Qui-Gon sat in the rubble where his hotel had been. There was no point going anywhere else; there was nowhere else to go. The whole province had been destroyed, bombed in the attack.

He let the tears flow freely down his dirty cheeks, consumed with anguish. He had tried so hard to stop this, but he had failed utterly. If only his apprentice had been there, but he had failed at that too.

There was a sound behind him. He turned and saw nothing. He heard it again. Not bothering to get to his feet, he crawled on hands and knees through the mess in the direction of the sound. Coming around a large pile of debris, he saw a small clearing where the hotel's garden used to be. He was shocked by what he found there. A small boy was toddling around on the ashen grasses.

Qui-Gon's solemn face unwittingly formed a small grin as he sat amazed watching the boy. Surely he had not ridden into the area after the catastrophe as Qui-Gon had. Had he really survived the attack? It was certainly a wonder.

Suddenly the boy saw him and immediately toddled over, unafraid, and stopped just in front of Qui-Gon.

"Hello, little one," Qui-Gon whispered.

The boy made some baby gurgles and reached his arms out to the Jedi. Qui-Gon quickly picked him up.

"Are you all alone?" he whispered again.

Qui-Gon was slightly surprised, and touched, as the child curled up in his arms.

"No, you aren't alone. I am with you."

Qui-Gon found that he could not cry any longer, and his smile grew as he decided someone needed to care for this child.


Qui-Gon had to wait two days until a transport could take them to Coruscant. Until then he and the boy stayed under what shelter Qui-Gon could find them, eating the remaining morsels of food from Qui-Gon's pack and talking. Rather, Qui-Gon talked; the boy rested in his arms listening to the gentle voice.

Now aboard the ship, the child was sleeping in the big Master's arms. Qui-Gon glanced at him and yawning realized he had not had a good rest in at least several weeks. He lay down on the small bunk, careful not to disturb the sleeping lad, curling the tot into his arms.

He gazed at his new friend thoughtfully. "You need a name, little one," he said quietly. Pushing away his weariness, Qui-Gon turned to the important task of finding the right name.

He searched through the names he knew in his native tongue, and his face brightened in a broad smile. "Obi-Wan, because you are such a sweetheart, and if I found you, then you must have been lost, so I name you Obi-Wan Kenobi: my little lost heart."

He smiled happily and gently touching a finger to Obi-Wan's cheek fell into the most peaceful sleep he had had in years.


Adi Gallia stepped aboard the transport ship. Qui-Gon had signaled the Temple a day ago saying he was returning, but when the ship had landed there was no sign of him.

The door to his quarters slid open, revealing a sleeping Qui-Gon comfortably tucked in the ship's bed.

Adi walked over to him, reaching out to give him a shake, but something sticking out from the covers drew her eye. She pushed the sheet down slightly, then almost laughed aloud at her discovery of a small boy curled against Qui-Gon's great frame. Adi laid her hand over her mouth to cover the amused grin that had formed, as well as to prevent any further laughter from escaping.

After a moment of composing herself, she reached out again and gently shook Qui-Gon's arm. His eyes opened and focused on her. "Qui-Gon, you're home, time to get up."

"Hello, Adi," he said simply, apparently not noticing, or ignoring, the amused glint in her eyes.

"The Council is waiting to talk to you."

Qui-Gon sighed heavily. "I'm on my way."

She nodded and left him to prepare himself.

All eyes were drawn to her when she reentered the Council chamber, her expression not that of a serene Jedi Master but rather clearly showing she found something highly entertaining. "You will not believe what he has brought home this time," she said as she sat down.

"Don't tell me he has a Fangorian razorcat with him?" Mace spoke up, shaking his head. He knew his friend was eventually going to go too far with his adoptive tendencies.

Adi just shook her head, her exotic eyes lighting up even brighter.

"Is it a Phalonian sabrelyre?" Eeth Koth suggested.

Adi was about to answer no when the doors opened and in walked Master Jinn carrying the still sleeping Obi-Wan. All eyes were now firmly fastened on him.

"Masters," Qui-Gon said, bowing.

"Heard we have about the tragedy on Tarial Prime. Your fault, it was not, Qui-Gon," Master Yoda began.

"I did all I could, my Master. Both sides were unwilling to make a single compromise."

"Aware of this, we are." Yoda paused briefly, his aged face taking on a glint of humor. "Not aware, however, were we that with child you were."

Ignoring Yoda's joke and Mace's chuckling, Qui-Gon answered, "I found this child in the rubble. He was alone."

"What of his parents?"

"I don't know. I do not believe anyone will ever know."

"So adopted him you have?"

"I could not leave him uncared for."

Yoda raised his eyebrows. "Only survivor on all of Tarial he was then?"

"No, Master," Qui-Gon stated simply, aware of what Yoda was getting at.

"Then someone to care for him there was." Yoda sighed dramatically when Qui-Gon did not respond, then turned a wary, knowing gaze upon him. "Named him, you have?" It was not really a question.

Qui-Gon assumed his most defiant posture yet, standing straight, eyes intent. "I have. His name is Obi-Wan Kenobi."

"Oh I see, hmmm." Silence filled the chamber while the Council members pondered the information until Yoda asked his final question. "Force-sensitive, is he?"

Qui-Gon blinked, startled by the question. He had not thought to check the boy for that. "I do not know, Master. I did not test him."

"Tested he will be," Yoda declared, startling the rest of the Council now. "Decide Obi-Wan's fate then we will. In your care for now he is, Qui-Gon."

"Thank you, Masters." Qui-Gon bowed and exited.


As Qui-Gon stepped through the door to his apartment Obi-Wan stirred. He put him down on the floor. "Here's your new home, Obi-Wan. Go ahead, explore!" he encouraged the youngling.

He smiled as Obi-Wan waddled over to the sofa, then Qui-Gon went into the kitchen. He gripped the back of a chair as his anger swelled. He knew what the Council wanted to do. They were planning on taking Obi-Wan away from him. If the boy were a Force-sensitive, as Master Yoda seemed to think, then he would have to go to be trained with the initiates. If he were not, then the boy would go to a foster family, perhaps back on Tarial Prime. Qui-Gon would not let either happen. Obi-Wan belonged with /him./

Qui-Gon leaned over the chair, trying to breathe out his anger. He looked down when he felt a tug on his leg and saw Obi-Wan trying to get his attention.

"Finished exploring already?" he asked as he picked him up. "All right, how about a story then?"

Obi-Wan seemed to be agreeable to that, so Qui-Gon went to his old-fashioned bookshelf and removed one of the volumes. "This is one of my favorites, little one." He sat down and began reading. Obi-Wan listened raptly.