Temperatures had dipped below zero. Obi-Wan hadn't realized that it got so very cold here at night. He pulled his robe closer, tighter, and pulled his hood toward his face as far as it would go. Padawan Kenobi shivered even with the uncommon warmth the Jedi robe provided.

The numbness of his fingers and toes radiated through his entire body, now. It was matched with the chilling numbness of his very mind. The shields he erected to keep his master from knowing his shame and where he was, was at best wobbly, he was sure. Obi-Wan couldn't move right, couldn't think straight, and most of all, wasn't sure he could ward off the unnatural desire to sleep. He knew enough to know that one who was threatened with the onslaught of hypothermia should not sleep.

//Oh, but it seems so right just to be able to close my eyes and rest a moment. I have been on the go the entire day walking this city. Maybe if I only rested awhile and woke myself up, I'd feel better.//

Lack of oxygen had a way of zapping common sense from a person and replacing it with unclear confused thoughts that the person suffering hypothermia might mistake for rational ideas formed in a rational mind. That was not the case. Padawan Kenobi had lost his true sense of reasoning. His life lay in the hands of the winter night.

################

The only thing that kept Master Jinn coherent and alert was his constant movement. The Jedi were also equipped with hand held thermal warmers and even smaller ones for their feet. Had Obi-Wan taken the time to pack according to the weather, when he decided to run away he would have found his warmers packed alongside Jinn's in their shared pack.

Even with the additional protection from the cold, the thermal warmers, scarves, and gloves, the Jedi were beginning to feel the effects of the sub-zero weather. Jinn agreed to go in a small café for hot tea and warmth. He thought that would be the only way he could try to make contact with Obi-Wan with any kind of uninterrupted privacy.

The group sat down and ordered a hot pot of tea. Jinn walked to an isolated corner and focused only on his new apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi.

#########

The youngest Jedi on the planet had valiantly fought and lost the battle with the frigid weather. He succumbed to his deadly desire too sleep. Although he planned to wake himself up, Obi-Wan did not know and could not know with the unclear thoughts, that he no longer controled his own mind or body. Hypothermia now ruled his life and very soon would take it.

##########

Something stirred in his oxygen-starved brain, although Obi-Wan had already reached the plateau of unconsciousness. There was a tickle in his mind; a brief realization that he wasn't alone and that someone or something nudged at his half erected shields and they fell, almost willingly against the slight pressure of another's entrance.

Qui-Gon Jinn felt the weak shields fall and for that he was grateful. He did not have to force Obi-Wan's shields down and intrude unwanted into his padawan's mind.

Once Qui-Gon has successfully entered the child's mind he was alarmed at the emptiness there. He could feel their bond still there, pulsing with very little life but yet still there. He had bonded with his other apprentices before but never felt the quiet calm of nothingness in their minds.

Jinn was not sure but he suspected the decreased blood flow to Obi-Wan's brain might have something to do with it. This was all too new for him.

What brought even more alarm to him was his ability to feel Obi-Wan's breaths being taken in short shallow puffs.

//Never has there been so much silence in one's mind that you could here their breath; feel it like it's warmth literally hits your cheek. //

Jinn could not let his surprise at this phenomenon sidetrack him. He set to work on trying to arouse his padawan from what he assumed was a sub-conscious state induced by the freezing temperatures. His padawan was freezing to death and Jinn would witness it with every breath he could feel the boy take until his apprentice drew his last one.. Qui-Gon knew his Obi-Wan's time was running out and fast.

//Obi-Wan can you hear me little one? You need to wake yourself up now.//

No answer, Minutes were so long right now as Qui-Gon waited and hoped for a response that he did not receive.

Louder and more urgency in his voice, Qui-Gon tried to pry an answer from his apprentice.

//Obi-Wan, NOW!!! Wake up, you are suffering from the effects of the cold. WAKE UP!!!

Jinn waited and wondered if it was too late. He gingerly felt along their link and found he still could here the shallow erratic breathing of Obi-Wan Kenobi and feel his almost lifeless presence in their shared bond.

The loud and urgent-charged voice was now powered by the fierceness of sheer terror.

