Warning: Hi there. This is a disciplinary story, so ... Yep. You guessed it. There will be a non-sexual spanking in it. If that creeps you out or just ups the ick factor, please don't read. There's a wealth of more suitable stories just waiting for your patronage. Thanks.
Disclaimer: Yes, I would love to lay claim to Master Qui-Gon Jinn or even his rather dashing apprentice, but neither belong to me. They remain the property of George Lucas and... well I guess Disney. While Obi-Wan may disagree, no characters were harmed in the making of this story.
AN: I offer no excuses. I do however blame it on all the negativity currently surrounding Star Wars. Yes, I have been a fan of Star Wars since the 70s, and unlike a large portion of the world, I even found the Prequels enjoyable. Hell, I like the new ones and think Kylo Ren is pretty darn hot. All that said, my favorite Jedi is, without a doubt, Qui-Gon Jinn. Considering that he didn't get nearly enough time to wow us all with his awesomeness, I occasionally get these random thoughts. This one decided that being a thought wasn't enough for it, so... here it is. Nearly twenty years late, but better late than never. We'll call it a blast from the past. Enjoy.
And yes, I'm now heading back to the stories I'm supposed to be working on. Sorry.
A loud crash startled Qui-Jon out of his much needed sleep. With his new apprentice always underfoot, the Jedi Master found it nearly impossible to get the quality rest that his body demanded, and meditation only rejuvenated one to a certain extent. He stared up at the dark ceiling and searched his memories for a moment. Try as he might, he couldn't seem to recall his previous padawans being quite as trying in their younger years as his current apprentice. Maybe they had been, and his memories betrayed him by only focused on the positive. After all, if he could recall these same trials with them he may have never taken another learner in his lifetime.
"You're just getting too old for this, Jinn," he groaned as he hauled his large frame out of bed and shrugged into a light robe before going to check on the cause of the disturbance.
Reaching out along the training bond he shared with the young boy he detected anxiety and a touch of fear. That was never a good sigh. Trepidation meant his padawan was up to something that he already knew he had no business doing. The Knight could only hope it wasn't anything too serious. While his station demanded the boy's respect and obedience, he hated the idea of having to discipline him which could easily frighten the child and possibly make him timid. Their relationship was still too new, and trust was just beginning to develop. He didn't believe this was the time to be stern. The boy needed understanding while he made the transition to the one on one mentorship training between Master and apprentice.
"What have you gotten into this time, Obi-Wan?" the jedi whispered under his breath as he palmed the control panel that opened the youth's bed chamber door.
"Padawan, is everything alright? I heard a noise," Qui-Gon calmly inquired of the darkened room.
"It's fine, Master. Nothing to worry about."
"How about turning on the lamp so I can verify that for myself?"
"Padawan, turn on the light."
The only response was silence and a nervous shifting from the boy-shaped shadow perched precariously on the sleeping couch.
"Obi-Wan Kenobi, do as you are told and turn on that light," the master quietly demanded with a touch of steel in his voice.
"I can't, Master. I wish I could. Really I do."
"What do you mean you can't?"
"Well, you see, the lamp ... The lamp broke."
"It broke," Qui-Gon slowly stated as he crossed his arms over his chest. "And exactly how did this occur?"
The sheets rustled as the boy shifted around some more while keeping a cautious eye on the looming figure of his master. Qui-Gon was not going to like the answer, and Obi-Wan frantically tried to come up with a better explanation besides the dreadful truth.
"I've asked you a question, and I expect an answer."
"Yes, Master. I am trying."
"The truth, padawan, if you please."
The young boy felt the warmth of encouragement flow across their bond as his master attempted to offer reassurance, but his huge silhouetted form was as intimidating as ever. Usually Obi-Wan didn't have a problem admitting when he had done something wrong. This time things were different. He wanted to earn this man's respect more than he had ever wanted anything else. He had been told that Master Jinn was among the best of the jedi knights. With him as his teacher there was on end to the possibilities that awaited the young boy, but the master was hard. He was known to be as strict and demanding of his apprentices as he was with himself and that was just a little bit overwhelming. With those thoughts in mind, Obi-Wan took a deep breath in an attempt to release his fear as he had been taught to in the creche. When he was as calm as he could possibly be in his position, he drew on every ounce of courage he possessed and quietly answered his teacher.
