responsible for your kidnapping.”
Qui-Gon looked at his apprentice who nodded. Qui-Gon knew that Obi-Wan did not want to talk about them. Suddenly his expression changed and he noticed the mischievous gleam that sparkled in Obi-Wan’s eyes.
“So Siri,” Obi-Wan began, “I didn’t know that you considered me a friend of yours, I’m really touched. Maybe if you want, I can help you with your saber practice, and I’m sure that Bant, Reeft, and-“
“Who says I wasn’t just saying that to make you feel better,” Siri commented, as her cheeks turned a bright shade of pink.
Obi-Wan smiled, “But you are a Jedi Padawan, and you are not supposed to lie.”
“You know Obi-Wan Kenobi, I liked you better when you didn’t know who you were,” Siri commented.
Qui-Gon looked at Adi Gallia and smiled. The girl’s Master smiled back at him knowing that some things, at least with their Padawans, were already beginning to get back to normal.