Aww, I'm glad you guys get where I was going with this. ;) Your insights are spot on! Anyhow, here is the final chapter of the story, hope you like.
"Its early yet, Anakin, why don't you get some sleep?" Obi-Wan suggested, seeing that his Padawan was nearly drooping by the time they reached their quarters."I don't know what you've been doing all this time, though I doubt it was sleeping."
Considering for a moment, Anakin replied carefully, "I think that's a good idea, Master. I am tired. But . . ." he hesitated, seeming unsure as to what to say but wanting to say something.
"We'll talk later this morning, after you have something to eat." Obi-Wan told him. "Now, off to bed with you." he said, in a tone that allowed for no arguement.
After making sure that Obi-Wan didn't need anything – and burying him under a pile of blankets on the couch – Anakin went to his room to go to bed. Obi-Wan knew that he would be asleep within minutes.
Hours later, Anakin came out of his room and headed to the 'fresher, presumably for a shower and change, and Obi-Wan heard Anakin pad out of the 'fresher just as a fit of coughs racked his frame. After the fit passed, Obi-Wan caught his breath and looked up to see that Anakin had entered the room. They exchanged greetings, and Anakin went to the kitchen to fix breakfast.
"Master?" he called, "What would you like to eat?"
"I've already eaten, Padawan, so nothing for me, thank you." he replied, remembering the bland mush that Healer Sinan had tried to feed him.
A few minutes later, Anakin emerged from the kitchen with a large pastry roll in one hand and a mug in the other, the latter of which he handed to Obi-Wan as he sat down.
Obi-Wan sniffed at the mug suspiciously, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was only juice. "Thank you, Padawan."
"So . . ." Anakin began awkwardly, "The healers fed you, I take it?"
"Yes." Obi-Wan responded with a small chuckle. "When I woke up early this morning an apprentice healer was here."
"I see." Anakin said tightly, his face shuttered off.
"Anakin . . ." Obi-Wan began, unsure of how to proceed, "I've been thinking, and from what you've told me, I think we can both agree that you have some issues to work through in regards to how you react to illness." Anakin nodded slightly, and Obi-Wan continued, "To this end, I'd like you to do some work in the healer's wing from time to time, to help you get used to dealing with sickness and to better understand your reactions to it. Not to mention make yourself useful. Alright?" he finished gently. He hoped that Anakin wouldn't see his new assignment as punishment, because that wasn't what he intended it to be.
"Yes, Master." Anakin replied, looking almost relieved. "I don't want to, but I know that this is something I have to deal with if I'm to become a good Jedi." he finished reluctantly.
"Ani, you are a good Jedi now. You just need some polishing." Obi-Wan said gently. "And if you ever need to talk about it, don't hesitate to come to me. And later, when I'm sufficiently recovered, we will meditate on this together as well." he finished, giving Anakin an encouraging smile.
Anakin only nodded, smiling faintly. Perhaps Obi-Wan had finally managed to get through to him.
It had been six days since Obi-Wan had first visited the healers, and all in all he was feeling much better. Except for a lingering fatigue and a slight soreness in his chest, he was almost entirely recovered,thanksin part to Anakin's careful ministrations.Soon, he would be cleared for light missions, which brought him to his current quandary: figuring out what kind of mission to request. Being a highly effective team, he and Anakin were hardly ever sent on missions that were considered 'light duty', and they rarely had a choice in the matter anyway.
He didn't want something too dull, as Anakin really had been cooped up too much lately. Unfortunately, 'dull' and 'light duty' missions were usually one and the same. Except for . . .
Obi-Wan brightened, suddenly struck with an idea. Heading to the com unit, he flipped it on and contacted the Council with his request.
Pleased that his request had been approved, Obi-Wan began rifling through his data files for some reading material.
"Master, I'm back," Anakin announced as he stepped in the door.
"You look like you've had a good workout," Obi-Wan commented approvingly, taking in his apprentice's disheveled appearance and flushed face.
"Very. Master Windu is quite an . . . engaging teacher. Not as good as you, of course, Master." he added. "When will you be up to taking over my lessons again?"
"Just two more days and I'll be cleared for light duty, including sparring with you. And I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that we have a light mission lined up for then as well."
"A light mission, Master? What is it?" Anakin asked warily. In his limited experience, light missions tended to be anything but, or excrutiatingly dull.
Obi-Wan chuckled at his apprentice's tone. "I know what you're thinking, and you needn't look so worried. I specifically requested this one, and it looks like it'll be fun. And a good learning experience for you as well."
"Fun?" Anakin echoed apprehensively. His and Obi-Wan's ideas of 'fun' tended to be vastly different, and he didn't even want to think about what horror a fu learning experience might be.
"Yes, Padawan, 'fun'. I doubt you've heard, but it seems that a recent field trip for the younger Initiates ran into some trouble and had to be cut short. You and I will be going along as Leaders on their next one," Obi-Wan smiled.
Anakin opened his mouth to protest, recalling the mess of children he had encountered in the healer's wing, but then thought better of it. It was better than a boring diplomatic mission . . . well, in theory, anyway.
Thank you all for reading this, and for your support! (((hugs)))
My next story, "A Different Kind of Exercise", willmost likelybe posted this weekend.