A Change of Plans

By LuvEwan

This was originally a response to a challenge in the Obi-Wan Character Workshop, created by obi_ew and red_rose_knight, with the subject of Write a scene where Obi-Wan dies. Twelve pages into it, I realized this story wasn't going where it was initially intended, so it's now just a short story…which doesn't mean that I've exactly strayed from that topic. You'll just have to wait and see. Moo hoo ha ha.

Rating: PG-13

Summary: An unexpected source of illness seriously threatens the life of Obi-Wan, while his Master fights to prevent tragedy.

Disclaimer: No recognizable characters/planets, etc. belong to me. I earned no profit from writing this….cuz let's face it, who would pay to read this?

Time Period: Approximately five years prior to TPM

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Obi-Wan remembered flipping through his geography textbook, to the glossy images of lush, jade leaves and clusters of dew-dotted blooms, all beneath a breathtaking sky of flawless turquoise. As a young child, he was intrigued by two atmospheres, strikingly different from the mechanical, programmed Coruscant, and completely contrasting to one another.

He wanted to explore the desert.

And he wanted to travel through the looping vines and soft grounds of a jungle.

His passionate curiosity had not faded with the passing of time. Whenever an assignment led he and his Master to any landscape resembling a jungle, Obi-Wan could not help but satisfy his interest, drinking in every manner of flora and fauna as though they were the glittering, calm water of the streams that wove through the exotic undergrowth.

Of course, few things were as ideal in person as they were when captured in a holographic image. The beauty was not always so captivating…

On Eume'Li, such a flattering adjective could in no way apply. Firstly, the palate of color was dulled considerably, for the earth had been drained of moisture in the midst of a terrible drought. The tops of the towering trees, once full and sustaining life of both animal and a variety of plump fruits, were now browned at their drooping ends. Only a few shriveled pits clung to the deteriorating base of their existence.

The terrain was rough from the lingering dehydration, and most of the wild creatures, outside of the abundant, practically invincible insects, had set forth in search of a more plentiful habitat, leaving a largely deserted wasteland in their wake. Some could not abandon the instinct imbedded within their simple systems, and their open-mouthed carcasses were found too often as the Jedi team made their stoic trek.

Obi-Wan had to school his features very quickly to prevent a grimace from reaching his face as he caught sight of another small, furry victim of the dire change in climate.

Knight Ullo Tirr could not contain his disgust. A fairly seasoned warrior entering his third decade, Tirr was a valuable counterpart to the Master/apprentice pair. Within the halls of the Temple, he was regarded as a sage intellect and skilled duelist, well-liked by most. And, just as another rogue Jedi had once been known for, he was very hesitant to take a Padawan. He was completely aware that to be ascended to the level of Master, he would need to train an initiate to knighthood…for now, he could afford to wait. His wavy, obsidian hair reached his neck, and was drawn back in a tie. His olive-tinted face was morose, and he touched his chin, covered in dark bristles, as he often did when troubled. "Such massive loss. And worse, so much of it was preventable. If only the Eume'Li authorities had recognized the dilemma sooner."

"Indeed." Qui-Gon's agreement was illustrated with a short nod. His narrowed eyes swept over the dying scenery with typical Jedi keenness . "And the damaging effect on the animal population is twofold. If any species began to die out, it would leave their carnivorous predators without a source of food."

Possessing a renewed, sharpened perspective of the tragedy, the trio continued walking.

After a quiet moment, Obi-Wan turned to his teacher. The spiked ends of his Padawan-style, auburn hair were alight in the glare of the sun. Although he was nearing the title of senior apprentice, the shorn locks enhanced the naturally boyish composition of his face.

It was a somewhat misleading appearance, Qui-Gon regularly reflected, when given a free moment to do so. For all of Obi-Wan's sparks of humor and innocence, his protégé was also fiercely intelligent and as experienced in both combat and diplomacy as any member of the Order his age—and older. His countenance could offer a glimpse into his soul and emotion, if he chose to allow expression to transform it. Much of the time, he did not.

Today, there was a distinct cast of sorrow to his multi-hued eyes, eyes that shifted from cobalt to a turbulent gray as he spoke. "I don't understand how the government can warrant such a delay in action. Signs of serious distress must have been visible long before they filed for Disaster Recognition and Relief with the Senate."

Qui-Gon sighed heavily. "But, as you can easily tell," He splayed out his hands toward their empty surroundings, "we haven't much company on our journey, Padawan. Very few citizens choose to even visit this area of the planet, let alone make residence."

