Title: I Won't Fail You

Author: Julie the Tall Terror

E-Mail: tall_terror@hotmail.com

Alternate site with fanart for this story at: fanfic.theforce.net

Category: Altered Destinies TPM

Summary: Sequel to "If I Don't Catch You" Anakin's life in the Jedi Temple as Qui-gon and Obi-wan's Padawan.

Rated PG

Began November 12, 2000

Completed December 15, 2000

Revised in November 2001

Part 1

Anakin followed Master Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to their apartments, helping them pack all of their belongings. They left the boxes stacked outside the rooms for the Temple couriers to transfer to the new apartment. The three had spent most of the afternoon and part of the evening working and Anakin was very hungry.

The nearest dining hall was almost empty when they arrived, but the Jedi preferred it that way. It would only be a matter of time until the whole Temple found out about this unusual arrangement. And then their friends would want to know what was so special about Anakin Skywalker that required him to have two masters.

Anxiously, Anakin followed Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to their new quarters. His masters were grateful that it was in a different level of the Temple. "This will be home in one fashion or another for the next several years," Obi-Wan had told Anakin as the three of them settled into their new apartment.

It was one of the medium sized and spacious apartments, the layout a little different from the standard Master and Padawan rooms. This type of apartment was intended more for settled families rather then those who go on missions. The large common room's archway led to a windowed alcove that could serve as an office or workroom. Anakin was delighted to see a great view of Coruscant. The kitchenette was actually a separate room instead of a simple unit along one wall like most of the Master/Padawan apartments. Next to it was the 'fresher. Two bedrooms were accessible from either side of the common room and the third bedroom's door was in the alcove. It had all of the standard and built-in furnishings.

Anakin walked around while his mechanical pet, K-LE1, immediately began flying in and out of the different rooms. The tiny droid could fit into almost anything; she was no more than 10 cm across, with a domed hull and flat bottom. She had been painted a bright shade of baby pink. Anakin couldn't bear to live without a droid to tinker with and Kaely was the first droid he had designed entirely himself.

Anakin claimed the room by the alcove. It was simple and small, with plenty of cabinets for storing things. I'll fill those up with droid parts in no time. I can't wait to find all the best junk dealers.

Laid out on the bed was a stack of Jedi tunics. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon looked over from where they were standing by the large window when Anakin came out dressed in the new Jedi uniform.

"How do you keep from ruining your clothes?" Anakin looked ruefully down at his cream tunic.

"You be careful, obviously," Obi-Wan pointed out.

"If I was working on a droid I'd get this covered in grease and motor oil and the stains would never come out."

"I didn't know you had so many concerns about laundry, Ani." Qui-Gon looked at him strangely.

"Well, I found out really fast that it cost a lot of money I couldn't spare to keep replacing ruined clothes."

Anakin was referring to the three years he spent on his own. After the Jedi Council had rejected him, Anakin was sent away on a ship that was attacked by pirates. For more than a year he had struggled to first escape his re-enslavement and then nearly two years surviving alone while being pursued by the Sith. It had not been easy for the Jedi to find Anakin again.

"As you grow you can pick out darker tunics to compensate for your tendency towards greasiness," Obi-Wan said slyly.

Anakin rolled his eyes at him. "Ha, ha, very funny," he said sarcastically.

The center of the alcove was empty and Master Qui-Gon gestured that they all sit. They formed a triangle in a patch of evening sunlight. Obi-Wan brandished a pair of shears and Qui-Gon a comb. They made short work of Anakin's unruly sandy-blond hair.

The braid was the fun part. Anakin was fascinated as the Jedi used the Force to fuse together the ends of his cut hair with a lock of Qui-Gon's brown and Obi-Wan's ginger.

"Why do Padawans have a braid anyway, besides the obvious reason?"

"This tradition began long ago and we have not re-discovered why," Qui-Gon answered. "The reason it began is probably recorded somewhere in the ancient archives, many of which are nearly untranslatable. But yes, it is mainly to denote who is an apprentice."

"What do Jedi without hair do?"

"Those races sometimes have their own tradition. The Riahon tattoo their thin headtail when they become a Padawan and cut it off after achieving Knighthood." At Anakin's horrified look, Qui-Gon explained. "It does not hurt and it grows back."

"At least we don't make our students shave parts of their heads to form words, like the monks of Ddo Yllaer do!" Obi-Wan told him.

"Remember the acolytes of Enud? They are all required to dye the whites of their eyes blue," Qui-Gon added.

The tiny pink droid flew near and looked curiously at the thin braid resting on Anakin's right shoulder.

"Kaely." Anakin looked at his hovering droid seriously. "I want to make it perfectly clear that you are never ever allowed to pull my braid."

Kaely chirped an absentminded acknowledgement.

"I am not kidding! I'll remove your arm attachment for a week if you do."

She gave him a mournful whistle and left to sulk. She had better not sabotage my room, Anakin thought.

Qui-Gon prepared to give a lecture. "Anakin, since you were not raised in the Temple, we need to explain to you what a training bond is. All Masters build a mental bond with their Padawans for as long as they are training. Before I accepted Obi-Wan as my apprentice a partial bond began forming between us without either of us attempting to initiate it," Qui-Gon explained. He looked at Anakin's wide eyes. "The Force decided to begin it for us and it was quite disturbing at first. It takes about a week to adjust to the bond. Having an additional presence in your mind can sometimes be disorienting in the beginning."

"This will be harder for you, Ani, because you will have to become accustomed to both of us," Obi-Wan told him. "But it won't take long for you to become used to it. Don't be alarmed if you can't tell the difference between your own emotions and ours for a while."

"Does it let you do neat stuff?"

Qui-Gon thought for a moment. "It allows you to be aware of the other's general location and helps you find each other when separated. Also you know if the other is severely injured and you can call each other for help under extreme circumstances."

Obi-Wan supplied more details. "With time and practice you can also use the bond to experience the other's senses. See through the other's eyes, hear what the other hears, and so forth. It's very useful when you don't know where you are or if you need to be rescued," he said, smiling crookedly.

"However, at that level, you are affected by each other's experiences. If the other is in pain, you feel it as well," Qui-Gon warned.

Obi-Wan nodded. "Also, those who are very skilled in telepathy can use the bond to have a conversation. Though it usually will not work over large distances, it is very convenient in the middle of a battle or a precarious diplomatic conference."

"Now, Anakin," Qui-Gon instructed, "raise both of your hands." He placed his nearest hand's palm against Anakin's and Obi-Wan did the same with Anakin's other hand. "Relax and clear your mind, but don't actually meditate."