"I was practicing with my saber and it shot out of my hand. I'm sorry, Master. I didn't mean to break anything. It was an error. I knew better, but I couldn't stop it. I hoped the lamp was made of a Force sensitive material so I could fix it...but it's not."
For a moment the knight remained still and stoic standing in the rectangle of pale light that streamed in through the doorway. His inaction did nothing to ease the child's nerves, but when he finally spoke his tone was surprisingly kind.
"Were you injured, little one?" he inquired as he approached the sleeping couch and took a seat next to the boy.
"No cuts or burns?"
"No," Obi-Wan confirmed before becoming fascinated by a loose thread on his bed linens.
"Padawan, I thought we went over the rules when you received your laser sword earlier today," the elder said as he placed a large calloused hand on the child's knee. "Did you not understand that it's very different from the training saber you're accustomed to? That it's far more dangerous and not a toy?"
"I understood, Master, but I need to practice or I'll never be any good."
"Yes, you do. In the practice arena, under supervision, at the appropriate time," Qui-Gon replied while tipping the boy's head up to peer into his eyes. "I will train you, and I promise that you will have ample time for practicing, but this is neither the time nor place. You are supposed to be asleep, youngling. You have classes tomorrow morning, and in the afternoon we shall begin your kata training. Until then I expect your saber to be carefully stored whenever it's not on your belt. Thankfully the only casualty was a lamp this time, but you could have been seriously hurt. Let's not tempt fate, Obi-Wan."
"Yes, Master. I'm sorry."
"I'm sure you are."
Qui-Gon felt the child's remorse through the bond as he deliberated on what his next move should be. With the soft hum of the Force as he guide, he took a breath and released it along with the disappointment he felt from his apprentice's disobedience. Obi-Wan was still so very young and had much to learn. He would be patient with the lad and see how he developed. With any luck the gentle scolding would be enough to discourage any more childish behavior for the near future.
"Come on, little one," the man finally said as he patted the youth's shoulder before gracefully rising from the bed. "Let's get you tucked in. It is past your bedtime and the morning comes early."
"But, Master, I've ..."
"I am aware of what you've done, padawan. More importantly, you are aware as well, so I don't expect any more mishaps. Obedience and respect, Obi-Wan. That is what I expect from my apprentice. You would do well to remember that."
"Yes, Master, but still. The creche masters would have..." The boy bowed his head in shame, but a large light hand ruffled his spiky hair causing him to look up into the jedi knight's caring blue eyes.
"What the creche masters would have done is no longer your concern. I am responsible for your training now," Qui-Gon reminded him as he gently settled the child down and drew the sheet over him. "But make no mistake. Further disobedience will be swiftly and surely dealt with in the future. For the time being we'll consider this a learning experience. Now you know better."
The master smiled and sent positive feelings of love and devotion along their bond to envelope the child in his affection.
"And it's only getting later. Time to rest and recharge so you will be ready for whatever challenges tomorrow brings. Goodnight, padawan."
Yawning, Qui-Gon shucked off his robe and gladly eased his large frame back into bed. He was accustomed to sleeping in the most uncomfortable of places so it was unsurprising when minutes later his conscious was found drifting lazily along the calming currents of the Force. The tranquility of sleep called him further from his physical concerns, but unfortunately that wasn't meant to last.
A low familiar hum brought him back to his present all too physical realm.
Stifling a groan, the knight's brow furrowed as he mentally followed the sound back to its source. The excited vibration in the training bond told him all he needed to know. With eyes still closed, the master allowed his disappointment to bleed through the bond and alert his student before his voice echoed in the child's mind.
I know that saber can't be activated. My apprentice knows better, does he not? Obi-Wan if I have to come in there...
Their apartment was once more shrouded in silence following the whoosh of a blade being deactivated.