//OBI-WAN KENOBI YOU MUST DO AS YOUR MASTER ORDERS, IF YOU HOPE TO BE AN APPRENTICE, MY APPRENTICE!! //

Qui-Gon had already resigned himself to the fact that if Obi-Wan was not responsive of his last plea, then he would head out again in search of the boy, though he felt he wouldn't reach Obi in time to save his life.

#############

//Masser..no don't..come for me…. //

The voice weak, his breathing weaker but his resolve was still adamant. Obi-Wan wanted not to exist any longer.

//Don't you see Mss.er this is for the best. I have nothing to offer but shame for you. //

//Oh padawan how wrong you are. Everyone had it wrong. You saved my life yesterday Obi and when we return to the temple together all there will know it. There is no way they will not make you my official padawan. I promise with all that I am. //

Jinn waited. Yes, Obi was alive still, but Qui-Gon could feel his life force seeping from the boy as the freezing night lay its claim on the Jedi apprentice.

//OBI!!! Are you there? Listen, we are coming. //

Without saying a word or breaking the connection with his apprentice, Jinn immediately motioned for the others to follow. The master had not even taken the time to drink the warming tea.

The other three Jedi talked amongst themselves but stayed a distance behind Master Jinn. They knew without being told that the big master had established some kind of mental contact with his Obi-Wan and he didn't want any interruption.

The wind picked up and if possible it ws colder than when they sought shelter in the café.

//Speak to me Obi-Wan. PLEASE!!! //

//Mas..s..er. You do not lie to me do you? I did nothing wrong? //

//If there was wrong done that day it was the conclusions jumped by the others of your mistaken aid. You kept me alive, I had planned to tell you that when I saw you. I plan to tell everyone that when we return. Now you must move around and try to wake yourself up. I am locating you through our bond but it is weak, very weak Obi-Wan. Please wake up. //

//I am not sure I can mas..ser.. It feels so good to sleep. I am very tried. Maybe you could let me sleep and just find me.//

//No, No, Obi you are not thinking clearly. The cold has slowed you blood flow to your head. You have to know sleep is bad, it lonely decreases your blood flow and oxygen levels. Please for me wake up.//

//I will try master..please hurry..I am beyond cold…//

//I know my padawan, I know and we are coming. //

Qui-Gon had been able to arouse the boy enough that he could easily follow their link to where Obi-Wan was. Jinn got the feeling that Kenobi could not be more than a mile away heading north and that was what they did.

Jinn could still feel the boy's presence. The annoyance of only his breath as a sound in Jinn's mind had been earlier replaced with conversation between the two.

Right in the middle of the street, Jinn stopped dead in his tracks.

The ominous sound of only Obi's breathing came through their bond. However, the breathing was weak and spaced way too far for anyone expected to live for any amount of time. Jinn knew from past experience with the passing of others, that Obi-Wan was drawing his last few breaths. Jinn would here his last breath and feel Obi-Wan's passing to the force through their bond if he could not reach him. The next few minutes were critical to Obi-Wan's very existence ….

########It was Master Plo Koon who decided he would interrupt the big master, no matter how in depth his link with his padawan was. He was curious as to what was going on that would make their search for Obi-wan intensified to such a high level so suddenly.

"Master Jinn, have you located your young apprentice? Is he in some kind of danger that would take us from the warmth of the café and a quick bite to eat?"

Jinn held his left hand out to halt Plo Koon's words, as he continually focused on his mental contact with Obi-Wan. He felt the boy could only be a few feet away now.

"I will not be shushed up by you Master Jinn. We all need to know what is going on."

Just then Qui-Gon spotted an alley darker than the night its self. He ran to the entrance of the alley and began his search. He left to the others to follow at will. Plo Koon stood for a moment dumbfounded by Jinn's non-response to him. The cold got the best of him though and he followed the other master. Walking created more warmth in one than standing still for the icy wind to cut through to you very bones.

The other three Jedi found Jinn knelt down behind some metal fire escape steps. He held the lifeless form of his apprentice.

