Just remember, I don't own Star Wars or It's characters, George Lucas does.

So You Won't be Alone

Qui-Gon Jinn watched his young Padawan with affectionate amusement. Obi-Wan Kenobi had his blue eyes glued to the holopad screen, reading yet again. For all Qui-Gon knew, it could be another entry from the Jedi Archives, or the latest bestseller, or a list of the ingredients for a breakfast cereal. In the Jedi Master's experinces with his Padawan, he found that the boy would read just about anything put in front of him. Because of this habit, Qui-Gon (who generally was very lenient with Obi-Wan) absolutely forbade his Padawan to take any reading material of any sort into the refresher. The boy would never come out again. Qui-Gon always teased Obi-Wan, that his biggest fear was that the Padawan would read right through a battle one of these days...

But for right now, Qui-Gon didn't disturb him. Instead, he tried to very quietly shift in his hospital bed. Their latest (mis)adventure had left Qui-Gon in need of Jedi Healing; Obi-Wan was just not at a point in his training where he was adept enough to attempt such a thing, so a Jedi Healer was on her way. In the meantime, he was being kept comfortable, if somewhat sedated.

Perhaps Qui-Gon's biggest fear for Obi-Wan was more serious than the reading addiction. The Padawan had been quite shaken and upset when Qui-Gon got hurt. The Jedi Master tried to be far less reckless now that he had a Padawan Learner again, but sometimes, in the heat of battle, it would slip from Qui-Gon's mind. His true greatest fear for Obi-Wan, therefore, was, what if he were to die? Would he be able to handle it?

He closed his eyes, using his sleepy state to good advantage. Once in a while, Qui-Gon could incubate dreams. Tonight, he'd try to dream about Obi-Wan's future, and what would become of him in Qui-Gon's absence.

Behind his eyes, Qui-Gon's mind filled with the all the stars in space, unobscured by atmosphere or sunlight. He could see star systems, supernovas, black holes. After seeing many stars pass, one system caught his attention. It was a bit unusual because it had two stars; a binary star system. It was so far away, tucked in a corner of the galaxy. But there was something...important about that place. As with most dreams, the importance of it was lost as Qui-Gon's dream progressed.

In the dream state, the Jedi Master saw Obi-Wan as he might appear many years from now; standing tall and proud, a blue lightsaber glaring in his grip, his Jedi robes swirling around his almost-regal form. Qui-Gon couldn't help but feel his heart swell with happiness and pride! His young, sometimes gawky, and certainly always bookish Padawan will become a magnificent Jedi Knight!

But wait, there was someone beside Obi-Wan in his dream. Someone young, vibrant, and powerful beside him, with his own lightsaber. Could it be a Padawan Learner of Obi-Wan's? Of course! But as dreams always are, the Padawan's face was non-descript. He was more of an impression than a real human being.

This was what would happen with Obi-Wan someday. He was so glad!

The lingering hope in Qui-Gon's heart did not fade, even as he opened his eyes for real. This time, Obi-Wan managed to pry himself from the holopad. "Master, how are you feeling? I just read about the drug they have you on..."

"It's hallucinogenic, isn't it, my young Padawan?" Qui-Gon guessed with a hint of sad gladness in his voice.

"Master, don't be so sad. Once the Jedi Healer arrives, I know you'll be back to your old self," young Obi-Wan said hopefully as he smoothed Qui-Gon's long dark hair from his brow.

"I'm not sad, exactly. But I had started to worry about you. I feared that you might be lost without me," Qui-Gon said. Obi-Wan's hand stopped, and a stricken expression crossed his boyish but still beautiful face. "Listen to me. It could happen, Obi-Wan. But you don't need to be afraid. I'll make sure there is someone else who can be there with you. I don't think you would do well alone."

Obi-Wan's face became more placid. "Master, without you, I would have no heart; it would be as though someone ripped it out of my chest. This I know. There would be no room for anyone else in my heart. So I would do fine alone, until I died."

This answer did not please Qui-Gon. He struggled to sit up further, but had to be cautious not to rip open the wound he'd sustained. If he bled to death, Obi-Wan would be alone that much faster. "I don't recall being this attached to Master Dooku," Qui-Gon commented.

Obi-Wan was unperturbed by this statement. "Master Dooku does not compare to you, in my mind, Master."