Put that away, padawan, and don't even think about touching it again until morning.
There was a quiet clattering of metal on metal as the boy placed his saber on his nightstand then the faintest audible sigh reached Qui-Gon's ears. The jedi smiled and softened his previous rebuke by projecting the affection he felt for the child as well as his understanding of of Obi-Wan's excitement along their bond.
If you're having trouble sleeping, I can offer assistance.
That's okay, Master. I'm going to sleep now. Sorry to have disturbed you again.
It's alright, padawan, but don't press your luck any further. I assure you that the resulting consequences will not be to your liking.
Qui-Gon strode purposely through the halls of the temple with an air of urgency. Master Trec'kji, the early history instructor, had asked for an immediate meeting. Master Yoda graciously called an early end to the debriefing to allow Qui-Gon to see to the needs of his apprentice.
"A boy I once knew. Not unlike your learner he was. Gifted, but headstrong. His own path, he follows still regardless of consequence. Hmm?"
"Is that why you were so persistent that I take this particular initiate as my padawan leaner? To punish me for the sins of my youth?"
Yoda had laughed, but the younger master had a sneaking suspicion that he was on the path of the truth.
Coming to a halt outside the classroom door, Qui-Gon closed his eyes and drew upon the Force to regain the serenity he felt faltering. Whatever awaited him on the other side of the door, he had to remain calm for the child's sake. Obi-Wan was young and impressionable, and the master didn't want to do anything that would damaging their sacred bond.
Calling upon the wisdom and peace of the living Force, the knight took one last calming breath then entered the near empty room.
"Master Jinn," the instructor greeted him.
"It's good to see you, Master Trec'kji. It's been far too long," he replied as he shook the man's hand.
"I'm afraid you're going to wish it had been longer after you hear what I have to say."
Qui-Gon's attention strayed to a lump kneeling in the far corner of the room. The child's mental shields were down and he was broadcasting his misery loudly.
"What has happened?"
"See for yourself," the instructor answered as he motioned to a desk that was minus one leg. "When I walked in young Kenobi was showing off his sword skills to some of the other students. I startled him and this was the result."
"Was anyone injured?"
"Thankfully, no, but that is only by the graces. I'm sorry to trouble you with this matter, Master Jinn, but felt that you needed to be made aware."
"That I did. I assure you that this will be handled according to the severity of the transgression. Has any punishment be meted out already?"
"He has been given extra course work to keep him busy and out of trouble, and was placed in meditation to consider the outcome of his actions. I leave any further correction to you."
Qui-Gon inclined his head in thanks, then called out, "Obi-Wan, come here please."
With a heavy heart and even heavier feet, the child got up and slowly trudged over to his master. He kept his head bowed, but a light tug on his braid caused his to glance up at the adults.
"You have something to say to Master Trec'kji?"
"I'm sorry for the trouble I caused," the boy whispered.
"And?" Qui-Gon encouraged.
"I won't do anything like it again."
"I'm sure you won't, youngling. I know you're in the good hands of your master."
Obi-Wan swallowed hard, but nodded.
Placing both hands on the boy's shoulders, the jedi crouched in front of him to look into his learner's eyes.
"You are to go directly to your room. I'll be along shortly to discuss this matter with you. I think it would be prudent for you to continue to meditate upon your actions today. I'm afraid you and I are in for a very long and difficult talk, young one."
"Yes, Master," the youth acknowledged in a whimper.
"And I'll be taking this for now," Qui-Gon said as he unclipped the saber from Obi-Wan's belt and attached it to his own.
The lad's eyes welled with tears as he was divested of his weapon, but he blinked them back refusing to cry in front of his master.
Rising to his full imposing height, the knight gave his apprentice's shoulder a gentle squeeze before turning him towards the door.
"Go on, padawan. I will make your excuses to Master Lorik as to why you will be missing her navigation class today."
The boy walked to the door, but once outside he raced along the corridors as tears rolled down his cheeks. He'd really done it this time. His master had taken his lightsaber and left him in disgrace. It was only a matter of time before he was expelled from the Order entirely. Why had he done it? Why had he been so stupid?