When Knight Gayron flashed a glo-light on Obi-Wan's face the bluish tint around his lips and ashen color of his face mimicked a look of one dead.

Jinn picked the boy up as if he were a mere child and not one of the age of twelve. He wrapped his robe around the boy and headed as quickly as he could out of the main street. Once in the middle of the street, followed closely by the others he spotted a run-down hotel.

"THERE" Quick Gayron run ahead and procure us a room. Xani go with him and when you get one, run a warm tub of water. We have to get this boy's temperature back up."

Gayron and Xani ran to do what they were told. With much surprise Qui-Gon watched as Plo Koon removed his own robe and placed it around the boy.

"We haven't far to walk. I will be fine Master Jinn."

Was this the grouchy old master's way of saying he was sorry. Jinn would have more time to think on it later, but the act of kindness from one so determined to destroy Obi's possibility of knighthood did shock the master.

#########

In the hotel room Qui-Gon set to taking the frozen snow-covered clothing off his apprentice. With no time for vanity, he wrapped a light blanket around the still lifeless form and carried him to the tub.

Plo Koon followed right behind the master shouting orders.

"Are you sure this is what we should do?"

"Maybe not for frost bite but a quick dip in warm water and then we will stimulate his limbs to get the blood back to them. Have towels waiting for all of us. I won't have him in the water for over five or six minutes."

Time was the most important thing for Obi-Wan's survival and his time was just about to run out. The blue tinged lips were like a kiss of death had been placed of them. The apprentice's breathing was labored, slow and too shallow to get the needed oxygen to his brain and his limbs.

Qui-Gon lifted the still unconscious apprentice out of the water and wrapped him warmly in a large bath towel. Once he got Obi to the bed he ordered everyone to grab a towel and start rubbing a leg or an arm to increase his circulation. The bath towel remained around the boy's torso and Gayron also put a warm wool blanket over Obi-Wan leaving only his arms and legs exposed for the administrations of the rub downs.

Qui-Gon thought a little coloring was coming back to the child's face but the state of unconsciousness that would not give up its hold on his apprentice worried the master.

//Obi-Wan can you here me? You have to try to wake up. You will be able to take deeper breaths and move around to increase your blood flow if you are awake. //

Jinn waited as he rubbed on of Obi's legs. Nothing, the boy did not respond through their bond as he had done before becoming comatose.

//Obi if you only try harder you can do it. If you can't wake yourself up at least answer me through our bond. And if not for me for yourself. You are too young to lose your life in such a senseless way. I know you don't believe this but you are the most important thing in my life.//

There a twitch to the leg that Jinn held in his hand. Qui-Gon increased the pressure on the child's leg as he rubbed the vital blood down and into Obi-Wan's foot.

//Masser… I want to wake up but it is so hard. //

Jinn let out a long sigh and slumped down to the floor as he still rubbed the child's leg.

//I know padawan. And I know you probably hurt in places you did not realize could hurt. If you awaken I can help ease the pain. We can get through this just you and I. But you have to wake up for me. /

//I am not sure I can.//

//The hard part is over. You are in the safety and warmth of a hotel room. All around you are your former accusers who now know you for your heroism for saving me and your apprenticeship is assured. Try really hard. Think!!! Remember what I said that you always bulk on, reach for the force. It waits for you to ask for its help and it will not let you down. I promise Obi-Wan. I know you hate for me to tell you that, but in this to save your life the force will be your ally. //

Obi-Wan did just as his master instructed. He asked, no begged for the force to see him through his turmoil and let him live to be trained under his new Master, Qui-Gon Jinn. This time was different though. They were not just words spoken from his mouth.

It was more like a confession of stupidity where he was concerned in dealing with the force. His mental thoughts when he reached for the force were filled with conviction and trust this time. Obi-Wan could feel himself been lifted out of the darkness of his coma. He blinked his eyes once and then when the light of the overhead lamp hit full force on his eyes he shut them again.

They were however opened long enough for Jinn and the others to see the reflexive reaction to the bright light.

Obi-Wan was awake finally.