In the dimming sunlight, they guided Anakin through the first step a Padawan takes to becoming a Jedi.

"Good morning, Anakin." Master Qui-Gon said from the doorway. Anakin was unplugging Kaely from her recharge port.

"Good morning, Master!" he answered cheerfully.

"The 'fresher is free and Obi-Wan has decided to prepare breakfast for us this morning."

Anakin was momentarily flooded with a sense of unease. He shook his head in an attempt to clear it when he realized that the sensation was coming through the training bond from Master Qui-Gon. Anakin looked up at him sharply.

"Can he cook?"

"I don't really know. He has lived in his own apartment now for over three years and spent the bulk of that time away on missions. He knows the basics, but I'm not certain what he is doing in there." Qui-Gon gestured at the closed kitchen door.

"Oh," Anakin mumbled as he walked past the kitchen door. It was much easier to sense Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. He didn't really have to think about it to know where they were and how they were feeling. And Obi-Wan was in high spirits.

The breakfast turned out to be quite good, much to Qui-Gon and Anakin's relief. They left to begin training soon after. There was almost a disagreement over whether Kaely could come, but Obi-Wan knew when to give in.

Anakin was thrilled by everything he saw as they walked through different parts of the temple. He walked between the two Jedi proudly. I think I've grown more, Anakin thought as he glanced over at Obi-Wan. I'm almost as high as his chin.

"We will spend the whole morning in one of the larger training rooms to see what you can do. Think of every single thing you have tried doing on your own as well as what you have practiced the most. This afternoon Master Tolaskrow will give you an academics test to judge your progress," Obi-Wan told him.

"This evaluation process may take some time," Qui-Gon reminded Anakin. "Also, the Council has decided to individually give you their lessons, rather then together. Each of them plans to have four sessions with you. The first Council member will give you a lesson one week and then once a week assessments for the three following weeks, more if needed."

"I understand... Kaely! Quit admiring yourself." Anakin looked back in exasperation. Kaely had discovered that the nearly opaque glass decoration along the hallway's walls was reflective.

She cooed and chirped at herself appreciatively. It was apparent that she really did like her pink paint job. She lingered just long enough to further annoy Anakin, but flew after them quick enough to not receive a second reprimand.

"I knew we should have left the droid," Obi-Wan mumbled. Kaely honked at him derisively.

The training room was much larger then Anakin expected. It was very long with neatly stacked equipment along the walls, half of which he didn't recognize.

"Wouldn't a class be using this room?" Anakin's quiet words echoed in the cavernous space.

"Normally, however we've been given full use of it every morning until we know everything you can do. The classes have been rescheduled to other rooms for now," Qui-Gon replied.

"Limber up and get ready for extreme exhaustion, Padawan." Obi-Wan warned him.

Running and jumping seemed to be the best way to start. The Jedi directed Anakin to run the length of the room and rebound as high as he could off the wall. They made him repeat it several times to see how high he could go and to test his endurance.

After that came the balance beam and a kind of tightrope. Anakin had no difficulties and landed each flip and jump perfectly.

"How often did you practice balancing?" Obi-Wan inquired.

"Almost every day." Anakin flipped backwards twice before continuing. "It seemed like a good idea. If I was being chased and couldn't get away by normal means, it made things much easier to just jump out a window or run across a fence or leap across road signs. Whoever was after me could never catch me."

Qui-Gon was concerned. "Who pursued you?"

"Well, the pirates. I did try to escape them a few times when they first captured me, but I wasn't too good at Force stuff then." Anakin's face was pinched as he recalled that year. Then he dismissed those memories of pain from his mind. He knew he'd fall off the beam if he didn't.

"I also had some problems with guards and the law enforcement on a few worlds," Anakin admitted ruefully. He was embarrassed and ashamed that he'd resorted to thievery to survive. "And of course, those droids that Sith-thing sent after me were no fun."

Next, the Jedi sent him racing to the other wall and told him to leap onto each of the protruding ledges up to the rafters of the high ceiling. It was very high, high enough to make an ordinary person slightly dizzy. But Anakin loved it.

"Wow, you could fit a four level house in here. Hey down there!" Anakin waved from his perch. He heard a whistle behind him. Kaely had followed him up and was hovering up and down. Anakin barely noticed her. He had taught her from the day he installed her wheels to follow him everywhere.

From the floor far below, Qui-Gon spoke in a very low whisper. "Can you hear me, Anakin?"

When the boy didn't respond he repeated the question twice more, each time only a little louder then before. The fourth time he said it in a merely a quiet tone, and Anakin looked down.

"Yes, Master?"

Obi-Wan nodded his approval. "I don't think he has ever practiced enhancing his senses."

"I agree, perhaps he is naturally perceptive," Qui-Gon murmured to Obi-Wan. He then called up to Anakin again in a normal volume. "Tell me how many green staffs can you see beside us?"

Master Qui-Gon gestured to the wall. The bin full of multi-colored wooden staffs looked terribly miniscule from the rafters, but Anakin did his best to count them.

"I can see eight."


"Ani, close your eyes," Obi-Wan instructed. "Now tell me what color were the boxes stacked in the corner of the wall you rebounded on?"

Anakin concentrated. ARGG! I should've known they'd ask me stuff like this! He racked his memory of when they entered the room and of his run to that wall.



Anakin sighed with relief. Kaely beeped out a little tune to congratulate him.

"Keep your eyes shut, Ani," Qui-Gon reminded him. "When we first entered this room, was the rack of training sabers on the right of the door or the left? "

"Left side."

"Tell me," Obi-Wan said. "What color are the mats stacked by the wall below you?"

Anakin was stumped. Nervously, he frowned and squeezed his shut eyes even tighter. Come on... when I ran to jump on the ledges, what did I see? In a flash he remembered and couldn't help but grin.

"The mats are blue, but they aren't under me. They are halfway down the room," Anakin smirked. "Nice try, Master Obi-Wan."

"Now, we need you to explain and demonstrate what else you can do," Obi-Wan said when Anakin returned to the floor.

"Padawan," Master Qui-Gon looked at Anakin seriously. "You have learned to effectively fire a bolt of energy, correct?"

"Yes, Master."

"How did you discover this?"

"Um, it first happened I think half a year after I was free of the pirates, I was eleven years old, almost twelve. It was night. I was in a bad area of a city and I didn't know it. A couple of thieves grabbed my pack and I pretended I had a blaster to get it back. They didn't believe me so I tried making a light in my hand to blind them, but I couldn't make the light remain steady and it flashed quickly and went out."

"And that had the appearance of a blaster bolt," Obi-Wan surmised.