Arriving at the praxeum the two of them shared, he slapped his hand against the door lock then slid down the panel and landed on the floor on the knees.
"Break it, you will."
Sniffling, the boy looked up to find Yoda staring back at him. The ancient master had taken an interest in him when no one else had. Obi-Wan's respect for the little troll was immense, and as much as he hated anyone to see him like this, he welcomed the wise teacher's company.
"I've messed up, Master, and I don't know what I can do to fix it."
"Inside, we go. Talk, we shall."
Yoda rapped his stick against the door's control panel causing it to slid open admitting him and the child.
Taking a seat the small jedi motioned for the boy to kneel before him.
"Master Jinn has ordered me to meditate. I really should be doing that."
"As you will, young one. But first, tell why for tears. Cruel to you, has your master been? Hurt you, has he done?"
Obi-Wan shook his head.
"It's only my heart that hurts. The one thing I want most in this entire universe is to be a jedi knight, but now I've blown it."
"How is your dream being blown?"
"I've disappointed my master. Now he will deem me unsuitable to be his learner. He'll send me away to become a miner or to the Agri-Corps, if I'm lucky."
"Why say this, you do?"
"Because it's true." The youth's voice broke as tears once again escaped his bright blue pain filled eyes.
"Say these things to you, your master has?" the ancient one asked, his expressive ears tuning into the boy's faintest replies.
"He doesn't need to. I know it."
"How come you by this knowledge?"
"Because he closed himself off to me. I do my best to not cause trouble, but whenever I have he has always let me know that he still cares. Even after scolding me, he offers comfort. He didn't do that this time. I'm no longer worth of his concern. He mustn't want me anymore."
A green clawed hand reached out and gently grasped the boy's short padawan braid before allowing it to slip easily between his fingers.
"Much to learn have you, young Obi-Wan. Only on the beginning of the path, your feet do stand. Your master's intentions, wrong you judge. Great already is the love he has for you, but brave you must be. Punishment you have earned. And punishment you must endure. Hard on your master, this is. Harder on him then you, I think."
"He can beat me all he wishes as long as I get to remain his apprentice."
"Padawan learner you are. Qui-Gon Jinn's padawan you will forever be."
"I wish I could believe that," Obi-Wan said as his eyes clouded again with tears.
"Believe, you will. Teach this, your master must."
Obi-Wan bowed his head. It was clear that he didn't trust the aged master's assessment, but he was smart enough to not vocally disagree.
"Meditate on the truth, you will, as well as your wrongs. I'll lead, but it is for you to follow. We will wait on your master together."
"Thank you, Master Yoda. It helps to not be alone."
"Never alone, young padawan. One is never alone in the Force."
Qui-Gon regretted leaving his padawan to worry for so long, but he had lost track of time. After checking in with Obi-Wan's instructors to inform them that he wouldn't be attending classes, the master had stopped by the meditation gardens to help realign himself. This was where time managed to escape him. He needed to be calm when he spoke to his apprentice again. It was obvious that correction would be required this time, and the last thing he wanted was to be influenced by emotion when he took the child in hand.
He had released his disappointment into the Force along with the mild anger that had seeped into his being. He didn't mind allowing the boy to recognize the disappointment he felt with his misbehavior, but anger was never something he wanted to project. Anger led to suffering and the path to the dark side. It was a place that had touched Qui-Gon in the past, but something he vowed to always protect his apprentice from.
As his hand pressed against the panel to his apartment, Qui-Gon caught a familiar Force signature inside that didn't belong to his padawan.
"What have I done wrong this time?" he asked as the door whisked open to reveal the wisest being the knight had ever known.
"Take your time, you have."
"I needed to meditate, as did Obi-Wan."
"Guidance your apprentice needed more than solitude."
"I have every intention of guiding him, but I couldn't do so in the state I was in."
"Left him too long with his thoughts, you did. More harm than good this does. Alone not always healthy for the young."
Qui-Jon took a slow deep breath then released it as he stepped past Yoda and into the room.
