Qui-Gon Jinn stepped into the living quarters of the modest apartment
he shared with his Padawan and sighed. The Council had just assigned them
a new mission, and he knew the boy would be reluctant to leave. His best
friend Bant Erin was ill, and Obi-Wan had been sitting by her side in every
spare moment. She was almost healed, but Qui-Gon had no doubt she would be
with the Healers for at least another week, and he knew Obi-Wan would not
want to leave her. With their other best friends Garen and Reeft both off
planet, Obi-Wan had been Bant's only constant companion other than her
Master, but he knew Mace was more than capable of caring for her.
His musings were interrupted as the door slid open. Standing in front
of him was his Padawan, shoulders slightly slumped with exhaustion. Not
only was the boy going to regular classes and training with his Master, he
was spending every second he could with Bant. Qui-Gon had been supportive
of his Padawan's decision, but had told him that he would still be expected
to keep up his grades. "Visiting hours over Padawan?" Qui-Gon knew the
boy stayed in the healer's ward until they kicked him out every evening,
and he also knew how tired these excursions left his apprentice.
"Yeah. Bant is getting better. They think she'll be well enough to go
home soon. She actually talked to me today, " Obi-Wan's voice told Qui-Gon
far more than his words. The boy was ecstatic about his friend's
improvement. Only one short week ago she had been comatose, and no one had
been sure if she would even survive. That she had the energy to talk to
her friend so soon was nothing short of amazing.
"I'm glad. Obi-Wan, we need to talk," Qui-Gon's voice was cut short
by the beeping of the com unit. He wondered as he crossed the room to
answer who it could be. Perhaps the Council had changed their minds? Or
maybe Bant was worse again. As he answered the call, he was surprised to
see Obi-Wan's Galactic History teacher on the line.
"Master Knoels. Can I help you?" Qui-Gon was confused. Teachers
generally respected their student's privacy and only called their students
Masters if something was seriously wrong.
"I hope so Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan hasn't been turning in any of his work,
and he fell asleep in class yesterday. I'm assuming you got the note I
sent home with him?" The teacher's voice was pleasant, but it held a hint
of annoyance, as if the problems Obi-Wan was having were beginning to wear
"Note? I didn't receive a note. Just a moment, I want to ask my
Padawan something," Qui-Gon said. He was becoming more upset by the
second. First his Padawan didn't do his homework, and then he hid a note
from a teacher? Qui-Gon could scarcely believe it.
Turning around, he looked at Obi-Wan, who refused to meet his eyes.
"Padawan, what's this about a note from Master Knoels?" The boy's
expression was panicked.
"I erm, well that is I kind of um, well I lost it," Qui-Gon didn't
have to be able to see his Padawan's eyes to know the boy was lying to him.
"I suppose there's no harm in me checking your backpack then, just to
make sure it isn't there?" Qui-Gon's voice was harsh, and he gave his
student no chance to argue. Going into the boy's room, he found his
apprentice's backpack. He only had to look for a few seconds to find the
note. It was stuffed in the small front pocket, evidently where Obi-Wan
had thought no one would find it. Returning to the living room, he held it
"It sure doesn't look lost to me. You have a lot of explaining to do
Obi-Wan Kenobi. Go to your room while I finish talking to Master Knoels.
I'll deal with you later." The boy slumped, defeated, as he walked into his
"I'm terribly sorry Master Knoels. I had no idea Obi-Wan wasn't
doing his work. You can be sure I'll speak to him about it." Master
Knoels easily read the frustration in Qui-Gon's words.
"Don't be to harsh with him Qui. He's just a boy and his best friend
is very sick. I'm sure it won't happen again." Bidding the other Master
good night, Qui-Gon ended the transmission and walked towards his Padawan's
Opening the door, Qui-Gon was greeted with the image of his distraught
Padawan sitting on his bed, head in his hands, the picture of dejection.
Upon realizing his Master had entered the room, Obi-Wan sprang to his feet.
"I'm sorry Master! I truly am." The last part was barely a whisper, but
the genuine remorse in his apprentice's voice did nothing to stall Qui-
Gon's wrath. Seeing the angry look in his Master's eyes, Obi-Wan cringed,
steeling himself for the coming lecture.
"Padawan Kenobi," Obi-Wan flinched at the use of his full title. Qui-Gon
only used it when he was very, very angry, "you have a lot of explaining to
do. At the moment I'm too angry to deal with you, but I suggest you be
working on your History homework when I return." With that, Qui-Gon turned
on his heel and walked out of the room.
Once his Master was gone, Obi-Wan sat down at his desk, determined to make
headway on the horrific pile of homework he'd been neglecting before his
Master returned. Once he sat down to work, he realized he couldn't
concentrate. He was too nervous about what his Master might say. He had
never ever made Qui-Gon too angry to "deal with him" as his Master had put
it. He had seen Qui-Gon yell only once before, but this quiet, rage filled
tone was so mush worse. He had PROMISED his Master that he would not allow
his grades to suffer so that he could visit Bant. Every night, Qui-Gon had
asked him if his homework was done, and his reply was always a dutiful,
"Yes Master." Even though nine times out of ten he hadn't even started.
