"He hasn't taken the damned thing off all week."
Qui Gon raised his eyes to his friend in surprise of the compliant. Gregory had his chin in his hand and was staring distractedly out the window of their transport. In his distress, Greg had forgotten to inform Qui Gon who "he" and what the "damned thing" were. Though Qui Gon had a good idea on who the subject of Greggy's compliant was about. Still he raised a cool eyebrow, prompting his friend into speech.
"The blinder helmet," Gregory said with an annoyed huff, "Sherlock refuses to take it off until he has mastered the art of seeing without eyes."
With an inward chuckle Qui Gon mused quietly. "He may never take it off if you are the one teaching him," he said teasingly, as old friends often did.
"I passed that test before you did, Jinn," Greg said snidely.
"Of course, my friend," Qui Gon replied easily. "One often will pass a test before another, when one's name is called first."
Greg huffed in playful annoyance and shook his silver head, Qui Gon noticed his usually gelled hair feel into his eyes. With a small growl Greg pushed it back, revealing tired brown eyes as he did. It was one of the few times Greg showed Qui Gon his tired side. The knight was always composed and rarely ever showed his weaknesses to anyone, only those closest to him knew the poor man's secrets that tended to weigh him down.
"Where is Sherlock now," Qui Gon asked, keeping a close eye on the road. Greg loved to pilot ships and had always been a natural flyer. Still the young man had only one hand on the wheel and half a mind on the road, Qui Gon silently switched the controls to his side and took the wheel. Greg growled.
"I was finally starting to relax," Greggy objected shortly.
Qui Gon, unfooled by his oldest friend's assurance of calm, gripped him tightly around the wrist with his free hand. A soothing pressure of the Force bled through his palm and into Greg's body. A bond they had formed quite accidentally as children followed them into their adulthood and enabled Qui Gon to pacify the restless man next to him. "Peace, brother," he said steadily. "When Sherlock returns to your guardianship tonight, perhaps you should help him with his new saber. I have seen him struggling with the temples trainers."
Greg clenched his jaw tightly and looked out the side window. "Mace has denied my request to take Sherlock to Ilium. The council, it seems, does not want Sherlock anywhere they cannot monitor him closely. Certainly not on a planet so sacred to the Jedi."
It pained him. Qui Gon could see the hurt in Greg's eyes as he told the story of Mace's denial, Mace Windu who had been an idol to Greg but had never realized it. Mace Windu who had inspired Greg's long nights of training to become an equal swordsman. Mace Windu, now denying his little brother's request because he did not trust the child Greg was beginning to love as his own.
"There are spare parts, old Jedi sabers of knights and masters long since passed I may have access too," Qui Gon said….delicately.
Greggy perked slightly. "Jinn, you are in line to be one of the youngest masters in history. I dare not take that away from you because I am having trouble with the council."
Qui Gon waved a small hand in dismissal.
"My friend, when has the council and I ever seen eye to eye. My rebellion is expected, to do otherwise at this point may send the council into shock, and I fear I will not be granted my title. Without some form of trouble on my part they may suspect I am not me."
Greg's brief perk became a full blown impish grin as he snapped the controls back to his side and forced the throttle open further. "Who am I to disagree with a future master of the temple," he said with a mock bow.
Qui Gon rather wished his friend would focus more on the road, and less on his gallous humor.
Sherlock was ignoring the lightsaber pieces Qui Gon had brought all together.
The brat was shifting eagerly through the small pile crystals, his blinder helmet set to the side as he had elected to examine each colored crystal closely. Colors, Sherlock wasn't even interested in the powered crystals, he wanted the colors. Qui had only been able to bring an assortment of green and gold to them, a fact which seemed to be dropping Sherlock's shoulders with every second. The boy seemed to be trying to bury his disappointment underneath his mind shield, but Lestrade had sensed the anguish behind the stony face.
"Sherlock," he said softly, even still the boy started. "Why don't you focus on your hilt with the diagram I gave you, and I will go in search of more crystals."
The boy shook his head carefully. "I need to find it on my own, Master. It is to be my saber, I must do this myself."
"You do not like any of the crystals here, padawan," Lestrade said gently.
"But," Sherlock objected swiftly, "you said I could tell you when I disagreed, correct?"
"Yes, Sherlock," Lestrade said amused. Sherlock had disagreed with him a totally of seventeen times that day without feeling the need to question his right before.
"I am supposed to find my own crystal," Sherlock firmly. "I feel as though I am meant to search for it myself."
The boy was right. Most padawans, under their master's guardianship, traveled to Ilium, the only planet known to grow the proper crystals. The student needed to find their crystal themselves in a cave designed to make the child face their worst fear. Sherlock had been denied that right, and Lestrade had no heart to tell him.
"Curly," Lestrade said gingerly, "perhaps we shall continue this later, yeah? I have an errand to run for Master Windu, and if you wire that thing wrong you will blow the temple off the map." It was a poor excuse of a joke, and Lestrade could see disappointment in Sherlock's eyes. The boy fingered his helmet and nodded before pulling it back over his eyes.
