Well, between my Master, athenaleigh, and charmisjess, I have officially been turned to the Dookside. So here is something rather strange that has kind of evolved since our big moot. Originally it was intended to be a totally different story, but right now I'm very pleased with where it's going. Hopefully I won't get stuck and will be able to update regularly and all that. Don't eat me if I get too many things wrong and do remember that this is very AU. Anyway, hope you enjoy! (and go read athenaleigh and charmisjess' stories! They're awesome!)

indicates thoughts or flashbacks
/indicates transmissions/

Part 1

The dark was cut by the glow of blue and red. Above Obi-Wan's head, Dooku's sabre swung, barely missing him. He could smell the burnt air as he blocked another blow. Obi-Wan grit his teeth, trying to fight the force of Dooku's sabre when the blades locked.

The older man smiled tauntingly, "You are foolish to fight me alone, Master Kenobi."

"You are foolish to come out from hiding in your little fox hole," Obi-Wan replied in a similar tone, not at all distracted from the battle at hand.

"I would have thought you would have learned after you could not defeat me the first time," Dooku said smoothly, trying to bait the young Jedi more. It had been Sidious' plan, Dooku would not opt to slay his former padawan's student of his own will.

There was no light in the cave, save the crimson and azure blades casting a glow on their faces. Obi-Wan didn't reply right away, instead concentrating on blocking the fury of attacks of the form II master. It took much of his concentration to do so and as soon as he found an opening, Kenobi twirled his sabre and made his attack, again locking them in a battle of strength. "Perhaps my Padawan is not the only slow learner, Dooku," he shot back, "You will not get away this time."

Dooku half smiled in amusement at the typical Jedi line. So predictable. He would admit that Obi-Wan was a good swordsman, however his skill couldn't match that of the Sith lord. With a flick of his wrist, he caught the Jedi off guard and cut down his forearm with the tip of his lightsabre.

Obi-Wan hissed in pain and drew back, making Dooku grin when he changed his defenses to his other hand, letting the wounded one hand loose.

"On the contrary," the fallen Jedi smiled confidently, "Perhaps you should re-think your defenses."

Obi-Wan blocked another blow easily but he was distracted when Dooku used the Force to throw a rock from the depths of the dark cave. He felt it coming from behind and whirled around to cut it down before it hit him. Just as Obi-Wan's lightsabre cut the rock in half, Dooku had his chance in a split second. There was hesitation. He could nearly hear Qui-Gon's voice asking him to spare the Jedi's life and let him go. But Dooku could not disobey his own master. Against his better wishes, he thrust his sabre forward.

Because of the hesitation, Obi-Wan was again turning to face his opponent when he felt the danger, but he was not fast enough. Dooku's red blade missed the most deadly mark, instead plunged into the right side of Obi-Wan's back and went up through his shoulder. He froze even before the wave of pain lit up the cave. The sabre was withdrawn; Obi-Wan stumbled forward but turned and kept his guard up.

Dooku noted Obi-Wan's bravery and persistence, especially in a battle he was lured into. "I am honoured with your desire to proceed, but you are beaten, General Kenobi," he lowered his sabre, but not his defense, "It is useless to continue now."

"This is not a simple training exercise and you will find that it will take much more to defeat me." Obi-Wan gripped his sabre until his knuckles turned white as inwardly he concentrating on sending his pain into the Force, ignoring how much it was hurting just to breathe.

With a sigh, Dooku allowed reluctance in his tone. "I do not wish to kill you child."

Obi-Wan blinked, confused that he might have seen for a half moment, a look of regret on the former Jedi's face. "What?" he asked after a moment.

But the look was gone and the Sith remained. "I gave you fair warning, Jedi," Dooku said, raising his sabre, "But it seems you failed to listen to your master's lessons just as you have now."

The action was painfully mirrored by his opponent. Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes, doing all he could to also suppress a personal anger for his master's teacher, "Clearly you could not have been the master you were said to be if Qui-Gon turned out to be the great Jedi that he was."