Then he had hidden the note, deceiving his Master. Lying and deception
were both offenses that warranted dismissal, especially considering how
long it had gone on.
Whether or not Qui-Gon dismissed him, he knew without a doubt that he had
lost his place in his Master's heart. The only thing that had gotten Obi-
Wan through Bant's original sickness had been Qui-Gon's loving comfort, and
realizing that his stupidity had without a doubt destroyed his bond with
his Master broke Obi-Wan's heart. He had come to think of Qui-Gon as a
father of sorts, and the thought of losing his place in his Master's life
was more than he could bear. Obi-Wan, overstressed and exhausted from
worrying about Bant, was overcome by his grief and remorse. Letting his
head fall into his hands, he began to cry.
In the next room, Qui-Gon paced back and forth, unable to control his
raging emotions. He couldn't believe what his Padawan had done. Not only
had he broken his promise, he'd lied to him every day for at least a month.
To top it all off, he'd hidden the note from his History teacher, and then
he'd even had the nerve to lie to him about losing it. Stopping suddenly,
Qui-Gon forced himself to examine his emotions. Yes he was angry with his
Padawan, as well as disappointed and hurt by his actions, but mostly he was
angry with himself. He had allowed Obi-Wan to spend all of his free time
sitting at his friend's side without noticing how exhausted he was
becoming, until the boy was falling asleep in classes and barely had the
strength to do anything. Had Master Knoels not called when he had, Obi-Wan
might very well have wound up in the healer's along with Bant. Qui-Gon
released his anger at himself. He could be guilty later. At the moment he
had more important things to deal with, namely his Padawan.
He wasn't angry that the boy had lied to him, only disappointed with his
behavior and hurt by his deception. He knew they boy had been overwhelmed,
though he had handled it badly. He was angry with his Padawan for pushing
himself so far. That was a separate issue, one that would have to be
handled delicately, as was the mission he was leaving later that evening.
He had decided not to take Obi-Wan with him. He was sure the boy would see
it as a punishment, but it wasn't intended as one. Obi-Wan was too weak
and too exhausted to go into such a potentially dangerous situation, though
he doubted the boy would understand that.
Now he just had to decide what to do about punishing Obi-Wan. If he
grounded him, he would have plenty of time for his homework, but he would
be able to be with Bant at all. Qui-Gon knew such a forced separation at
such a critical time would break the boy's heart. He also knew that if he
was away on a mission, Obi-Wan would be tempted to break his grounding and
go visit his friend.
Suddenly Qui-Gon had an idea. Picking up the comlink on his bedside table,
he punched in the coordinates for his best friend Mace Windu. Not only
would Mace be able to keep Obi-Wan in check while he was gone, but Qui-
Gon's close friend also happened to be Bant's master. "Qui! What's up?
Shouldn't you be packing?" Mace greeted his old friend.
"Mace, I can't take Obi-Wan with me on the mission. Not only is he
grounded for lying to me and not doing his homework, but he's spent so much
time with Bant that he's completely exhausted. I was wondering if he could
stay with you." Qui-Gon didn't hesitate to ask his best friend to baby
sit. Mace liked Obi-Wan, and he was sure his friend would take good care
of his Padawan while he was away.
"Of course! He really did look tired last I saw him. Have him bring his
stuff by my quarters on your way to the loading docks. If he's grounded,
is he allowed to visit my Bant at all? You know he's going to want to."
Mace hoped Qui-Gon would say yes. His Padawan needed Obi-Wan, who had
spent almost as much time at her side as her own Master had since she'd
Qui-Gon thought for a moment. Allowing Obi-Wan to visit her would
completely defeat the entire purpose of grounding him, but not allowing him
to see her seemed far too harsh, even for such a serious list of
transgressions. "He may go visit her, but only for half an hour in the
evening, and he needs to be in bed by nine every night. Do you think I'm
being to harsh?"
"Depends, do you?"
"I don't know. I love him and I don't want to upset him, but he has to
realize he can't go around lying to me. Knowing the history of some small
backwater planet could save his life some day, not to mention that I have
to be able to trust him. I can't do that if he's lying to me."
"Then I think you're doing the right thing. He screwed up, and knowing
Obi, he's beating himself up over it. I know it's hard for you, but
sometimes you have to punish him to keep him safe."
"You're right Mace. It doesn't make it any easier. I yelled at him
earlier, and I think it really upset him. Should I write down the rules,
or can you remember them?
"I've got it. He's grounded, can see Bant for half an hour, he can't go
anywhere else but classes, and he has to be in bed by ten. Go get ready
now. You're ship's leaving in thirty standard minutes." Mace laughed as
he ended the communication. He knew it would only take Qui-Gon about five
minutes to get packed, but he also knew his friend would want to talk to
his Padawan before leaving him.