"I will apologize to him for losing track of the time."
"More have you to apologize for."
The knight's brow furrowed at the ancient master's rebuke.
"You did hear about what happened today?"
"With the boy or with you?"
"What do you mean, with me?"
"A disservice to your padawan you have done," Yoda declared as he rapped his staff against the younger man's knee. "Frightened, he has become."
Perching on a chair, Qui-Jon winced as he rubbed his knee while concentrating on the tiny green master's words.
"I have done nothing to frighten the boy. Frankly, I've taken extra precautions to do just the opposite."
"Sensitive your padawan is. Unsure of his relationship he has become. Lost your affection he fears he has."
"That's ridiculous. I care deeply for the boy, and make sure that he knows it."
"Then why abandoned does he feel?"
"I don't know. Perhaps because I didn't correct him last night when he expected it."
"Was correction necessary?"
The large man quietly exhaled as he closed his eyes and bowed his head.
"I didn't believe so at the time, but I may have been wrong. If I had made a stronger impression on him last night, today might never have occurred." Opening his eyes, he glanced at Yoda seeking the creature's wisdom. "Is that how I failed him?"
"Did you seek guidance in the Force?"
"Yes," Qui-Gon softly replied.
"Then fail, you did not."
"But you said that I have. If not then, when? I know he's just learning and I have been patient with him. I encourage him as much as possible. I assure him of my care even when he makes mistakes; especially when he makes mistakes."
"Did you assure today when mistakes occurred?"
"Not when I was called to his classroom. No. That will come after punishment."
"Believes it should come before, Obi-Wan does."
"Why would he think..."
The Jedi Knight broke off and raised his head, focusing on some invisible point across the room. Yoda watched intently as thought morphed into realization in the younger man. With a slight sound of exasperation, Qui-Gon frowned.
"I have done a disservice to my padawan by protecting him from the consequences of his actions," he admitted with a brief nod.
"Intention was good."
"But the result was not," the man rubbed his forehead, frustrated with himself.
"Learning each other's ways you both still are. Care I know you have for the child, but still unsure he is."
"All I've done is confuse him more. I offered him affection last night instead of correction because I didn't want to alarm him. Today I changed the rules without informing him I was going to do so."
"The day is not over. Time you still have. Talk, you must. About the deed, but also about your feelings. Discipline, yes, but reassurance of his place at your side as well."
"I understand, Master, and I thank you for your counsel. I will be more mindful of my words and actions in the future."
"And do not make him wait alone so long. Too young, he is. Too much time doubt has to build."
After seeing Yoda out, Qui-Gon removed his outer robe and settled on his meditation mat. Closing his eyes, he breathed slowly and deeply as he lowered his shields and stretched his conscious out along the training bond. The self-doubt and sadness that hit him sent him momentarily reeling. The boy was suffering, and the fault was his. Regret gripped the master, but he quickly released the emotion into the Force and replaced it with peaceful calm.
Obi-Wan, we have a great deal to talk about. Please join me.
Within moments a thoroughly devastated padawan stood before his master with his head held low. The ocean blue eyes that usually danced with joy and excitement were glassy with tears.
"Master, I know that I don't deserve a second chance, but I beg your forgiveness. Your instructions were clear. I should have never been tempted to show Reeft my new saber, at least not in class."
"And why is that, padawan?"
"Because you told me to only ignite it in self defense or in the training arena."
"True, but do you understand why I placed those limits on you?"
Because you don't want me to have any fun.
"Obi-Wan, we're going to have to work on your shielding if you expect your thoughts to be private."
The boy's eyes widened in horror, but the older man only smiled gently.
"And no, that isn't the reason at all," Qui-Gon continued. "Sit with me, and try to relax your mind. I would like you to think for a moment. See if you can come up with an actual reason for the limitation."
Obi-Wan plopped down on his own mat and closed his eyes as he turned the question over in his mind.
"Because accidents happen," he said as he opened his eyes and met his master's. "Accidents like what happened to the desk."
"Exactly, and destroyed property isn't the worst thing that can happen, is it?" Qui-Gon calmly prompted.