Anger from wounded pride rose up in Dooku's throat and he snarled as he Force pushed the young knight far back against the wall, letting Obi-Wan crumple to the ground. He raised his hand towards the Jedi and released the blue lethal lightning from his fingers. The electrical whips attacked Obi-Wan's limp body, surging around his wounds and causing convulsions. Dooku watched and pushed harder with his anger and hatred until the blue lightning went up into Obi-Wan's eyes. It was unclear if it was the scream of pain that finally surfaced from the Jedi or the cry for mercy inside Dooku's mind. Qui-Gon's cry.

The same conflict as before returned as Dooku lowered his hand. For a few moments the curled form almost resembled – in his mind – Qui-Gon, and he had the slightest urge to help the wounded man. But no. His allegiance was to Sidious, not the Jedi Order. And it had been his task to kill Kenobi.

Wish a sigh, Dooku realized he could not. Slowly he walked over and knelt down beside Obi-Wan. The knight was unconscious after the last intense wave of lightning, and in the darkness of the cave where they had fought far from where the clones and droids battled, Dooku thought he saw tears of blood.

So brave, so foolish, he thought and stood to leave. Something stopped him. Dooku looked back. Reluctantly he knelt down again and picked up Obi-Wan into his arms before standing once again and gently carrying him out of the cave.

The ship hanger was far from the battle – as the cave had been – but Dooku could hear the sounds nonetheless as he carried Obi-Wan's limp form to his ship. The solar sail vessel was quite small, but it had always satisfied his needs. There were his own living quarters there, quite large for a ship of the size, and very luxurious, fitting of a Count. He laid Obi-Wan on the bed and placed the knight's cloak over top of him to keep him warm until they reached their destination.

Obi-Wan awoke to the sound of rain. He hadn't opened his eyes yet, but reached out with his senses as he always did when he woke up in the morning. But it didn't take him long at all to determine something wasn't right. He was not on Courscant, this was not his bed, and more importantly he could sense Count Dooku. Instinctively, Obi-Wan tried to sit up, but the sharp pain in his chest quickly cut the idea down. The young knight's eyes flew open when the pain made him start coughing. With slight panic, he realized he couldn't move his arm, and reached over with the other bandaged one to his shoulder where the pain was. Obi-Wan concentrated, giving his pain to the Force enough to stop coughing.

But as soon as he was breathing normally again, his fingers came open the healing wound in his shoulder with some sort of tube leading out of his chest just below. The touch caused agony, Obi-Wan bit his lip to keep from crying out. Suddenly he heard a voice in the next room and pushed away his pain, remaining silent.

/Was your task completed, Lord Tyranus/ asked a dark voice; familiar but Obi-Wan couldn't identify it.

The next voice was Dooku's, he was sure of that. "It was completed, my Master."

/The Jedi is dead/

"Yes, Master. General Kenobi will be no more concern to us."

/Good…good. I shall contact you further with your next assignment./

He heard the comm connection break off and Dooku's footsteps came closer. As the door opened, shedding no light into the room that was as dark as the cave he remembered the battle to have been in, Obi-Wan came to another realization. He couldn't see.

"Master Kenobi, you are awake I see," Dooku said in a neutral tone and the young Jedi almost thought that there was a hint of relief in the Sith's voice.

"Where am I, Dooku?" he asked, clearly not pleased with the situation, as far as he could tell. But Dooku's move was confusing at best.

"Someplace safe, I assure you," the Count replied smoothly.

Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes, or at least thought he did. "You've tried to assure me of things before." He paused for a moment to catch his breath, surprised at how tired he was. "Why did you tell your master you killed me, are you just waiting until after I heal to make me suffer more?"

Dooku sighed, looking down at the unnatural pale eyes that stared up at him, sightless, and evidence of the wounds he did not wish to inflict. But he was too proud to admit it. Yet.

"When you are healed, you may do as you please," he said simply before starting to walk towards the door. Dooku paused on the threshold to look back at the Jedi. Obi-Wan had nearly fallen exhaustedly asleep before he had finished the sentence. With another sigh, Count Dooku left his grand Padawan to sleep.