"Yes. They dropped my pack and ran even though that tiny blast wasn't strong enough to hurt anything and it didn't even make any noise. After that, I practiced, but it rarely worked. The last time I did it was when you caught me."

Obi-Wan's voice sounded concerned. "You never told us about firing at that Sith."

"Oh, yeah, I guess you didn't see it. You all didn't come until that thing fired the big blast. Well, I thought at first that my shot worked really well. I was able to make the bolt much stronger because I absorbed the Sith's blaster shot."

Neither of Anakin's masters could conceal their shock. It rolled through the training bond. Anakin winced and they composed themselves.

"Okay, so that's another thing I shouldn't be able to do yet, right?"

"It is extremely rare," Obi-Wan managed to answer.

"Anakin, start at the beginning and explain to us everything the Sith did," Master Qui-Gon ordered.

"Well, he... it, whatever, was sort of testing me. The Sith kicked me around some, literally, and made a few threats. It didn't really hurt me until I kicked it in the face. That's when it broke my arm, and then it got out the blaster. I dodged as much as I could, but it quickly shot me in the shoulder. I hardly felt a thing! And then I just knew that the blast's energy would make my beam stronger. So I shot back, but the Sith just caught it in its hand. And you know the rest."

They Jedi processed his explanation for a moment. Anakin tried to block out their feelings of concern and worry. Gotta be still, I won't be able to show them if I'm not calm. They weren't kidding when they said it would be hard to adjust to the bond!

"Are you ready?"

Anakin took a deep breath and nodded.

"Don't rush."

Anakin turned his back to the nearest wall and faced the length of the training room. Satisfied that he was far enough away from actually hitting any thing, he closed his eyes. For several minutes he concentrated, with his right hand held out with the palm upwards.

Nothing happened.

An excited beeping broke his failing concentration. They all looked over at the hovering droid. Kaely flew beside Anakin, opened one of her tiny compartments and fired a thin beam of energy into the air. She then trilled triumphantly at him.

"It's not that easy for me!"

"Don't yell at the droid," Master Qui-Gon admonished him.

"Yes, Master."

Kaely gave an electronic snort and brandished her tiny laser at Anakin.

"Show off," Anakin mumbled at her and then his face brightened. "Kaely, you're brilliant!"

Anakin reached out his hand. "Shoot me!"

Before either Jedi could react, Kaely instantly obeyed Anakin's command. Her tiny bolt slammed into Anakin's out stretched palm. He swung his now glowing hand around and pointed one finger. The white light doubled and flared. Silently, the energy bolt streaked across the room.

Anakin grinned. "Thanks, Kaely!" He lowered his hand and squinted at the other side of the room. "I hope I didn't hit the wall."

"Are you injured?" Obi-Wan inquired.

Even though Anakin knew he wasn't, he looked at his hand, just to make sure before answering. "Not at all."

That Afternoon

Anakin sat down with his lunch alone, not even Kaely with him. They'd returned her to their apartment. It's just another new place, he reassured himself. Everything will become familiar soon. His masters had decided to continue evaluating Anakin's skills the next day. Qui-Gon explained to Anakin that in the Temple the mid-day meal was a time to be with your peers. Anakin had a datapad with a general map of the Temple and easily found the large Padawan's Dining Hall. It was a pleasant room and only half of it was filled with tables. Probably the approximate number of Padawans here right now.


"Oh, um, hi." Anakin stood up in surprise as an older Padawan approached him. He had an olive complexion and his dark hair had an unfamiliar glisten to it. Anakin knew he was tall for his age, but it surprised him to see that he was the same height as the older boy.

"My name is Elbaima Ecin. Do you mind if I sit with you?"

"Pleased to meet you! I'm Anakin Skywalker."

"My Master and I just got back from a long mission and I don't even recognize most of the people here anymore," Elbaima said sadly.

"Oh wow! How long were you gone?"

"Almost a season. Oh, blaster bolts, I mean about three quarters of a Coruscant year." Elbaima sighed. "We spent a few months on Corellia, and I seem to have become too accustomed to their local slang."

"Uh, yeah. I haven't been here for three years myself. What does everybody do around here for fun?"

"There are many activities! I'm part of a swimming group. Would you like to join? There is a meeting every week. Sometimes that's the only way to find some of your old friends."

"I'll ask." Anakin tried not to look nervous. He was worried that Elbaima might ask him more about swimming or where he'd been the last three years. Anakin was grateful when Elbaima stood up excitedly.

"Suoicarg!" he called with a grin.

Another Padawan was carrying a tray to their table. Anakin didn't realize that she was a girl until she came and sat down. Her brown hair was longer then his and Elbaima's standard Padawan style. It was all twisted into a small bun at the base of her neck. Her braid was different, too. It was longer and had a thin lavender ribbon woven in it.

"I almost didn't recognize you, Elbaima!" She had a lovely smile. "Good afternoon, I am Suoicarg Ydal." She nodded her head to Anakin.

"Ah! My manners! This is Anakin Skywalker. He has just returned after three years!"

"Um, hi." Anakin tried not to mumble. She looked older than him and Anakin couldn't help comparing her to Amidala.

"That is very long! Where did you go?"

"Mostly around some of the Mid-rim worlds." Anakin quickly tried to think of a way to change the subject. "Why do you have a ribbon in your braid?"

Suoicarg lifted one pale hand to the Padawan braid on her shoulder. Anakin noticed that her fingernails were naturally a pastel blue. I don't think she is human, he thought to himself.

"All girls do. Some of the others get silly and add metallic ribbons, but I think that could be dangerous in a fight."

"I see. Didn't guys have beads in theirs, uh, three years ago?" Anakin tried to remember how Obi-Wan's had looked.

"Let me think... yes, but that was then. We don't right now," Elbaima explained.

A small stir began at the entrance of the dining hall. Through the doors walked five Padawans. Two were human girls, two were aliens Anakin didn't recognize. They were lead by a very confident-looking human male. They marched over to collect their meals and sat at a deserted table across the room.

Suoicarg and Elbaima sighed wistfully at the same time. Suoicarg looked at Anakin's confused face and explained it to him.

"That is Lavir Ruoy, the most famous Padawan in the Temple and those four are some of his Elite."

"Everybody wants to be friends with Lavir," Elbaima said as they watched a couple of Padawans timidly approach the Elite.

Anakin turned to his companions. "Okay I'll ask. Why?"

"He is the best."

"And he only associates with the best."

Anakin glanced back over at the Elite. "They look kinda like a gang to me."

"Oh no, they aren't mean to anyone." As if to prove what Elbaima said, they saw Lavir's face look remorseful and the two Padawans turned away from the Elite with sad but hopeful expressions.