"Wouldn't a sector of environmentalists at least voice their concern?"

The Master shrugged. A dry branch cracked beneath his boot. "It depends. Just because the planet has an environment doesn't mean there's a gaggle of die-hards willing to defend it. The drought isn't strictly limited to the jungles, but there are many sections of Eume'Li who are faring quite well under the circumstances."

"The death of a few thousand creatures and plants is of little consequence to city dwellers. Those who do give a care probably limit themselves to monetary donations—which isn't going to miraculously cause rain to fall from the sky. " Knight Tirr added, in his deep, rather unrefined Core accent. "Money can help, of course, but much more would be required than what citizens would give."

The values of the Eume'Li politicians had been steadily corrupted over the centuries, which was not overlooked by leading members of the Republic. When the entreaty for assistance was finally sent, it came under serious scrutiny. The Eume'Li government was not known for using credit grants wisely-or lawfully. The Council was asked to send a small group to investigate the situation. The amount awarded would be decided based on the mission report.

Only a few hours into their observation, Qui-Gon was certain no foul play could be accused on the government's side. Their worry, however belated, was well-founded.

They still had a significant stretch of ground to cover before they reached the capital, and rivulets of sweat were already running down their foreheads. Their backs were weighed down by the extra burden of canteens, and the abundance of death within the Force was leaving a heavy, melancholic shroud over the three Jedi.

Qui-Gon glanced sidelong at his Padawan, who was staring fixedly at some point in the distance. Obi-Wan would never understand self-centered motivations, like those exhibited by the people of Eume'Li. The youth's heart ached for the suffering within the jungle, a jungle on a planet he had never stepped foot on before.

Obi-Wan could not comprehend the citizens' mindset—a fact that Qui-Gon cherished. In a continuously degenerating society, even with the Jedi circle, genuinely sympathetic souls were hard to come by. The evidence of Obi-Wan and Ullo's compassion was comforting to the elder Jedi.

Qui-Gon was piercingly sensitive to the specific Force readings of every world he visited. He wasn't ecstatic with the vibes he was receiving at the present. Eume'Li was lacking in harmony…

Which was probably why his apprentice had become especially introverted during the last few hours of their trip.

It would do them all some good to stop for a brief rest, the Master concluded. When he suggested it aloud, his counterparts wordlessly followed him to a section of trees and shrubs. Characteristic of the struggling environment, the foliage was shrunken, ruddy and misshapen. But, to Obi-Wan's supreme gratitude, their chosen spot was secluded from the ever-prominent sun.

Qui-Gon watched him sit with a weak stir of concern, but opted not to mention his disquiet. Instead, he pulled out a container of chilled water and took a long drink.

Across from them, Knight Tirr replenished his own parched throat, then slipped into shallow meditation.

Obi-Wan propped his back and head against a tree trunk. A few insects swirled around him and he batted the buzzing specks away with his hand.

Qui-Gon frowned, taking in the damp, shining skin of his Padawan—the boy had yet to so much as take a sip from his canteen.

"Obi-Wan, you shouldn't let moral troubles you have with a mission interfere with your health."

The young man lifted his head, his braid flipping up and eyes apprehensive, as though he were being chastised for something far more serious.

Obi-Wan was prone to feelings of guilt, and he often expected the worst from himself. Qui-Gon immediately regretted speaking so abruptly, and handed him his water as a means of explanation.

With a pale flush, Obi-Wan accepted the cool beverage. "Thank you." He murmured softly, then swallowed two mouthfuls.

Contented, Qui-Gon looked out at the dismal, death-marked panorama. He did not blame Knight Tirr for closing his eyes against such devastation. A single intake of the scene was robbing him of his much-needed emotional balance, and most likely was working overtime on his tenderhearted apprentice. He aimed to steer conversation to lighter topics.

"Summer festival is almost upon us."

"Hmmp. Yes, I'm fully aware."

The older Jedi cocked an eyebrow. "Are you not looking forward to the holiday?"

"Not exactly." Obi-Wan's wide grin clashed with his hopeless tone. "I wouldn't place seeing Master Yaddle in a bathing suit under the category of 'sweet anticipation'."

Qui-Gon swallowed the reflexive bark of laughter that sprung from the unusual mental picture. "Padawan! Show some respect!"

A bit surprised by the reaction, Obi-Wan sobered, wiping the sly smile (with utter difficulty) from his face.

