I wrote this story for my little sister when we had no internet connection whatsoever but still craved fanfics. Sorry for any inconsistencies and medical inaccuracies, without internet I unfortunately couldn't do any research, but I hope I did alright.
Iris; if by any chance you've found this fic, well, you know it's the one I wrote for you. Congratz, you've successfully found my account. Run while you still can ;) I love you a very lotta lot!
Alright, so maybe this situation wasn't ideal. Lots of angry smugglers, lots of snow and few allies.
Okay, no allies at all. Just him and Obi-Wan against about 30 angry men. No back-up because he had thought they could handle a little reconnaissance mission on their own. He was without a doubt going to get an earful from Obi-Wan about that decision later.
To be fair, Qui-Gon hadn't expected them to walk into a trap on their second day here, alerting the entire smuggling camp to their presence. Now there was little else to do but defend themselves from the blaster fire and find a way out.
"I'll remind you again that if you cease your fire now, the consequences will be a lot less severe!" Qui-Gon shouted for what seemed the tenth time in the direction of the smugglers. The wind carried his voice to the men standing behind the crates at the other side of the snowy plane, but just like last time, he didn't get a reply. By now he would've been surprised if he actually got one.
He sighed and deflected another round of fire. The two Jedi were greatly outnumbered and constantly pushed back, they had already been forced to leave the safety of the compound onto the open planes of Hoth.
From out of the corner of his eye he saw Obi-Wan dance around, deflecting and dodging the shots and occasionally jumping away to cut down some smugglers. The wind was picking up and snow swirled around them. Although the Force warned them of blaster shots raining their way and allowed them to see better through the wind, the snow was still making it hard to locate the exact position of their enemies. Apparently the smugglers had the same problem, because they stopped advancing as the wind started to speed up. Everyone knew about the velocity of snow storms on Hoth, and the smugglers didn't seem to want to get too far away from their base.
"Master!" Obi-Wan had noticed the change as well. "Let's go get them!"
Qui-Gon knew what the padawan was thinking. In this situation the Jedi had the advantage, they could use the Force to see through the storm, whereas the smugglers would be left completely blind; an easy target. Still, there were at least twenty enemies left, too much to risk running out there to meet them head-on. Especially with lightsabers that stood out against the storm like a Bantha on Mustafar.
But before the master could voice his thoughts, Obi-Wan had already jumped off, the glow of the blue lightsaber fading, but not quite disappearing in the blur of snow.
"Obi-Wan, don't!" He shouted after him, but his words fell on deaf ears. That boy was going to be the end of him someday. Even though the Force warned him not to, he ran after his padawan. Foolish as Obi-Wan's decision was, he wasn't going to leave him to fight on his own. Ignoring the cold wind biting his cheeks and pulling at his robe, Qui-Gon followed the familiar Force signature until the blue lightsaber came into view again. Obi-Wan was jumping around and Qui-Gon saw with the tiniest hint of pride how he swiftly deflected the blaster shot of someone who had snuck up on him. Qui-Gon jumped to action himself and quickly got rid of the attacker.
"Obi-Wan!" He shouted over the storm, using the Force to make his voice just a bit louder. "Let's get out of here!"
"But Master," Obi-Wan hadn't paused his dance and now glanced at him while alternating between dodging and attacking. "we can get them!"
The master shook his head, though the action went unnoticed by Obi-Wan. "No padawan, listen to me. Get out of here!" He could only hope Obi-Wan would obey his command, this wasn't the time or place for an argument.
Luckily, the boy seemed to sense that as well. With a last slash at their attackers he jumped backwards. Qui-Gon followed his padawan, the snow now sneering painfully against his face. If the last storm he had been in on this hellish planet was an indication, it would only get worse and they would have to make it back to the ship quickly.
Just when he thought the majority of the smugglers had fallen back and they were relatively safe, a muffled scream cut through the howling wind and a flash of pain coloured the bond.
The wind swallowed the string of curses Qui-Gon uttered as he sped up and made his way to where his padawan had disappeared. Worry crept up in his chest and he mentally prodded the Force bond to try and assess the extent of what had happened. Obi-Wan was in pain, but conscious at least. Within seconds he had located the boy and knelt down where he had fallen into the snow. "Obi-Wan?" He asked, ignoring the concern in his own voice.
"'M fine." Came the grumbled reply. Qui-Gon exhaled. Thank the Force.
More blaster fire shot past them and Qui-Gon rose to his feet, lightsaber at the ready to block any shots that came their way.
"Can you stand?"
"Yeah, I - umpf." The attempt was commendable, but almost as soon as he had gotten his feet under him again, Obi-Wan sagged into the snow, hand at his side. Qui-Gon shot him a worried glance. He didn't know what Obi-Wan's definition of 'fine' was, but this wasn't his.
"Hold on," the boy said, though Qui-Gon had to strain to hear him against the wind. "I've got this."