Suoicarg clasped her slender hands on the table. "Those two will keep trying to prove themselves worthy to join his group, like many others have attempted to."

"Like the two of you?" Anakin said seriously.

His new friends were silent, but not ashamed.

Obi-Wan was the first to return home. He had brought a packaged dinner with him from one of the dining halls.

"No eating out?" Anakin asked as he set the table.

"Qui-Gon and I thought it would be best. You can talk about your academics test in privacy here."

"So what did you do all afternoon?"

"Boring stuff. I've arranged for us to use one of the saber sparring rooms after dinner everyday. Except for the days that the Council teaches you. We don't know what they have planned, so when they are finished with their lesson you will have the remainder of the day free."


"Don't cheer yet, some of them may keep you busy until you drop," Obi-Wan warned.

Obi-Wan looked over at his Padawan curiously. "Anakin, when is your thirteenth birthday?"

"Next week, I was born on The Hyperspace Wars Remembrance Day."

Anakin didn't get a chance to comment on Obi-Wan's surprised reaction because Master Qui-Gon arrived. He was carrying a datapad with Anakin's academic scores. "Hello, Ani." He greeted them and sat at the table. "Did you enjoy your afternoon?"

"Pretty much, yeah," Anakin replied as they ate.

Obi-Wan picked up the datapad Qui-Gon had set on the table. "Not bad, Ani." He handed the scores to the boy.

"I don't understand what some of this says."

"The bars on the left side show what is normal for your age and the right one is where you are at. I was surprised that you did so well in mathematics."

"Huh? Oh, that. I needed to know math to build and fix things in Watto's shop. So, he made sure that I learned a lot. And lately I've been making even harder stuff, like Kaely, and maintaining my ship, so I downloaded lots of tutorials and studied them during hyperspace jumps."

Obi-Wan nodded. "You are about five levels ahead, and there probably isn't much else you'll need to learn in math."

"You will need to take a laboratory class in chemical science. That will be in the morning. History, economics, and writing lessons can be downloaded from our holo-terminal. You don't need to begin learning other languages until after you have caught up on everything else. All of the morning will be various Force exercises with Obi-Wan and I. While in the Temple, it is customary for Padawans to spend the whole afternoon studying their school lessons and use it as free time."

"What about group things like swimming and stuff?"

"You mean the societies and sports?"

"Yeah, fun stuff."

"Those are all formed and organized by the Padawans, Ani," Qui-Gon explained. "Of course, the largest is always the Saber Dueling. I remember the Music Association was the most popular when I was training. Everyone wanted to write songs and perform them."

"There are clubs for just about everything, art, science, different Coruscant sports, though I rarely played those, watching two groups compete was always fun," Obi-Wan added. "Perhaps you could form a droid building group."

"I made a couple of friends today and they invited me to join a swimming group."

Obi-Wan sensed Anakin's uneasiness. "And that is a problem because...?"

"I can't swim."

"We'll fix that."

Anakin nodded. "So how was your afternoon, Master Qui-Gon?"

"Busy. Until you are ready to go on missions, I will be teaching a class of Initiates every afternoon."

"This evening," Obi-Wan said, "you'll begin katas and tomorrow you can start building your lightsaber."

The next day's saber lesson was tiring. Anakin examined the lightsaber in his hand. It was only a training saber and on temporary loan until he could build his own. He noticed its weight and balance and tried to find a comfortable way to grasp the handle. Activating it, he absently glanced at the orange blade.

The evening before Anakin had been excited when his masters taught him the first saber kata. However, today it was no longer fun. I just want to go to sleep, he thought miserably. I just want to forget about today.

Day two of Padawan training had been one disappointment or frustration after another. He was mortified to discover that all of the kids in the chemical lab class were initiates. He tried to not worry about it even though the nearest his age was a whole year younger than him. It also didn't help that he towered over all of them, even the teacher. I always thought it would be great to be tall, but it wasn't today.

The continuing evaluation with Master Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan was disheartening as well. No matter how hard he tried Anakin could not duplicate how to walk through a laser shield. After several grueling attempts, Anakin could only stare at the immovable laser wall in defeat. His face burned with embarrassment when he admitted that he really didn't know how he had done it the first and only time.

After that, his masters tested him on Force exercises he had never attempted or thought of before. Anakin had no idea how to perform a mind trick. He'd never tried to heal an injury to himself. Telepathy didn't work either. When they suggested that he begin learning to meditate now that he could control his glowing, Anakin stared at them as though they had gone mad. They have got to be kidding! It's hard to stop the Force light, and I've done okay without meditating so far.

He'd been late to lunch and ate alone. Neither of his new friends was there, having already finished and gone. Studying his lessons had been easy, but time consuming, that afternoon. He had completed two lessons per subject and even wrote an essay. It was all rather boring.

But the worst was starting to build his lightsaber. Never in his life had Anakin ever encountered a mechanical part that he couldn't immediately fix or construct perfectly. And Kaely had made a nuisance of herself and kept snatching the parts and flying off with them. The saber pieces were a confusing puzzle and after three furious hours Anakin gave up.

Qui-Gon scolded him for becoming angry and Obi-Wan told him that initiates build their own lightsabers when they are ten. Needless to say, Anakin didn't speak to either of them during the evening meal while they were in one of the large dining halls. And he hardly noticed when he was introduced to a few of his master's friends.

Obi-Wan's voice intruded on Anakin's depressing thoughts. "Remain steady, Padawan. You must keep your knees bent and step forward without straightening your legs. Your shoulders should remain level as you move."

"Yes, Master." Anakin sighed dismally. What will I need a lightsaber for anyhow? I could just absorb whatever someone shot at me. Maybe it's a good exercise thing. Or a fun way to torture Padawans.

Two days later, Padawan life didn't look quite so grim.

"Wizard! You almost can't tell you are inside!" Anakin exclaimed in awe as his new friends led him into the Room of a Thousand Fountains. Even with all of the traveling he had done since leaving Tatooine, open water and forests still amazed him.

The two Padawans looked at him strangely. "You sound like you've never been here before," Suoicarg said in confusion.

Anakin had known that someone would find out eventually. He decided that if anyone didn't like the fact that he hadn't grown up at the Temple like everyone else, then too bad. He wouldn't feel ashamed.

"I haven't seen much of the Temple yet. The first time I came here was almost three and a half years ago and that was only for a day."

His new friends nodded, but didn't ask for more information. Anakin was surprised. I would've asked a ton of questions. Are they just being polite or do Padawans just expect to be told what they need to know and that's all?

