The Jedi Council Chambers seemed smaller than usual, more restrictive. Obi-Wan felt almost trapped, but he knew that it was only because of his state of mind.
He was going to lie to the Jedi Masters.
That was something that you did not take lightly. The Jedi Masters were rarely fooled, and then only by the most talented of Jedi. Obi-Wan was a mere Padawan, and he doubted his abilities to hide something from them.
Qui-Gon's earlier words came back to him, spoken while preparing for today's audience. "You may be only a Padawan, but you are still very powerful, Obi-Wan, and very talented."
The words had instilled hope in Obi-Wan, hope that he could pull this off. He could only pray that they would take Tali as an initiate, and never know that she was his daughter.
Daughter. The words still felt strange in his mind, let alone to say them aloud. He could still not believe that Tali was his child, and that he had broken the code. He had always been a very devoted Jedi, sticking to the rules, but years around Qui-Gon had altered his view on a few things.
Qui-Gon had been very supportive of Obi-Wan, ever since he had found out about Tali's existence. Obi-Wan had been surprised that his Master had been so accepting, but then Qui-Gon had been in love once himself, with a Jedi named Tahl. Obi-Wan was like his master in the fact that both of their loves had died.
Someone began to speak, and Obi-Wan wrenched his mind back to the present.
"Where is this Force sensitive child you have found, Obi-Wan?" asked Master Ki-Mundi-Adi.
Obi-Wan directed his attention to the Cerean master. "She is in the Crèche, Master." he responded.
Mace Windu spoke next, addressing Qui-Gon. "And do you feel that she would make a good Jedi?"
Qui-Gon did not hesitate in his response. "Yes, I do. She is very powerful in the Force, and I sense that she will make an excellent Jedi."
The five Council members present looked between each other, seemingly coming to an unspoken decision. "Very well." said Mace, speaking again. "Tell the Crèche master that she is to stay."
With that, the meeting was over, and Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon left the Chambers, heading for the Crèche.
Tali was awake in her crib when Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon arrived. Obi-Wan became visibly happier at the sight of her, as he reached down to pick her up.
The three month old girl gurgled happily in the arms of her father, as he smiled back at her. Qui-Gon also offered a grin at the sight, although sadness was reflected in his eyes.
"You know what this means, don't you Obi-Wan?" he asked quietly.
His Padawan's wide smile disintegrated, and he nodded at his master's inquiry. "Yes, I know. I can never be near her like this, ever again." Grief seemed to pool up in his blue-grey eyes, the emotion almost weighing him down.
It was then that the Crèche master, Jedi Knight Arielle Farmeli, walked over. Qui-Gon told her of the Council's decsion, and the female Jedi smiled happily.
"That is good news," she said cheerfully, "Tali is such a sweet child."
Obi-Wan realized that his final moments with Tali had arrived, and the pain was almost too much to bear. He drew her even closer, and spoke lightly into her small ear, even thought he knew she could not understand him.
"I love you, Tali." he whispered softly, "Be good now."
He held her for another moment, but that was as long as he could take without arousing further the suspicions of Arielle. He placed Tali back into her crib, where she began to whimper.
"Bye." he said softly as he and Qui-Gon left the large room. He could hear her whimpers escalate into wails, but he was helpless to aid her, and could only hope that Arielle could soothe his daughter's tears.
*Sorry this took a long time, I am in the middle of writing another story as well. More to come soon, and sorry for the short chapters!!!!*