"Will you set up the blaster ball, so I can practice?" Sherlock asked. Lestrade was grateful for the eager tone that found its way back into Sherlock's voice.
"Stars, Sherlock. In my living room? What if you miss?" Lestrade teased.
"I never miss, Master," the bratling said impatiently. "I have practiced for days."
With a soft sigh and a loud eye roll, Lestrade obeyed his padawan's wishes and passed the boy his lightsaber. "Not a toy," Lestrade reminded Sherlock as the boy's finger's closed around the hilt.
"Yes, I know," Sherlock said irritably.
"I'm sure you do," Lestrade said sadly, realizing as he did that Sherlock sadness would continue so long as his saber was not blue.
Sherlock really was quite good.
Master Lestrade had been foolish to worry, Sherlock was very advanced for his age even with a blinder helmet. He had also set the blaster ball to a higher setting after his master had left. Not to say Master Lestrade was a fool, not even a little. Sherlock had once seen his teacher talking to Master Jinn while deflecting all blasts from the ball on its highest setting without breaking his concentration on Master Jinn. Jedi did not feel jealousy…but Sherlock had a very serious desire to duplicate such a technic before his next life day.
Sherlock deflected all shots with mild ease. In truth he couldn't quite see all the way through his helmet like Master Lestrade could, but he could sense things. People were especially bright in the Force, Sherlock had discovered this from his perch on the roof. He could pick out his master with ease. Master Lestrade had a very large presence in the Force and was unusually bright. Everyone else seemed to blur together in a dull aura.
The door behind him hissed open and slammed close. Sherlock, attuned to the Force noted a very large presence that was unusually bright. He grinned through his helmet.
"See, Master, not a single shot missed," he said snidely.
"You should not speak to your master that way, Sherlock," a familiar voice chided. "It is unbecoming."
"Mycroft?" Sherlock said unsurely, probing outward with the Force. Mycroft's signature was so close to Lestrade Sherlock had missed the small details. He frowned.
"Why are you wearing a blinder?" Mycroft asked surprised.
"Practice," Sherlock said shyly. "I'm behind the other padawans."
Mycroft reached forward and delicately removed the blinder helmet. Sherlock's head shook as sweat dripped down into his eyes. Mycroft examined the sticky helmet with distain, was frowning down at the younger padawan. Sherlock scowled slightly.
"And the saber pieces in your living space?"
"Master Lestrade is helping me construct my own," Sherlock said proudly. "He says I am ready for my own."
Mycroft opened his mouth for a second, clearly ready to say something. It was the same expression that befell him whenever he was about to correct Sherlock on something. Whatever it had been, something crossed Mycroft's face and he remained silent.
"It does not look as though you have started it, small one," Mycroft said gently.
"I…I could not find a crystal I liked," Sherlock admitted.
"Sherlock, the crystals you have here feel full of power," Mycroft said sternly.
"It is not the power crystals, I have found one of those," Sherlock said, passing Mycroft the crystal he had selected from the pile after Master had gone. "It is the colors, I-"
"Colors have nothing to do with…" Mycroft began, sounding annoyed.
"I know," Sherlock blushed.
"Gold is a very unique color, Sherlock. It suits you," Mycroft said encouragingly.
Sherlock shook his head swiftly. Blue was the color he most desire, he wanted blue, his saber had to be blue. Moriarty had hated blue. Mycroft wouldn't understand, but the young padawan had to have-
A small clicking noise pulled Sherlock from his thoughts. Mycroft began unscrewing his saber hilt. Sherlock noted a long, jagged crack going from Mycroft's activation button to the bottom of the saber. A small hiss emitted from the container as Mycroft tipped the light blue crystal into his palm.
"There was an incident on our last mission, my saber was damaged beyond repair. Master Dooku is convinced I must start with a new one from scratch," Mycroft explained. "A new crystal is required, so if you would like." He held out the crystal to the younger boy.
Sherlock stared at the blue crystal in awe. He had never seen Mycroft's saber activated, he did not know what shade of blue the crystal would be, but the Force called out from it. Sherlock reached out to touch it gingerly.
"Take it, Sherlock. It's yours."
Sherlock felt the Force flow through his crystal like a waterfall, the simmering blue power source seemed to glow with warmth in the tiny palm. As though it too sensed it had a new master. Sherlock closed his fingers around it tightly and motioned for Mycroft to come see the pieces he had secretly selected for his hilt.
The two boys sat for over an hour discussing the benefits of each metal, grip, and crystal chamber until Lestrade came back. Mycroft had encouraged the same metal used in Lestrade's hilt as a way of honoring the older man and because Sherlock had grown used to the familiar hilt.
Sherlock spent the rest of his afternoon deep in thought with Lestrade as he constructed his own hilt with Lestrade's melt. Though he did add Mycroft's old lightsaber bottom to his new hilt.
Mycroft said teachers should be honored while making a saber hilt after all.