At the end of the path was their destination. It was a medium sized open courtyard with low benches arranged in a circle. A crowd of about forty Padawans, with more still arriving filled most of the seats. In the middle of the space stood Lavir Ruoy.

Elbaima managed to find the three of them a free space on a bench. He explained to Anakin what was going on.

"Lavir is allowing someone to try to become a member of the Elite. This is very rare. When was the last time, Suoicarg?"

"At least two months ago. I don't think that Sliaf will succeed today."

Elbaima looked at Anakin's puzzled face. "We are confusing him, Suoicarg. She means the Padawan who will fight today."

"How did this whole Elite thing start anyhow?"

"About two years ago," Elbaima took a deep breath, "during one of the official lightsaber competitions Lavir won very easily. Everyone was surprised because he was only sixteen and normally, no one wins so fast. The end of the contest normally is very long and exciting because several older Padawans are all very close in skill, but Lavir has changed that."

"Lavir has won every competition since then, even against the Padawans who are already over twenty years old! He has also defeated several of the Masters," Suoicarg supplied.

Elbaima nodded. "He became leader of the Saber Dueling club, of course, and then formed the Elite. Everyone in the Elite must be very good at dueling, but they also must be the best at something else."

"One of them is the best Healer apprentice, another is the best pilot, the best artist, one is the best at levitating herself," Suoicarg listed them. "There are only sixteen members of the Elite and half of them are older than Lavir."

Anakin thought about this for a moment while the crowd of Padawans doubled. "So, Lavir is going to duel Sliaf today?"

"No, he would just win quickly." Elbaima waved one dark hand at the center of the courtyard. "Lavir always watches the duel to assess the new person's ability against one of the Elite."

"Today, Sliaf will be fighting Htapelet." Suoicarg tapped her pastel blue nails together. "They are both about the same size and strength. Lavir is careful to make sure that whoever wants to be an Elite gets a fair chance."

Suddenly the eighteen-year-old Padawan in the middle raised one arm. Instantly, everyone fell silent.

"Sliaf has requested to join the Elite," Lavir announced. His voice was strong and captivating. A greenish light reflected off a single metal adornment on his brown Padawan braid. "Htapelet has agreed to test her."

Lavir gestured for both to take their places in the courtyard. They bowed to each other and activated their lightsabers. Lavir stepped away from them. "May the Force be with you both. Begin."

The lavender and yellow sabers flashed and slammed into each other. Anakin plugged his ears to block out the wildly cheering crowd. Everyone else enjoyed the battle immensely, but Anakin was bored. After eight or nine moves, Htapelet succeeded in disarming Sliaf.

"Well done, both of you," Lavir said graciously, looking at the defeated Padawan. "You are quite skilled, Sliaf, and I am sure that you will become an Elite next year."

The crowd cheered again and Anakin decided to leave. He didn't even bother to see if his friends followed or not. Stepping around the Padawans who were sitting on the ground in front of the benches, he had just made it to the exit when he realized that someone was speaking to him.

"I said, bring me a towel."

Anakin turned to see Htapelet standing a few meters away and holding out one hand. Anakin looked down at the small stack of towels, water containers, and a healer's kit resting on the ground by the nearest bench.

"Get it yourself," Anakin said absently.

Htapelet's jaw dropped and several of the nearby Padawans looked at Anakin in shock. Anakin had already continued to walk away and didn't notice.

Htapelet regained his wits. "Why do you refuse?"

Anakin gave him a scathing look. "You have perfectly operational hands and feet, however if you don't feel like walking, just levitate it."

"That would be a trivial use of the Force!" Htapelet scoffed.

"Convenient excuse," Anakin replied and left quickly.

As Anakin walked deeper into the Room of a Thousand Fountains, his anger grew. I knew it! People are all the same! I shouldn't have hoped that the Jedi would be any different!

Far from the crowd, Anakin stopped by a loud waterfall and sat in the hollow of a great tree. "I bet every single one of those Padawans would have obeyed that guy without a thought. Oh, they would be so happy to do anything for an Elite!" he mumbled incoherently to himself.

I won't be a slave to anybody ever again!


Htapelet turned around as Lavir walked to him. "How bizarre, that Padawan didn't do as I said."

"He's probably just one of the Failures and naturally resents us," Lavir rationalized quietly.

"No. He has not challenged us. I've never seen him before."

"Well, then. Find out who he is," Lavir instructed.

That evening, Anakin entered the apartment and projected false cheer. "I'm home." He called out. It is nice to be able to say that again! He could sense that his masters were not there, but of course something was.

Kaely came flying to him and whistled out her usual greeting. The tiny pink droid wobbled unsteadily in the air with something white trailing behind her.

"What have you gotten into this time?" Anakin asked in a bored tone. Kaely loved to explore and he knew that it would only be a matter of time before she got stuck in or on something.

He used the Force to hold her steady while he untangled one of his tunics. He just shook his head.

"And what were you doing in my closet?" The cloth was snagged on the joint of her arm appendage.

Kaely only emitted a non-committal beep. This was just the way life was for her.

After freeing his droid and not even bothering to reprimand her, Anakin wandered into the kitchen. He knew that dinner would be soon, but as a growing boy, he rationalized that he needed a snack.

"I don't suppose you noticed any junk food during your exploring today?" he asked his tiny pink shadow.

She whistled negatively and decided to help search. They opened the cabinets and found many packages that they didn't recognize, but nothing even vaguely unhealthy.

"Sandblast it! They gotta have some kind of secret stash around here."

Giving up for the time being, Anakin went to the holo-terminal in the alcove. He wanted to search for the addresses of all the nearest junk shops. Those empty cabinets in his room were just begging to be filled with droid parts and tools. He hardly spared a glance at his bedroom's open door.

But then he looked again. "KAELY!"

The miniature torture device was instantly nowhere to be found. Kaely may have been only a year old, but she knew when she was in trouble.

Later that evening, Anakin and his masters returned home after another exhausting lightsaber practice. Obi-Wan looked around the apartment suspiciously for an ambush.

"Where is the pink pest?"

"She's hiding from me."

Qui-Gon looked at Anakin sympathetically. "What did she do this time?"

Anakin groaned. "Graffiti."

Obi-Wan raised his eyebrows and even Qui-Gon was curious.

"I've cleaned up some of it." Anakin sighed. "She's mad that I didn't take her with me today."

Anakin wasn't surprised that Obi-Wan wanted to see it, but he felt embarrassed that Qui-Gon did, too. Scrawled in brown across Anakin's bedroom wall were vague pictures of stick figures and a round object that might have been a portrait of Kaely herself.

Obi-Wan just shook his head. "What did she use?"