"I guess not. I mean, I guess it could have been one of my classmates instead of a desk, couldn't it?"
"Yes, it could have been. It could have been Reeft or any of the other students. It is easy to get carried away, and if you aren't extremely careful someone could be hurt."
"I didn't think about that," the boy admitted as shame bubbled up within him.
"Padawan, you must always think before you act. Before you ever draw your lightsaber, I want you to stop, take a breath, and consider the possible outcomes. At least then you will know that you've made the best decision you could at the time. Can you do that for me?"
"Yes, Master," the boy answered then timidly lowered his gaze. In a choked whispered he asked, "Does that mean you're still willing to train me."
"Oh, I'm afraid you're stuck with me, Obi-Wan. The bond between a master and his apprentice isn't so easily broken," the jedi said with a grin as he reached out and ruffled the child's hair. "You'll have to endure my company for many more years to come."
"But, I thought..."
"Master Yoda has informed me of a mistake I made. It appears that I was too abrupt with you in the classroom, and I apologize for that, but I also need you to understand that I won't always be able to explain my actions or commands in the moment. That's why I require your obedience, padawan. On missions there maybe times when I give you an order that you disagree with, but you have to trust that there is a reason behind everything I do or say. Obey me and later, when it's safe, you are free to ask me why the order was given. I will always try to clear up any confusion you may have, but only once the danger has passed."
"But I wasn't confused by your instructions. This is different."
"Not really. You were confused because I didn't offer solace, am I correct?"
Obi-Wan nodded before shifting his attention to the muted pattern of his mat.
"As I said last night, there is a time and place for everything, young one. That was not the time."
"But you've always..."
"Stop. We have not known each other long enough for you to know what I've 'always' done. Yes, I have been trying to reassure you when I feel concern or self-doubt take hold of you, but think back to last night. When did I comfort you? Before a reprimand or after?"
The apprentice was quiet as his mind replayed the night's events.
"After, I guess," he said with a sigh. "But you've already reprimanded me. You even took my lightsaber away."
"Did you think that was going to be the extent of your punishment?"
"Well, ... No. I guess not."
"And didn't I offer a bit of comfort in my touch before sending you away?"
The boy swallowed hard before nodding.
"Padawan, you've asked for my forgiveness. That is something that you had even before I found out what you did. It's not something I would ever withhold from you. Now I'm asking for your forgiveness for my oversight. I should have done a better job explaining myself and how I handle things, particularly misbehavior. Had I done so, you would have known that there was no serious reason to fret."
Qui-Gon took a breath and regained his center before lowering his final shield to allow the boy full access to his emotions.
"We must learn to trust each other if we are to become a true team. Trust takes time to build. In the interest of speeding up the process I have been a bit more permissive with you that I normally would be. I know now that was a mistake. I can't be lenient one minute and strict the next. It's only natural for that to cause confusion which will make it harder for you to trust me. I didn't see that then, but now I recognize it for what it is."
"I had heard that you were a stern master with exacting demands. You only accept the very best from your apprentices," Obi-Wan admitted.
"There is truth in that, but I do know that no one is perfect. What I expect is for you to always give me your best effort. So far, I have no complaints, Obi-Wan."
"I didn't do my best today. I should have listened to you."
"Yes, you should have, but you had other ideas. That can happen, which is why you are under my tutelage. It's my job to guide you towards making better decisions. Right now the consequences of making poor choices are generally rather minor. That's not the case once you've been knighted and on your own. Then making the wrong decision will very likely be a matter between life and death. This is why I take your training very seriously. That's why I accept only the best from you, and will correct any missteps."
"I understand, Master."
"Yes. I think when you didn't punish me last night, I started to question your level of caring, but then you made sure that I felt your love. That's why when I didn't feel anything from you today, but disappointment ... I shouldn't have questioned your commitment to me."
"You should never question my commitment, but we both made mistakes. I think it would be wise if we put that behind us and try to start over. I do care about you, Obi-Wan. I care far too much to lose you or allow you to make a mistake that will haunt you for the rest of your life."