When Obi could get his eyes to stay opened, after he had adjusted to the lighting, he was a little shocked and turned red over his precarious state of dress. Each Jedi held either a naked leg or arm in their hands. The only thing covering him was the towel and blanket.

He shot a quizzical look to his master.

"I don't think I want to know how I got here or who put me here."

Everyone laughed.

"Don't worry Obi-Wan. Gayron made sure you were securely covered before we started rubbing your limbs. Of course we did have to put you in the tub for awhile."

Obi-Wan pulled the pillow out from under his head and covered his now very scarlet face.

"Don't tell me let me guess, a Jedi is not allowed to be vain is he?"

Jinn pulled the pillow from his apprentice's face.

"You will live my apprentice. That right now is the important thing. However to ease your mind, I kept your vanity intact, at least from the others. I mean someone had to get those wet clothes off you and I got the job."

####Two weeks later back on Coruscant.####

"Master can be go to saber practice, NOW?"

Obi-Wan had become impatient with his master. The promised saber lessons that were to begin over an hour ago, kept getting postponed as Jinn readied things for their next mission that would start the next day.

This was not Obi-Wan's first saber class since returning to the temple and officially becoming the apprentice to Qui-Gon Jinn. He had practiced every day, sometimes twice a day since their return.

Obi-Wan knew his master had confronted Xanatos about his harsh words he spoke to Obi in the locker room the day of his disastrous lessons with the saber. Jinn also came down hard on the older apprentice for jumping to conclusions the day Obi-Wan had helped his master and not hindered him in his battle.

However Qui-Gon readied Obi-Wan for their next trip. No he would not be an expert with the saber, but with the force behind him now, Obi-Wan could utilize the training he had received with the help of the force.

The most important thing Obi-Wan had learned was that he could trust the force. He also realized he could trust the Jedi. Even Master Plo Koon recommended a commendation for Obi's actions. Not that Obi-Wan wouldn't liked to have received it, his master felt that would boost his ego a little higher than he wanted. The thank you from the council was all Obi-Wan would be allowed to receive for his actions.

##########later in the training gym#######

This time when Xanatos and Knight Gayron came to the training room. Obi-Wan welcomed their scrutiny of him. He was more sure on his feet. He reached for the force to guide him his training. Obi-Wan Kenobi was much more sure of himself, a different boy, his true padawan.

Xanatos got out on the floor with his own master. His new Master Gayron had come down hard on his padawan with extra meditation for his harsh words to Obi-Wan and his jealous tendency. Xanatos graciously took the extra meditation for he knew he was in the wrong.

He still did not trust this apprentice with his old master. He planned to closely watch Obi-Wan for mistakes made. He wanted to insure his master or former master had an apprentice that would not fail him. He knew deep down that if he thought Obi-Wan was not being the apprentice Jinn expected of him, the older padawan would still speak up and say something. It just wasn't in his nature not to do otherwise.

After practice when the masters had gone their ways Xani and Obi-Wan were left in the locker room alone. Both had dressed and were just tidying up, throwing dirty tunics in the laundry shoot along with the used towels, theirs' and their masters.

"Look Obi-Wan I am sorry if I misjudged you."

"If? You mean you still don't think I am worthy to be you former master's apprentice?"

"I haven't figured you out Kenobi. Not that I am saying I don't cherish the bond I have with my new master, however I am not sure given the opportunity to share a bond with Qui-Gon again I wouldn't hesitate to do so. I mean if something were to happen to Master Gayron, I would willingly go back to Jinn had he not had you and would take me back. I hope you truly aren't the bumbling idiot I took you for. I see you have improved with the saber. I know though that my former master might put too much faith in you. He has for you something he never had for me. Not only do you share a Jedi training bond with Qui-Gon, but I can see you hold his love as a father for a son. That I never had and I might be a little jealous. So yes my young friend, I will watch you very closely and if I see you screw up just one time, I will be the one who immediately brings it before the council."

"You know Xanatos, I feel really sorry for you."

A sarcastic Xanatos looked at Obi-Wan and not in a kind way.

"Just what do you mean Kenobi? There is no reason to feel sorrow for me."