Qui-Gon deflected a few other stray shots and noted with relief that the smugglers were retreating to their base, not being able to see the Jedi anymore and not willing to risk turning into human sized popsicles. The older Jedi thanked the Force they didn't seem to know one of them had gotten hit, he feared they would've become a free Wampa meal otherwise.
Obi-Wan had managed to get to his feet and actually stay upright this time, even though it looked as if the slightest increase in wind could send him back down any time.
"Can you walk?" Qui-Gon asked him. "We need to get out of here."
Obi-Wan nodded without any real conviction, but right now Qui-Gon took what he could. "Let's get going then."
He watched the padawan stumble through the snow and when he was sure Obi-Wan would stay on his feet he followed him, making sure he stayed between his padawan and their attackers in case the smugglers decided to launch another salvo.
Only after a few steps Obi-Wan suddenly stopped and looked around frantically, swaying dangerously as he turned around. "Sith! My lightsaber. Sith, I lost it."
Qui-Gon steadied him with a hand on his shoulder, eyes squeezed together to prevent the cold flakes from flying into his eyes. "No time for that now, we need to get back to the ship before the storm reaches its peak."
Through the bond Qui-Gon could feel the boy's hesitation. He knew how wrong it felt to not have your lightsaber with you, but there wasn't anything they could do about it now, going back to look for it would take too long. If nothing else, he hoped it would be a learning point for the padawan.
Reluctantly Obi-Wan turned back and they stumbled on through the snow. Once Qui-Gon was certain they had lost the smugglers, he tucked his lightsaber underneath his robes and pulled up the hood to protect his face from the sharp wind. He saw Obi-Wan had done the same.
They walked on like that, keeping close so they wouldn't lose sight of each other, huddled in their capes to find a bit of shelter against the icy cold.
Qui-Gon looked on with worried glances as Obi-Wan movements became slow and sluggish as time passed and the layer of snow on the ground became thicker to crawl through.
At one point the padawan had stumbled and fallen down in the snow again and for a moment Qui-Gon had feared he wouldn't get up again. When he had lifted him upright, the boy had said nothing, but started leaning against his master as they continued on.
Qui-Gon knew they weren't going to reach the ship in time with the pace they were going now, and although he hadn't complained even once, he knew Obi-Wan was in pain from the wound and nearing his limit. So the master purely relied on the Force to guide their feet, hoping it would lead them to safety soon.
Just as he began thinking it wouldn't and he was nearly dragging Obi-Wan with him, a wall of ice rose up before him. He couldn't see the top, or where it ended and began, but he knew the Force must've led them here for a reason and he allowed hope to rise in his chest. Hope for shelter, hope for a cave.
After stumbling on for another 10 minutes, one now very cold hand against the wall so he wouldn't lose sight of it and the other around his padawans shoulders to keep him upright, he finally found the cave. It was as if layers of snow fell off his shoulders and he let out a heartfelt laugh of relief. The deep rumble shook the padawan out of his daze, and blurry eyes stared up at him.
"We're almost safe padawan," Qui-Gon answered the unspoken question in those eyes. "Just hold on a little longer."
Obi-Wan said something, but as close as he was, Qui-Gon still couldn't hear him over the wind. "Just hold on." He muttered.
He felt his way to the cave with his hand, ignoring how the cold tingling was making his fingers numb. As soon as he stepped into the cave he breathed a sigh of relief. It was instantly a lot quieter without the wind tugging at them mercilessly and howling around their ears.
Once they were far enough that the wind couldn't reach them, Qui-Gon carefully lowered Obi-Wan to the ground so he sat against the walls of ice. "Rest for a bit padawan, I'm just going to take a look at that wound of yours."
Obi-Wan mumbled something about being fine, but this time Qui-Gon wasn't fooled.
He carefully pried the robe out of the padawan's hands and pushed it back so the burn in Obi-Wan's tunic got exposed. It reached all the way from his lower ribs to his hip, and Qui-Gon suddenly feared it would be a lot worse than he had originally thought. Obi-Wan immediately protested when he pulled the tunic up, exposing bare skin to the cold of the world outside.
"'S cold Master." The boy tried to push Qui-Gon's hands away, but his attempts were weak and sloppy and only managed to bring a frown on the master's face.
"I know Obi-Wan, I know. I'll be quick."
The burned area stretched wide, but luckily didn't look too deep. The wound did look red and puffy and was warm to the touch, and Qui-Gon feared an infection was on its way.
He lowered the tunic and tucked the robe around the shivering padawan, who sighed as the fabric engulfed him again. "I'll be right back okay? Don't go anywhere."
"Hm. Thought I'd go for a stroll." Obi-Wan muttered, his eyes drooping.
Qui-Gon snorted. Even when freezing in an ice cave with a blaster wound to the side, Obi-Wan could still joke around. Qui-Gon wouldn't be surprised if the boy's last words would be sarcastic.