The master stood in one fluid motion and offered his hand to his young pupil. The boy took the hand without hesitation and stood stoically in front of his teacher.
"Last night you started to tell me about how the creche masters dealt with misbehavior. Now let me tell you how I deal with it." The large man folded his arms and he cocked a brow as he eyed the youth critically. "Punishment will always be based upon the severity of the transgression and upon what I find works best for you. That, regrettably, does take a little bit of trial an error. Having been said, the worse offensives will generally be dealt with over my knee for as long and as often as it takes to make the proper impression on you."
The apprentice nervously cleared his throat.
"Does what happened today count among the worse offensives?"
"You tell me, padawan," came the quiet, calm reply.
Obi-Wan sucked in a faltering breath before nodding.
"I think so. I could have killed an innocent person," he whispered and Qui-Gon felt a wave of self-loathing rocket through their bond.
"But you didn't, and we're going to make sure that you never put yourself in that position again." With a near silent sigh, the jedi master unfastened his belt and laid it aside, before taking a seat on the couch and motioning the boy to him. "I'm sorry, Obi-Wan, but I'm afraid your first taste of discipline at my hand is going to have to be a lengthy, hard discussion."
"Yes, Master. I know it's what I deserve."
"Trousers down, my young padawan."
The halting breath sounded again, but the nervous boy quickly complied.
"I've never been strapped, Master. In the creche they used a paddle. I'm not sure how I'll react," he honestly offered.
"You aren't being strapped this time either," Qui-Gon informed his apprentice as he firmly grasped his wrist and eased him across his hard muscular thighs. "I've only removed it because it gets in the way. I hope to never have to take a belt to you, but if you continue to act up, I will."
The learner took a breath and did his best to relax into the moment with complete acceptance of his fate.
"Obi-Wan, you will not use the Force to deflect or mitigate the pain. Is that clear?"
Flipping the tail of the tunic up to expose the thinly clad backside, the knight found himself wondering just how many times the paddle had been applied to his padawan. More than a few, he imagined. The creche masters had warned him of the child's stubbornness, but at the time he had easily dismissed the claim. Obi-Wan had been very eager and open from the first moment they had met. He took direction well and blossomed when sprinkled with praise. He shouldn't be difficult to teach and even easier to correct.
Placing his hand on the upturned rump, Qui-Gon hesitated for a moment. He didn't want to damage the child's spirit, and he certainly didn't want to evoke fear in him, but he was sworn to protect and train him.
"The day is not over. Time you still have. Talk, you must. About the deed, but also about your feelings. Discipline, yes, but reassurance of his place at your side as well."
Yoda's words echoed in the jedi's head. Had he succeed in following the tiny master's advice? Was Obi-Wan sure of the place he claimed in his master's heart instead of merely at his side? Qui-Gon hoped so and trusted in the Force to guide him in doing right by the boy. As much as he hated what he was about to do, he knew without a doubt that it was what his apprentice demanded of him.
"I'm not going to lose you without a fight, padawan. Not to death, and not to the dark. You're too precious to me."
His large hard hand landed with extreme prejudice upon the child's small innocent bottom pulling an immediate yelp from Obi-Wan.
As much as the learner had planned to remain quiet and take his punishment like the stoic he imagined himself to be, his master's attention quickly caused his sense of self - preservation to kick in. Wiggling for all he was worth, Obi-Wan tried his best to dodge the harsh stinging blows that threatened to engulf his backside in fire, but to no avail. Qui-Gon only tightened his grip as he continued to rapidly redden his student's rump.
"That hurts, Master! Please! OW! Please stop."
"Padawan, we have only just begun."
"But it hurts."
"Then it will give you something to remember the next time you think it wise to disobey me."
"I'll never disobey you."
"How I wish that were true."
"It is! It is!"
"We shall see, little one."
Tipping the youth slightly forward, Qui-Gon concentrated his swats where they would do the most good, along the weight bearing edge of the boy's cheeks and the tops of his thighs.