"After all," Qui-Gon quietly added, "there's no rule saying you must participate in the pool-side activities."

The Jedi exchanged devilish, conspiratorial smirks, then settled in for a brief communion with the Force

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The layers of consciousness, tainted by images of needless destruction, made thicker in the hours where talk was scarce and contemplation was rampant, had been stripped away.

What was uncovered was not the blissful simplicity usually found in the intimate center of the energizing, unifying energy.

Obi-Wan was bombarded by whispers.

Countless voices intertwined like a jumble of vibrating threads within his skull, tightening when he attempted to withdraw. Instead of pure, ethereal white, his inner periphery was smothered in dripping darkness.


It isn't right.

Destiny CANNOT shift.

The words were harsh, breathless-desperate. They crowded every crevice of Obi-Wan's unprepared mind.

He gripped for sanity through the confusion, reaching for that interior calm that guided him in harrowing situations.

'Destiny?' He asked the foreign presence.

What is meant to be…will NOT be.

Obi-Wan's very core trembled as an icy shaft passed over him. 'What was meant to be?'

A life force. Strength. Goodness—gone.

Obi-Wan struggled as a mourning such as he had never known engulfed his connection with the Force. Wailing sobs in high pitch sliced through him.


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Qui-Gon emerged from his meditation with a troubled face. Unease had colored his search for mental symmetry and, frustratingly, he could not pinpoint the cause of it. A bitter taste had crept from his mind to his throat. The graying Master swallowed.

"I take it you didn't acquire much satisfaction." Ullo observed, his bright emerald eyes flickering over the other Jedi. He sighed and rested his forearms on his knees. "I could say the same of my own sojourn into the Force. I've never had such a wobbly connection since my initiate days."

Qui-Gon's forehead deeply creased. At the edge of his sight, he could see Obi-Wan had managed a bit better than his elders, still in meditation position.

But the discord he and Tirr had encountered was enough to rattle Qui-Gon's nerves. "The atmosphere is not a friendly one. I hope that is the lone culprit…and not something more sinister."

Tirr rubbed at the dusty ground with a booted foot. "But we can't rule that out, of course."

Qui-Gon couldn't help but move his gaze toward his quiescent charge. With careful hands, he took Obi-Wan's canteen and replaced it in his pack, his eyes never moving from the lax face.

Ullo watched the humble gestures with a small, inquisitive smile. When Qui-Gon had resumed his place against the tree, he spoke. "I don't know how you do it."

The Master crossed his arms over his chest. His chiseled features were altered by genuine interest. "Do what?"

"That." He motioned at Obi-Wan with his head. "Life must be a constant cavalcade of worry for you."

"In what way?"

Tirr shrugged. "Being responsible for another life…I couldn't handle it. On a mission, I can protect lives. I mean, I can watch out for people, as I've been taught. But even a Jedi can be overwhelmed by such a prospect."

"Removing every other purpose, wouldn't you, at least, want the higher rank in the Order?" Qui-Gon wondered.

"Not every Jedi is meant to advance to the Council. As a plain, run-of-the-mill Knight, I have ample use in the field and the classroom. In addition," He released a breath, as though the very idea exhausted him, "not every Jedi is meant to be a parent."

A ghost of a smile touched Qui-Gon's lips. "I can't argue with that. I don't know the makeup of every Knight's psyche. All I know is that-sometimes-fear can masquerade as other things. Fear nearly prevented me from accepting Obi-Wan into my tutelage. I disguised it using a number of excuses: he was too angry, too unsure of himself…hell, even too smart." He chuckled lightly. "But, in the end, if you're very lucky, fate takes a hand when you refuse to offer your own."

Tirr's dark face was further shaded by the dying leaves that cohered to their branches by thin, twisting stems. "I wouldn't view Mastership as a lucky situation."

Qui-Gon was unmoved by the comment. "And some might not view perpetual Knighthood as the perfect life, either."

The tense talk might have continued, if not for Obi-Wan's shuddering gasp that immediately caught both Jedi's attention.

Qui-Gon crouched in front of his apprentice and gripped his arms. "Obi-Wan?" Alarm barely bled into his solid, authoritative tone. "Padawan, come out now."

As Qui-Gon gently, then with a bit of firmness, roused his student, Ullo silently confirmed what he had suspected of Jedi Masters.