"Don't get any funny ideas now."
He walked back outside and noted the storm had become even worse. He was glad they had at least found a bit of shelter -walking back to the ship would have to wait.
Shivering against the cold, he bent down and shoved a pile of snow into a make shift cradle he made from a flap of his long robe. Even though the storm had made the robes icy and stiff, the fabric started melting the lowest layers of snow immediately. But he got back to where he had left Obi-Wan before it had completely turned liquid.
"This is going to be cold for a second, but it's necessary if we want to keep an infection at bay." He warned the padawan. An infected wound was the last thing they needed right now. Keeping warm was going to be hard enough on its own and a fever was not needed for that thank you very much.
Obi-Wan blinked and looked at him, brows furrowed. "If you say so."
"I do." The unclear eyes of the padawan worried Qui-Gon, and he hoped the boy would be a bit better once he had had time to get a bit warmer. But first, the wound.
Once again he lifted the tunic, but now he went to clean the wound with a bit of snow and a piece of cloth he carried with him for situations like this, wishing he had something a bit more sterile with him. As soon as he touched the wound, Obi-Wan jerked back, eyes wide, the haze almost if not completely disappearing from them.
"Sith, that's cold!"
Qui-Gon, who had seen this reaction coming, grinned lightly. "I did tell you. And mind your language."
Obi-Wan shifted back, but couldn't keep from flinching while Qui-Gon cleaned the wound.
As fast as he tried it to do, the boy's lips had turned blue by the time he finished.
"All done padawan." Qui-Gon tucked the tunic back and pulled the robes tightly around the shivering boy. Necessary as it was, he regretting getting him even colder.
"Try to get some rest, we're going to have to wait the storm out and it looks like you need it."
Obi-Wan hummed, and he pulled his robes even tighter around himself as his eyes drooped. Qui-Gon wished he could at least make a fire to keep them a bit warm, but there was nothing around to get it going with.
He sighed, if this mission would go down in the Jedi archives, it would be with the title 'Learning Points'. Or better yet, "What not to do if you want to survive". What were they thinking, going to Hoth with hardly any precautions against the cold? They had sorely underestimated this mission, thinking they'd be gone within the day.
He pulled off his own robes and draped them over the padawan. Qui-Gon figured he needed them more than he did. The padawan looked drained and keeping himself warm with the Force, as the two Jedi had been doing this entire mission, might just be too much right now. Immediately Obi-Wan pulled the robes closer, sighing as he did.
The master went to check at the cave entrance, keeping inside so he didn't get snow on his tunics, to see that the storm was the same as it had been before. Qui-Gon hoped it meant that this was all it was going to get and that the wind would die down soon so they could go back. He thought wistfully about the heater in the ship, he would give his arm and a leg if it meant they would have the blasted thing with them right now.
When he returned he sat down next to Obi-Wan, noticing with content that the boy had nearly fallen asleep. He took one of the cold hands in his, and send as much healing power through them as he dared. If the wound hadn't healed up a bit before the storm laid down, the journey back would be a long one.
Qui-Gon closed his eyes and centred himself in the Force, keeping alert to possible threats around them while still getting into a resting state. With Obi-Wan's hand still in his, he waited out the storm.
Qui-Gon wasn't sure how much time had passed until he became aware of the wind dying down. Once howling past the entrance of the cave they had found safety in, now it was nothing more than a brisk wind that stirred up the fresh layer of snow on the ground.
Gently he shook Obi-Wan out of his dreams. It was time they got a move on before the weather would change again. Obi-Wan woke almost at once, the need to be up and moving while on dangerous missions creating a habit of sleeping lightly.
"Welcome back to the land of the living padawan."
The boy blinked the sleep from his eyes and stretched his legs with a groan. "How much time has passed?"
"A couple hours, not much more." It was still light outside, with a little luck they could make it to the ship before the evening fell.
Obi-Wan hummed and pushed himself upright. The flinch that accompanied the movement didn't go unnoticed by Qui-Gon.
"The wound's still bad?"
Obi-Wan shook his head and lifted his tunics to look at the wound. The swelling had already reduced and the area looked a lot less red than it had mere hours ago. Thank goodness for Force enhanced healing.
"A lot less than before, mostly just stiff."
"That's what you get for running off into danger like that." Qui-Gon said, but there was little venom in his voice. The boy's actions was something they could talk about later. Impulsive as they were, Qui-Gon knew Obi-Wan hadn't deliberately disobeyed him.
"Said the one who thought we didn't need back-up." Obi-Wan countered. The master laughed. He couldn't deny the padawan got a point there.
Obi-Wan took off the extra layer of robes and handed them back to the older Jedi. "Thank you for borrowing them Master."
"You're welcome padawan." Qui-Gon pulled the robes on and basked in the warmth left behind in them. "Ready to go back to the temple and take a long hot bad?"
"More than ready."
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