"Yes there is. I think it is ten times harder for you to follow the Jedi code than me or the other padawans in residence here at the temple. I think you border the dark side. I think that is why you couldn't bond with my master. Qui-Gon is too in touch with the living force to form a working strong bond with someone who possesses so much of the dark in him. I think Qui-Gon hides it even within himself now, the truth about you."

"You think you know everything don't you, you little runt."

"Master Yoda says I know things about the future, more things than others do. Yes I think I know you better than you know yourself and I think your knighthood still is on shaky ground. I know you and Knight Gayron think you have a strong bond now, but I think down the road it will tested and if you do not change you negative attitude about me and others, you may eventually turn to the dark side."

Xanatos walked very close to Obi's face.

"I think you should keep you mouth shut padawan. I can see to it things get hard for you."

"I doubt that Xani. I think that is an idle threat that comes from a vindictive padawan."

The conversation was interrupted by the outer doors swinging open as Qui-Gon Jinn himself walked in. The master had a dark ominous look on his face as he went to his padawan. Anger showed in his blue eyes when he took the picture of both padawans in.

"Padawan, I did not ask you to spend the afternoon in here. We have a mission you should be getting ready for. I don't think dawdling in here is getting anything done."

Obi-Wan thought his master was angry with him. He quickly threw the last soiled towel in the laundry shoot and then polity bowed to his master.

"Sorry Master I guess time just got away from me."

Jinn still held a curt look on his face as he addressed his apprentice again.

Always before since returning from their mission, Obi-Wan had received nothing but kind words and a smile directed at him. Now this man before him, his master seemed angry.

Obi-Wan just walked out the door. When he thought to himself.

//I haven't even left the temple and master has gotten upset with me. Maybe Xani is right.//

//Doubt yourself still, Obi-Wan?//

It was a welcome sound and feeling to have his master in his mind but Obi could not help but still believe he had disappointed his master in some way.

//No child, you are not the one who disappointed me, my former padawan did. I just have something to say to him in private. I am not displeased with you. Now go on home and ready your things. We will talk later.//

Obi-Wan smiled and went to do what he was told. He didn't even stop to think what Master Jinn would say to his former padawan. It was enough to know he was not the one the anger was directed at.

"Oh Qui-Gon I am glad you returned. I didn't know if I would see you again before your mission and I wanted to tell you good luck and to be careful."

Jinn stood in the locker room. He crossed his arms and glared at his former apprentice..

Xani was not aware that Jinn had heard a great deal of the conversation between he and Obi-Wan.

"He's right you know Xani?"

Now it was Xani's turn to be defensive.

"What do you mean Master Jinn?"

His tone more serious and Xanatos addressed Master Jinn accordingly.

"I think some times you do edge toward the dark side. I have seen remnants of you anger, your vindictiveness, and your jealousies. Jedi, a true Jedi do not possess so many of these bad traits without wearing his resistance down. I think my apprentice is right. The dark side dwells within you and if you do not get a handle on it, it might just cost you your knighthood."

"Well I can see Obi-Wan has you turned against me already master. I only look out for your welfare. I don't know if you are safe with a padawan like Obi at your side."

"Well that is something you don't have to worry yourself with now. I don't want to witness any kind of confrontation like this again between you and my apprentice. If he is to be directed another way because of mistakes I will be the one to do it. I don't think I need another padawan telling Obi-Wan what he should or shouldn't be. Stay away from him Xanatos. This is the last warning I give you."

Xanatos went to the door to leave.

"Very well master. I will stay away from him and you. Don't say I didn't warn you. I will be around when you need someone to talk too. You think I might fail and I think your new apprentice might just do the same thing. We both know his mind is still not clear with the abuse he suffered. One day that will resurface and you may just find yourself with another apprentice who looms on the dark side."

Master Jinn had helped Obi-Wan see the force for what it was and in turn his new apprentice helped him to see his former apprentice, Xanatos for what he could be, a fallen Jedi

"The only apprentice I have or had that might loom on the dark side, is you Padawan Xanatos. Obi-Wan showed me that………….."

THE END!!!

Thanx for reading

PEACE ewen