When Obi-Wan began to blink, Qui-Gon lifted his hands from the limp arms to the pale cheeks, bracing Obi-Wan's face. "Padawan?"

The object of his concern wet his lips and, in a slightly strangled voice, whispered "This mission…This mission's in trouble."

A notch below his usual diction, yet his simplistic words were a flawless description of the state of their assignment.

Qui-Gon fished out the canteen and ordered Obi-Wan to drink the rest of its contents. Then, he glanced at Tirr, whose grave face matched the mood of his own predictions.

Obi-Wan blinked, hard, twice, trying to dispel the memory of his horrible meditative experience. He concentrated on the water, fresh and filtered of residue, clear and cool, sliding down his throat. His heart was racing; to slow its speed he drank faster, never stopping to consider the measure of illogic to his methods. The sun had shifted since he was last aware of the world around him, and beams belted down through the maze of husked leaves, onto his face.

"Are you alright?" Qui-Gon asked of him, a warm hand coming to rest on his knee.

Obi-Wan nodded. "I'm fine, Master."

Qui-Gon regarded him with unconvinced eyes a moment longer, then retracted, standing and wiping his palms on his legs. "Then we better get on with it. We can make a few strides more before nightfall." Without a word from either Master or apprentice, Qui-Gon helped Obi-Wan to his feet, and wiped the gathering sweat from his gold-tinted forehead.

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Obi-Wan's fingers were curled around the cloth straps of his rucksack. He drummed them whenever a new wave of dizziness threatened to rob him of his remaining remnants of equilibrium. The jungle before him was fuzzy, the trees melding with the horizon in a strange melange that he couldn't blink into correctness.

It seemed that an infinity of eternities had passed since they resumed their journey. Just when he thought the night would surely fall, a patch of violent sunlight would hit him. His head was a mass of unadulterated ache, as was the small of his back. He took several cautious drinks of water, wanting to preserve his resources, but simultaneously needing rejuvenation.

It was becoming increasingly difficult to rationalize his body's behavior. At first, he blamed the weary grind of his temples and faulty vision on the pull of the jungle's incredible chaos. But he had never had such an acute, painful reaction to a mission before. Though the circumstances on Eume'Li were terrible, he knew he had witnessed terrors that were exponentially worse.

A life force…gone.

The messages confounded him. Was the spirit of this ruined place speaking to him, lamenting the massive demise of former splendor?

Strength. Goodness.

He supposed that could be supplied by the starved and homeless creatures of the jungle. With less complex thought processes, animals were closer to innocence than almost any other living sentient. They were part of the cycle of ultimate existence, giving their bodies to the soil—lending strength?

Obi-Wan leaned his head into his palm for a few, fleeting seconds. He wasn't presently equipped to handle such a vital issue.

For once, he could set aside his pride and aspirations of independence…and wish that his Master would solve everything.

In the fog of that tired desire, he laughed inwardly-with no idea as to why.

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The tip of the wretched molten ball finally sank below, and the first tinges of sweet night seeped into the sky.

Qui-Gon had battled the stacking sense of doom for hours, and now that day was temporarily expired, he was anxiety-ridden, and not happy that they would need to stop for sleep.

"Perhaps we should walk through the night." He turned an untrusting gaze to the jungle. "I have a bad feeling about this."

Tirr nodded. "It's snowballed, hasn't it?"

Obi-Wan was busied trying to stifle the scream that spiked in his throat. Through the night? The arches of his feet felt like they were being stretched with every step. His stomach was very unsettled. He looked down at the battered ground, the damage worsened by the press of their gait—and he could relate.

Yet, he said nothing. The sooner they reached the Capital, the sooner he could help prevent further turmoil in the jungle, and in his head.

Qui-Gon closed the small gap between them. "You've been blocking me, Padawan." It was not voiced as an admonishment…just a concerned statement.

"I apologize, Master." He swallowed. When he looked up, his Master's familiar face was largely a blur.

Qui-Gon studied him for a split second, then stopped them both in their tracks. "A change of plans."

Ullo's visage was similarly drawn with concern. "What?"

"Obi-Wan." It was all he could say, all he could think. He wrapped an arm around his apprentice's shoulders and led him to the nearest tree. Above the thumping din of his heart, he asked, "Obi-Wan, what's wrong?"

He lowered himself and his Padawan cautiously to the ground, keeping a secure hold on the youth. "Tirr, get some water." He nearly shouted over his shoulder.


Obi-Wan blinked with furious rapidity. "Master, I—I can't see."