"My whole container of boot polish."

Qui-Gon was practical. "Tomorrow you can fetch a roll of disposable art paper and some washable paint for our aspiring artist," he smiled at Anakin. "Would you like some help?"

"Yes, please!" Anakin was glad and surprised. He had been dreading cleaning up the rest of Kaely's revenge.

The Second Month of Training

Anakin strode briskly through the great hallways to his first Council lesson. Mace Windu had sent the summons to Master Qui-Gon the night before. Anakin was relaxed and was finally becoming accustomed to the weight of his training saber attached to his belt. He had been rather surprised when Obi-Wan told him that the Padawans were allowed to carry their sabers while in the Temple. It was supposed to promote discipline and encourage the apprentices to never forget to arm themselves while on missions. And they were only low power lightsabers anyway.

Master Windu was already in the star map room. He was sitting in a meditative pose. Anakin bowed briefly upon entering.

"Good morning, Master Windu." Anakin greeted him calmly. Now, is he going to be actually polite?

"Good morning, Anakin."

Mace smiled and gestured for Anakin to sit across from him on the floor. For a moment Anakin wondered if the Senior Council Member had sensed his thoughts, but then dismissed the idea. Anakin really didn't care if he had. Master Windu was treating him like a person, and that was enough for now.

"Each lesson you receive from us will be very different. We each have our own methods and rules for how we will instruct you. Today, I will begin with time perceptions. You may practice this on your own so long as you don't allow it to interfere with your Masters' lessons. I will have you demonstrate your progress for the next three weeks."

Mace folded his hands as he began his lecture. "Time perception is a very useful manner to gain knowledge. It is most frequently used to determine the past and present, which are set. Seeing the future is extremely difficult due to its fluid nature. To begin you must be calm. This cannot be done in the face of danger. But beware, a Jedi's visions may not be entirely accurate, for what you see is only a highly possible event that can be altered."

He paused abruptly, "Have you seen the future before, Anakin?" Mace suddenly asked.

"Maybe. I'm not really sure. I've seen images of places and other stuff while I'm awake, but it usually happens too fast for me to understand."

"The simplest is seeing the present. You easily do this by sensing when your Masters or a friend is in danger. In your mind you think of the person or place you wish to see, as they currently exist. Through patience you may perceive a somewhat accurate view of what is about to transpire, but it will lack most major details. It is very difficult to see any details in a vision of the future."

Anakin's eyes were very wide as he listened.

Mace noticed, but chose not to show it. "Today, we will focus on visions of the past. Anakin, feel this room. Let the Force carry you to where it wishes. Think of a time past or perhaps someone you know."

Master Windu waited expectantly. Even seeing the past seldom gave much information. Anakin had proven to excel in so many things, Mace was curious as to how much detail the boy would grasp.

Anakin could feel the Jedi Master following his efforts. It took a second for him to realize that Master Windu would see everything that he saw. The eddies in the Force carried Anakin's thoughts and he had to cling to the room with his mind in order to stay there. Just for a moment he thought of Master Qui-Gon, and a glimmering figure appeared to his right.

Anakin watched in fascination as the waves ceased and the figure became a boy. He was younger than Anakin and smiling broadly. The boy's lips moved soundlessly as he responded to an indistinct question and then he began to excitedly hop from one foot to the other.

Suddenly, Anakin could clearly hear the next words spoken. "Padawan, still you will be."

The Padawan's eyes sparkled as he answered, "Yes, my Master."

Abruptly, the vision ended. Anakin opened his eyes and looked at Master Windu. Is he smirking at me? Or was the vision funny for some reason? Anakin was perplexed.

Even though he had seen it all exactly as Anakin had, he wanted to hear what Anakin thought about it. "Tell me what you saw," Mace instructed.

"I saw Master Qui-Gon as a Padawan and he was in this room with Master Yoda. But I didn't actually see Yoda, I only could hear him."

"Well done, Anakin, you may go now and I will see you again next week."

Anakin was surprised to realize that it was lunchtime. The vision had taken all morning.

"What is so funny?"

Anakin looked up with a grin as Obi-Wan entered the alcove. Anakin had set up a worktable against one wall and was assembling more of his lightsaber. Obi-Wan was surprised to see Anakin so cheerful. His Padawan usually had displayed absolute contempt for the weapon.

"The lesson with Master Windu was fun today!"

"Good, I assume you did well? What was it about?"

"Time perception, and in particular, seeing the past." Anakin grinned even more. "Did you know that Master Qui-Gon was a little hyper as a Padawan?"

Obi-Wan stared incredulously. "It's a bit difficult to imagine."

Anakin just snickered more. Obi-Wan got a sneaky look on his face. "This sounds like an excellent opportunity to teach you memory sharing!"

They sat in the middle of the alcove. It had become the most pleasant spot in the apartment. The alcove had only a holo-terminal and now Anakin's worktable for furniture, and Qui-Gon had set his plants along the huge windows. Obi-Wan had placed on the floor a simple, but elegant, soft rug that he'd been given on one of his missions.

"Think about what you saw, and perhaps we will be able to reconnect to it."

"Yes, Master."

For several minutes they both became composed and serious. Slowly, Obi-Wan guided his Padawan on how to transfer memories through the training bond.

"Imagine that you are in the same place you saw the vision. Now, imagine that I am sitting there with you." Obi-Wan followed Anakin's trail and soon saw the star map room with a frozen blur that had to be Mace Windu. Anakin was focusing almost too heavily and Obi-Wan nearly startled him when he spoke again.

"Remember what you thought of while in this room and let it carry you forward."

Anakin relaxed and the memory became clearly visible and played itself out. Then Obi-Wan grinned and opened his eyes.

"I am almost certain that was just before Qui-Gon's first mission. No wonder he was so excited. I believe he was about twelve years old, possibly eleven, but I doubt it."

"He was Master Yoda's Padawan?"

Obi-Wan nodded. "He must have driven Yoda crazy with all that fidgeting." He shook his head. "Ah, I have something for you."

Obi-Wan quickly went to his room and returned with a simply wrapped package. "Happy birthday, Ani."

Anakin looked at his master in confusion as Obi-Wan handed him the gift. "Thank you. What is this?"

"A birthday gift. It is a Jedi tradition for the masters to give their Padawans something for their thirteenth birthday," Obi-Wan explained and looked at him curiously. "You've never had a birthday present?"

"No." Anakin slowly opened the package and carefully pulled out two ancient books. The cover and delicate pages were each covered in a protective clear sealant. He opened the dark green one first. It was filled with faded illustrations and words in an archaic version of Basic, but it was still readable. The brown book was larger and noticeably older, but the interior was still in good condition.