The first smack to the ultra sensitive area tore a howl of pain from the boy before he fell completely silent. Fearing for the safety of his apprentice, the master stilled his hand and reached out with the Force to check Obi-Wan's physical well-being. A moment later he grabbed the tail of his belt and snapped it smartly against the crest of the boy's behind.
Obi-Wan wailed and thrust a hand back to protect his bottom from further assault.
His master easily grabbed the errant hand and pinned it against the youth's lower back.
"What did I say about using the Force?" Qui-Gon asked in a mild tone that was in sharp contrast with stinging sensation that had exploded only moments ago across Obi-Wan's flank.
"I'm sorry, Master. I couldn't help it. It hurts so much," the boy cried in a hoarse voice thick with tears.
"You have much better self-control than you just exhibited. The pain teaches, padawan. Accept its lesson instead of fighting against it."
Obi-Wan nodded then buried his face against his mentor's leg and cried, purging his system of all fear, guilt and pain.
Qui-Gon felt the energy shift from resistance to acceptance within his student and sighed with relief. A few more lighter smacks to drive the lesson home, and his hand stilled for a final time. Ever so gently he caressed the boy's back and spoke softly, encouraging the tears that soaked through his linen pants.
"You're okay, padawan. You've survived. Everything is going to be fine," he whispered as he carefully replaced the youth's pants to help restore some of his dignity.
While still faced down over his lap, Obi-Wan sniffled to regain control of his voice before informing him, "Master, that is nothing like creche punishment. I don't think I'll ever sit again."
In spite of himself, Qui-Gon chuckled.
"That's because I take your disobedience very personally. You're not just my responsibility, Obi-Wan. You will be like a son to me. The idea of you endangering yourself needlessly is a terrifying prospect."
The master rubbed the back of the boy's neck and gave it an affectionate squeeze.
"Can you stand?"
"I think so."
As gently as possible, he help the lad up then pulled him to sit on his lap.
"I meant it when I said that I won't lose you. If that means you won't sit comfortably throughout your apprenticeship, so be it. You know of Xanatos?"
"Yes, Master," Obi-Wan shyly admitted, knowing that his master was uncomfortable speaking of his previous apprentice.
"Then you know I lost him."
"You didn't lose him. He turned away from you, from what I've been told."
"I was his master. It was my duty to teach him, but I failed in my task. I won't let that happen again. If I seem hard on you at times, please try to understand, it's because I can see you becoming a great jedi knight. Much wiser and better than I could ever hope of becoming. You are my redemption, Obi-Wan. You have already saved me, so I will do everything in my power to protect you even if that protection is from yourself."
Even though his backside was fiercely throbbing, Obi-Wan had never felt more cared for in all his short life. He laid his head against his master's shoulder and closed his eyes as exhaustion swept over him.
"I'm tired, Master."
"I'm not surprised, young one," the man said with a smile. "A stern spanking can have that affect especially when the recipient didn't get much sleep the night before because he insisted on continuing to play with his lightsaber after being told to put it away."
Obi-Wan's eyes snapped open and he pulled back to match his master's soft gaze.
"How could I not? You did a very poor job of muting the sound, and I don't recall the sheets having singe marks when you first went to bed."
"But, then why...?"
"I did not wish to frighten you, but if you choose to ignore my warnings again..." Qui-Gon threatened lightly and punctuated his words with a tap of his finger on the tip of child's nose making Obi-Wan grin.
"I'll be good, Master. I promise."
"At least until your bottom stops hurting," he man knowingly replied. "But that does remind me."
Reaching behind himself, the knight unclipped the apprentice saber from his discarded belt and handed it to the boy.
"Now, go put that up unless you want it taken away for good," he commanded as he lifted his ward and carefully placed him on his feet.
"I'll put it in a safe place until it's time for kata training."
"You should carry it with you at all times when you're outside the apartment, but only show off with it in the training area. Never in your history class."
"I promise, Master. I won't do anything wrong ever again. I'm going to make you proud of me. I swear it. I'm going to be the best padawan you've ever had," he cried before running off to his room with his treasure.
"You already are, Obi-Wan. You already are."