The youth had always had an inherently calm voice—the Master could hear the struggle against panic that was rising in it now. Qui-Gon cupped his head and rested it against his stalwart chest. "Close your eyes." He accepted the full canteen from Ullo, who had already unscrewed the lid.

The Master touched the opening to Obi-Wan's lips. "Here, Padawan. Drink this."

Obi-Wan did, until his nausea prevented another drop, and he shivered.

Qui-Gon supported his back on the shriveled trunk and curved his hand around Obi-Wan's head. With the other, he checked for fever. "He has a temperature." He informed Knight Tirr absently, his eyes never straying from the ailing form in his arms.

All Jedi carried generic, all-purpose medicinal syrup in their belts. Tirr pulled the cylinder of viscous liquid from his. "Qui-Gon?"

Qui-Gon considered it for a long moment. "Let's wait." He said at last. "He could be overheated. Loss of sight and queasiness are symptoms, as is fever." With two fingers suffering a small quake, he pulled Obi-Wan's braid back over his shoulder. Already, the apprentice was asleep, breathing shallowly. "I can discern no other sources of illness."

Qui-Gon sighed, taking in the jungle with unbridled suspicion, then looked to the dark-haired Knight. "You might as well take advantage of the break. I'll wake you if there're any problems."

Spent green eyes glanced at Obi-Wan. "Are you sure?"

"We'll need at least one alert member." Was his dismal reply.

Ullo slowly nodded.

Once the man had settled in for slumber, Qui-Gon rested his chin on the crown of Obi-Wan's head and sought the Force for some kind of reassurance.

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Knight Tirr garnered little respite from his bid for sleep, and after nearly an hour of restlessness, he sat upright.

Jinn was unmoved from his previous position. Amid the darkness, he was solemn stone, stationary eyes trained to the young, handsome, bleached-white face. Carved into that stone were massive lines of worry, deep and cold as a chasm.

"How is he?" Ullo inquired in a restrained voice.

Qui-Gon didn't look up. "I wet his hair. And his face. To bring the fever down…to dissipate the heatstroke…So far, he isn't responding."

Tirr's gaze raked from the pallid face of the Master to his protégé, sheltered in the cradle of an unrelenting embrace. A pang assaulted his chest. "Maybe you should try the medicine."

Qui-Gon nodded, and the Knight brought him the slim cylinder.

"Obi-Wan." The murmur was hot, unsteady breath against Obi-Wan's ear. "Wake up, my Padawan." He stroked a cheek with the callused pad of a finger. "Wake up now. Just for a moment."

Obedient even in the haze of sickness, Obi-Wan stirred. Slits of brilliant blue peeked out from heavy lids. "Gone."

"You're with me." Qui-Gon's answer was intrinsic. "You're with me, Padawan. You're not going anywhere." He spent a minute brushing stray hairs and a new trickle of sweat from Obi-Wan's face. Once Obi-Wan was half-way awake, he sloshed the medicine around and removed the thin lid. "Padawan, I want you to drink this. You need to drink this. All of it. Alright?"

A shard of sallow moonlight reflected in the once-luminous eyes. "Alright."

Qui-Gon gradually poured the ruby syrup into Obi-Wan's mouth, pausing often to allow his fevered student a chance to swallow and regroup. After the last bit had been dosed, and Obi-Wan was drifting again, a fraction of the tightness in the Master's chest began to ease.

Tirr watched, but said nothing, afraid to disturb the ensuing silence.

He needn't have worried. The fragile quiet was shattered soon after, as Obi-Wan purged the meager contents of his stomach, including the freshly administered medication. The hoarse wretches were a haunting, jaw-clenching sound that roughly permeated the jungle's midnight version of peace.

Meaningless platitudes followed, soft and affectionate. Qui-Gon wiped Obi-Wan's chin and mouth with the edge of his sleeve. "It's alright."

The jungle had been placed on a pedestal and set to spinning, Obi-Wan rationalized before he shut his eyes against the dizzying sight, shut his eyes and leaned against the support of Qui-Gon's shoulder.

"Qui-Gon, maybe we should get moving again."

"No." It was barely a rasp, a feeble whimper in the air.

But Qui-Gon heard. "I don't want to jostle him." He told Ullo. "If he can sleep, it could help."

Tirr visibly disagreed, but he nodded. They were at least another day away from the capital. If this was just a minor sickness brought on from the heat and exertion, it would be better to give Obi-Wan some time to rest.