"Over the last three and a half years, I've come across some old Jedi manuscripts while on my missions. I donated most of them to the Great Archive here in the Temple, but I knew they already had copies of these."

Anakin looked up from the first book. "This was written just after the Sith War a thousand years ago."

"Yes, and the older book is a collection of Jedi prophecies."

"Thank you, Obi-Wan," Anakin said with a happy smile.

At that moment, Qui-Gon entered the apartment door. They looked over at him and instantly burst out laughing.

"Am I amusing?"

"Yes," Obi-Wan told him and quickly changed the subject. "Where is your gift for Ani?"

Qui-Gon smiled, pulled his gift out of a sack he was carrying and placed it in Anakin's hands. It was almost too large for Anakin to hold in one hand and it was very heavy. The texture was coarse and rough and it was a dark uniform brown.

"I knew it! I just knew you'd give him a rock!"

Anakin was unperturbed. "Thank you, Master. It's beautiful."

Qui-Gon was careful not to look surprised, but Obi-Wan stared at him. "Ani, you are supposed be shocked and say, 'It's just a rock!'"

Anakin smirked. "Yeah, but I know something you don't." He shut his eyes and focused on the dull, ugly hunk of earth. Slowly, a line formed across its surface and the rock neatly split in half. The white crystal interior glowed and sparkled in the light, acting like a prism to send beams of color all around the room.

Anakin grinned, thanked them both again and took his presents to his room. Qui- Gon looked sharply at the books and didn't speak until Anakin was out of hearing range.

"We are still under orders not to explain the prophecy of the Chosen One to him."

Obi-Wan only nodded and looked at his friend, daring him to disapprove.

"Very clever, I wish I'd thought of it myself," Qui-Gon said with a smile.

Anakin was very pleased with both of his gifts. Kaely flew about the room playing in the prism's colors and singing. Deciding to read the books later, he thought about what Master Windu had taught him.

Searching the present would be really great! I want to see Mom. Gotta think of Tatooine. He remembered the sand and heat, his mother's eyes and her voice. But he could not focus on anything no matter how far he reached. Whatever she was doing or feeling would not come to him. Is she just too far away? Anakin sighed in disappointment.

Naboo is really far, too. But Anakin decided to try anyway. Naboo was not quite as far as Tatooine, so he hoped to receive a glimpse or vague feeling. He thought of Queen Amidala and pulled strongly at the Force. At once images slammed into him.

"Whoa!" Anakin's head reeled and he had to fight his first urge to stop all together. Slowly, he tried to process it.

An elegant room with many people. Lots of handmaidens, of course. There she is! She is such a beautiful Queen. Blue dress and hair down in long waves. This must be some big social function. How dare he kiss my angel's hand! Just who does that guy think he is!

The vision ended abruptly when Anakin became jealous. Kaely chirped at him in concern. He ignored her and went to the holo-terminal in the alcove. It took an hour of hunting before he was certain that no handsome dignitaries were currently visiting Naboo. But his anxiety only increased further. He nearly jumped when he found a small holo-news report. No wonder the vision was so easy to see, she is very close. Queen Amidala was on a state visit to Alderaan.

So, that guy was some prince? Well, he can't have my Padme.

A Few Days Later

"You will behave, you got that?"

Kaely whistled enthusiastically as she bobbed along in the air. Anakin tugged at his swimming outfit nervously. Standard Jedi swimwear was nothing fancy, just a close fitting sleeveless tunic made of two thin layers and pants that ended just above the knees. It was a style that fit most species. It looked a little too much like underwear to him.

Anakin had never felt so underdressed. He had seen other people clad in less, but very rarely and he hadn't really cared. That wasn't the same when it was you. No one would ever wear so little under Tatooine's suns for it was too dangerous. Anakin looked at his bare arms in embarrassment. He had gained some weight since returning to the Temple and now was no longer so thin. All of the exercise and work he'd done over the past year had helped his muscles grow. He'd been proud of how his biceps were finally beginning to look a little closer to normal, but he didn't want everybody to see them.

A large group of Padawans was loudly having fun in the second largest lake in the Temple. A variety of smooth rocks had been carved and shaped to serve as slides and diving perches, yet they still blended smoothly into the garden's landscape.

"Try to remember that you are not waterproof, Kaely." Taking a deep breath, Anakin walked over to his friends. Suoicarg was sitting on the bank with her feet in the water. She was dressed in the same beige swimming clothes as him and all of the others, but her hair was in a simple ponytail today.

"Hello, Ani!"

"Hi. Where is Elbaima?"

"Over there." She pointed to the higher cliff over the deeper area of the water. "He wanted to dive. He's coming."

Elbaima did a flip off the rock and fell smoothly into the water. Anakin watched in awe as the older boy glided under the waves and surfaced near them. Anakin noticed with some relief that Elbaima was not ashamed that his arms were exposed. Well, if he is okay with it, then I won't worry either. Come to think of it, even Suoicarg doesn't seem uncomfortable.

"Anakin! I'm so glad you came!"

Tentatively, Anakin stepped down into the warm water. It only came up to his knees. I will not be afraid! He stayed by the rock Suoicarg was on and tried not to think about it. Master Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had taken him swimming twice and taught him the basics.

It was Kaely that provided the distraction he needed. She buzzed around Suoicarg and landed on the rock beside her beeping, loudly.

"This is my droid, Kaely," he explained. "Kaely, this is Suoicarg and Elbaima."

The teenagers glanced down at the round, pink object, clearly perplexed.

"Hello," Suoicarg nervously murmured.

Elbaima just looked shocked that he was expected to talk to a droid. "Greetings."

Kaely didn't seem to notice and cheerfully returned her own version of welcome.

"Good afternoon."

They looked up to see a much older Padawan, easily in her twenties. Anakin noticed that she had a greenish metal pin attached to her braid like the one he'd seen on Lavir. She's an Elite, he realized.

"Hello, Bonsetuc," Suoicarg said quietly. "I noticed your leader is absent from the Temple today."

The Elite answered coolly. "Indeed, Lavir and his master have been sent as liaisons to the Hapes Cluster. The Hapan ambassadors refuse to speak to any other Jedi except Master Sediced. As you know, she is a brilliant negotiator. If anyone can convince the Hapans to join the Republic, it would be her." She spoke in a very important tone and elegantly waved her yellowish arms in the air.

She suddenly looked down at Anakin from her perch on the rocks. "Your master is Obi-Wan Kenobi, yes?"


Suoicarg's eyes widened. "Knight Kenobi is famous throughout the Order!"