Qui-Gon packed quickly, taking only a few essentials and a holo of himself
and Obi-Wan. All that remained to be done was speak to his apprentice and
get him ready. Checking his chrono, Qui-Gon saw that he barely had enough
time to get his apprentice packed and shipped off to Mace's before he had
to leave. Oh, well. They would be able to talk once he got back. Seeing
no reason to stall further, Qui-Gon walked to Obi-Wan's room and knocked
softly. "Obi-Wan you need to pack. I'm going on a mission and you're
going to stay with Mace. You're grounded until further notice, but you may
visit Bant for half an hour every day as long as she's in the hospital."
He intended for his voice to be firm but loving, but to the distraught boy
on the other side of the door it sounded cold and angry.
Obi-Wan forced himself to get up and get packed. Throwing a couple of
extra tunics and his datapad into his backpack, he sighed. His Master had
never left him at home when he went on a mission before. If a mission came
up and Obi-Wan was unable to go, Qui-Gon refused it. Perhaps he was
leaving Obi-Wan behind as a preamble to dismissing him. That had to be it.
Qui-Gon was so disappointed he was dumping Obi-Wan, but he wanted to wait
to have him kicked out of the Order for Bant to get better, knowing that
his presence by her side made things easier for her. In the mean time, Qui-
Gon didn't want to get stuck with his failure of an apprentice, so he was
going away and dumping Obi-Wan on Mace.
Finished packing, Obi-Wan walked down the hall to the bathroom to get his
toothbrush. Looking in the mirror, he frowned when he saw how red his eyes
were. He splashed his face lightly with cold water, rubbing a wet
washcloth lightly over his eyes in an attempt to decrease the redness.
Satisfied that no one would be able to tell that he had been crying, he put
his toothbrush in his duffel bag and went into the living room.
"I'm ready Master." His voice caught slightly as he realized he might
never again speak to his Master, but he pushed that thought out of his
mind. He deserved to be dropped. He'd lied to his Master and abused his
trust. The first rule of being a Padawan was to never lie to your Master
or hide things from him, and he'd broken it. Over and over again.
Qui-Gon didn't look up from what he was reading on the datapad in front of
him. "Just a moment." He was so preoccupied with what he was doing that he
didn't hear the tone of Obi-Wan's voice. Had he realized how upset his
Padawan was, he would have hugged the boy and told him he was forgiven, but
he remained completely oblivious to his Padawan's anguish. Closing what
she had been reading, Qui-Gon slipped the datachip out of the machine and
into his pocket. Picking up his travel bag, he turned towards the door,
knowing his apprentice would follow.
When they reached Mace's quarters, Qui-Gon turned towards his apprentice.
"I expect you to be on your best behavior. Mace is doing me a favor by
taking care of you, especially on such short notice."
Obi-Wan's answer was quiet, "Yes Master." He might have said something
else, or apologized again for lying to his Master, but at that moment the
door to Mace's quarters opened.
"Hey Qui. Here to drop your brat off? So Obi-Wan, you've been spending a
lot of time with my little girl lately, are you two together?" Mace had
sensed the dismal mood his friend was in and had taken it upon himself to
make one of them smile before Qui-Gon left. Unfortunately, Obi-Wan took
his gentle teasing the wrong way, and answered angrily.
"No we are not together! You..." Obi-Wan would have continued, but Qui-Gon
stopped his tirade by placing a firm hand on his shoulder.
"Obi-Wan Kenobi! I seem to recall having a talk about being on your best
behavior less than a minute ago. I don't consider yelling at Master Mace
as being on your best behavior," Qui-Gon gave Obi-Wan a long, hard look,
"If you don't shape up right now you are going to be very sorry when I get
back. Do I make myself clear?" Qui-Gon was shocked at his apprentice's
outburst. Rarely had he ever heard Obi-Wan raise his voice, and for him to
suddenly yell at a Council member was unthinkable. Qui-Gon made a mental
note to work with Obi-Wan on controlling his temper when he returned, then
turned to Mace. "I apologize for my apprentices behavior. I truly don't
know what is wrong with him lately."
Mace smiled. He hadn't meant to upset Obi-Wan, but he should have known
better than to bring up Bant, even in a joking manner. "It's okay Qui, but
if you don't leave now you're going to miss your ship. The freighter
that's agreed to take you is on a really tight schedule and can't wait
"Goodbye Mace. I'll see you when I get back." Picking up his bag, Qui-Gon
headed towards the hangar. Mace looked down at Obi-Wan and saw the look on
his face. Uh oh. The situation was worse than he had originally thought.
The kid looked like a lost puppy. Qui-Gon hadn't even told him goodbye.
Of all the things the Master could have forgotten! Mace knew Qui-Gon had
never left Obi-Wan behind when he went on a mission, and he knew that the
kid missed his Master, but he looked so...abandoned. Like he didn't think
Qui-Gon was coming back.