Already the Padawan had slipped into unconsciousness, his back against Qui-Gon's chest.

Illness seemed to have peeled away the years of battles and training; Obi-Wan Kenobi looked very young in the gray swirl of dark, temperate night.

Qui-Gon's eyes were closed as well, but Tirr could sense the man was completely alert. The worn rim of his tunic was stained from the recent ordeal. He had taken the time to clean his apprentice—but not himself.

A more immature part of the Knight recoiled from the thought of nursing a vomiting apprentice. When he occasionally aided in the creche, that was when he handed the kid over to the Master, and washed his hands thoroughly—at least twice. He knew that not every duty of a Master Jedi was glamorous, but at the same time, he couldn't imagine a dignified member of the Order with, well, puke on their honored uniform.

Yet here sat Qui-Gon Jinn, a living legend, with his regal manner and noble face, totally uncaring that several wet spots soiled his tunic.

"You've convinced me."

Qui-Gon opened one eye. "Convinced you?" He whispered.

The heavily-maned Knight nodded. "I'd be a worthless teacher. What you do.." He shook his head with incredulity, "It confounds me."

Qui-Gon smiled wearily. "Sometimes, it confounds me."

Tirr frowned. "How?"

"I am constantly surprised by the level of devotion inside me. By the time Obi-Wan was my apprentice…" He sighed, "I was convinced all my energy, all my passion, was dead. I knew I would need to instruct him, but I never considered other areas that would need tending to." Tirr said nothing, but a compelled expression was steadfast on his face.

Qui-Gon continued. "Or, should I say, I never let myself consider it. For the longest time, I kept myself almost totally separate from Obi-Wan."

"Is this some sort of intervention? You know, you impart your wisdom and I realize my follies?" A gruff chuckle. "I know everyone makes mistakes. I know that I could be making one by refusing to take a Padawan. But shouldn't I discover that on my own? Didn't you discover it on your own?"

"Partially, I suppose. But I give the majority of credit," He glanced down at the sleep-softened features of his student, " all of the credit, to Obi-Wan. He was a salvation.

"And if I'm wrong to tell you that, then I apologize. But I would give anything to have that time returned to me, to do it over again, with the blindfolds removed."

Tirr looked at the worry-creased face of Master Jinn, the haggard condition of his sleep-deprived body and the less-than-stellar appearance of his clothes. Then, he looked at his hand, the fingers weaving with Obi-Wan's.

Obi-Wan, who was rife with pain and possible disease, sleeping smoothly.

Ullo felt heat rise in his cheeks. Qui-Gon seemed not to have noticed-although Jedi Masters were especially adept at concealment. He knew it must be wrong of him to argue the very essence of the Master/Padawan relationship, when such a relationship was currently being tested in a patently unpleasant way.

"He seems to have survived your bout with those isolation tendencies." He pointed out at last, hoping the optimistic ring in his voice was heard.

"Yes…" Eyes that matched the deep blue shade of the sky grew very still, and a thoughtful gleam was bright at their core. "He's almost twenty now…and has survived quite well."

Ullo smiled.

"But I know he carries those early days with him. And I know it makes him stronger." Even as the words left his lips, Qui-Gon was uncertain, giving a hasty observation of the hand that held his in a near-grip. Does he think I would leave him ?

"A Jedi garners his strength from the most unusual sources. It's what makes each individual in the Order unique." The other Knight half-quoted. "Your Obi-Wan is certainly unique. You're lucky to have him."

Qui-Gon lifted an eyebrow, with a prankish smile . "And yet, I might have denied my luck, had I not…"

"Enough!" Ullo exclaimed, in a mixture of amusement and exasperation.

Qui-Gon shrugged. "If my advice is worth that little to you, then I will halt immediately." His expression settled into composure. "But, in all seriousness, I do wish that you'd consider what I've said."

A small smile tugged at the corner of the Knight's mouth. "Perhaps sleep will provide some clarity." He stretched out, laying his head on his travel pack."

For you, at least. "Pleasant dreams." Qui-Gon murmured, then readjusted Obi-Wan in his arms and watched, alone in consciousness, a nocturnal, winged creature, evidently weak from drought, soar through the naked trees.

It should have given buoyancy to his spirits, but he was lacking a significant measure of confidence as he entered his apprentice into a healing trance.

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I really don't like this. Anything that could help me in any way, style, word choice, story line, is supremely appreciated.