Elbaima smiled and clamped his dark toned hand on Anakin's shoulder. "It is a great honor to be his apprentice. Everyone knows that he slew a Sith!"

However, Bonsetuc regarded Anakin calmly. "I was not aware that he had taken a Padawan. How did he come to choose you?"

"It was a bit unusual," Anakin hedged. "How did you find out?"

"People talk, but there actually seemed to be some confusion. Some thought you were Master Jinn's Padawan."

"I am."

Bonsetuc narrowed her eyes dangerously. "What do you mean by that?"

"I have two masters."

The three of them stared at Anakin. I knew that it was unusual, but they don't have to act like this. Irritation was creeping into his mind.

"That is impossible. No one has two Masters, that makes no sense... ouch!" Bonsetuc turned her head as Kaely squealed angrily and pulled her Padawan braid sharply. Bonsetuc swiped at the droid and scowled.

"That's enough, Kaely!" Anakin shouted. Kaely let go, but continued to scold Bonsetuc viciously.

Bonsetuc was obviously insulted. She turned and walked briskly away without saying goodbye.

"Ani?" was all that Suoicarg dared to say. She didn't want to accuse her new friend of lying or be attacked by his pink droid.

"It's true. The Council themselves decided that I needed two masters. Master Qui-Gon had already chosen me, and Master Obi-Wan wanted me too, so that's how it is."

Elbaima and Suoicarg seemed to consider this a moment before concluding that it must be the truth. Instantly, they both became curious and excited.

"Why did you need two?"

"Master Jinn is just as famous!"

"You must be great with a lightsaber, Ani!"

"I've never heard of anyone having two masters!"

"Uh, can we go swimming now?" Anakin tried desperately to stop the questions without being rude.

Elbaima looked at Anakin sympathetically. "Yes, lets just swim."

Suoicarg nodded and pulled her legs out of the water. Anakin was a little stunned to notice that though normally her skin was merely lighter than his own, her legs had turned a pale lavender in reaction to the moisture. She ran over to a nearby ledge and dived into the lake.

Someday I gotta work up the courage to ask her what species she is. Anakin stoically moved out towards the deeper water and followed Elbaima. Kaely whistled at him nervously. She had been with him while he was learning to swim and she knew how hard this was for him.

I will not let this bother me. I swam just fine with my masters. I can do this! He dove under and swam out as far as he dared. When he broke the surface he smiled proudly to himself.

A loud fanfare blared from the shore. Anakin had to fight the blush rising to his cheeks when the whole crowd in the lake stared at his little droid. Kaely flew over the water cheering and waved a small rectangle of blue and white cloth with her arm attachment. Anakin looked at her aghast as she stopped to hover over him.

"Who gave you that flag!?" he whispered in embarrassment and snatched it from her. Looking closer he saw the words 'Go Ani!' printed on it.

My masters are gonna get it for this!

"I oughta melt this down and use it for scrap."

Anakin muttered to himself as he tinkered with his lightsaber. It was nearly finished. He had the casing and the circuit board done. All that remained was installing the focusing crystals.

"Fit in there you... hey!"

Anakin glared up at Kaely. She had thrown a paintbrush at the back of his head. The tiny droid squawked and scolded him.

"I wasn't gonna say anything bad!"

Kaely didn't believe him. She returned to her painting in a huff. One of the walls in the alcove had become Kaely's easel. Obi-Wan had insisted that it be one that could not be seen from the main room. From the floor to the ceiling, Anakin's weekly chore was to remove and attach wide strips of art paper to the entire wall.

Kaely had a three-year-old child's finger painting set and a few brushes. She drew anything she saw, and was very picky about what colors she chose. Anakin was always careful to not criticize her work lest she sabotage his room in retaliation. Though how Master Qui-Gon had known that the brown blob she'd made was supposed to be a bantha was beyond Anakin and Obi-Wan's comprehension.

At least it kept her out of trouble most of the time.



Master Qui-Gon was testing his class today. The next initiate began the exercise. She flipped into a handstand and slowly levitated two objects. Qui- Gon had placed a variety of things on the floor; a cup, two small boxes, a ball, a handful of tiny pebbles, a small potted plant and even a towel. He judged them by not only by their skill, but also unbeknownst to the students, also their temperament.

Nearly all of them first picked up the boxes or the ball. They were required to lift all of the items until they were holding them all. What order they chose revealed much about their personalities and their affinity for the Force.

This student chose the plant next. Qui-Gon was pleased to see that she recognized that lifting the plant would actually help her maintain her connection with the living Force. Due to her choice, she had no difficulty raising the rest of the objects.

Qui-Gon nodded his approval as she finished and turned to call the next initiate. Suddenly, he felt as though the air was knocked out of him. The room spun and Qui-Gon had to fight to remain on his feet.

"Master Jinn?" One of the larger students went to stand by him in case he fell. The others crowded around.

"Are you hurt?"

"Do you need help?"

Qui-Gon's vision cleared finally and he took a deep breath. ~~Obi-Wan!~~ he called out across the Temple with the Force. In relief he felt that his former student was already on his way.

Qui-Gon stood straighter and the initiates relaxed somewhat. "I am needed elsewhere," he announced carefully. "Class dismissed."

So not to alarm the children he only walked out of the room and then broke into a full run down the hall. Even though Anakin had not yet learned telepathy, Qui-Gon called to him anyway.

~~I'm coming, Ani, just hold on.~~

Obi-Wan raced through the corridors, wishing desperately that he could walk through walls. He had been in a training room teaching, delighted when asked to test the older initiates' saber skills. He hoped that he would be able to encourage and help them become Padawan material.

However, today when Obi-Wan felt Anakin's distress it had caused him to nearly collapse. The initiate he was sparring with had been quite shocked when she easily knocked his lightsaber across the room. He had managed to recover from the first wave of disorientation within seconds, but with the effort had nearly vomited. His pale face and stumbling had frightened the students.

In a daze, Obi-Wan had not been able to even identify what was happening until he realized it was coming through the training bond. No matter how he tried, Obi-Wan could neither block out nor soothe his Padawan's suffering as it spilled into the bond.

In his rush to get to Anakin, Obi-Wan vaulted over a crowd of small children on their way to one of the gardens. ~~Please stay calm, Ani. I'm almost there.~~ He wasn't sure if Anakin could even hear him. In times of great stress or danger, Jedi could sometimes call to one another with the Force. Even if, like Anakin, they had no telepathic training or completely lacked the talent.

Despite his efforts to encourage Anakin, Obi-Wan wasn't sure if he could really do anything to help. He literally slid down the last passage and opened the apartment door with the Force.