"How do you know that? You haven't even met him," Qui-Gon frowned. To tell the truth, that wasn't a bad thing. For one uncomfortable moment, Qui-Gon contemplated how Obi-Wan would have coped with Dooku as his Jedi Master. Considering that the hard man used to leave Qui-Gon sobbing after some lessons, how would Obi-Wan have fared?

"I can see that look in your eyes whenever you think of him. It tells me more than words ever could. Do I ever tell you how grateful I am that I am yours and not someone else's?" Obi-Wan whispered, "Do I ever tell you how every night, before I go to sleep, I remember how lucky I am that I'm yours?"

"It was not luck, my Padawan! It was the will of the Force. As it will be when you get your first Padawan Learner," Qui-Gon corrected him, nodding with satisfaction as if a question that no one asked had been suddenly answered. The Living Force spoke to Qui-Gon as it spoke to very few others in the galaxy.

Of course, that was the answer. Obi-Wan's future Padawan has just been born...

Obi-Wan shut himself away in one of the many splendid quarters in the Royal Palace in Theed. Splendid though it might have been, for Obi-Wan, it was a beautiful, marbled hell. All the beauty that surrounded him could not divert him from the agony in his heart.

Qui-Gon is dead!

He had known, all along, that if something like this had happened, it would be bad. But this was excruciating. The Jedi bond between them was ripped apart like a tree yanked out of the ground with the roots remaining in the soil. He felt like he should whack his head against that cold hard floor upon which he laid, staring at the ornate ceiling.

It had taken a bit of effort to get Obi-Wan to even release his dead Jedi Master's body, when they finally found them after the battle. Why did they need to take Qui-Gon's body away so fast? Why did no one understand how he felt?

Ironically, the only one who seemed to even have a clue as to what had been lost that day was the young boy, Anakin. Obi-Wan had been too upset to even listen to the story of how it had been the child who piloted the Nubian fighter that destroyed the control ship of the Trade Federation. At that point, the boy was barely registering in Obi-Wan's mind; how could he compare in importance to Qui-Gon Jinn? He didn't want to hear that the child, the hero of the day, had started screaming with his own grief when he saw Qui-Gon's dead form.

The fuss Qui-Gon had made over that boy! He was going to defy the Jedi Code, was going to train him, push Obi-Wan aside to take that boy on. Why? Qui-Gon was Obi-Wan's master, not that boy's!

The delegation from the Jedi Council was arriving on Naboo the next day. Obi-Wan cared nothing about it. The idea of attending his master's funeral was beyond unbearable. Obi-Wan curled into a fetal ball as he thought of the futility of it all. After a while, he turned over, so his forehead touched the cold marble floor. But the tears could not come out; they seemed to be jammed somehow. Instead, they made Obi-Wan's throat tighten shut.

Master, how will I ever be able to go on without you?

Suddenly, Obi-Wan felt a small, gentle hand on his head. Obi-Wan picked his head up, and he saw the boy with his tear-streaked face just above him. Anakin was on his knees, peering into Obi-Wan's eyes with his own blue ones, trembling lips framed by a rapidly crumbling face. Obi-Wan could see that Anakin was at that age where he'd been told that he shouldn't cry anymore unless he wanted to be known far and wide as a big baby. Obi-Wan sat up, ready to turn away from this boy, the one who made him argue with his master...

But just then, Anakin lost his control, and broke down. Obi-Wan's guard slipped down, and he felt Anakin's feelings. Felt the boy's fear and grief like lightsabers slicing through him. "You don't understand! He freed me!" Anakin sobbed.

Obi-Wan scooped Anakin into his arms, let the child wail away, and joined in himself. But now, in sharing his grief with Anakin, he was also soothing the child, rocking him back and forth and wrapping him in the Force. Almost instantly, the answer to his anguished question came into Obi-Wan's head.

Train the boy. He is the Chosen One. Train him...

His beloved master's dying words! And now, in this moment, the meaning of them became so clear. It wasn't that Qui-Gon was pushing Obi-Wan away in favor of this child! It was that this child, Anakin Skywalker, was his Jedi Master's final gift to his Padawan Learner!

Armed with this knowledge, Obi-Wan was able to sort himself out. He cupped the little one's chin with his hand and said, "He freed me too. At a time when all I knew was despair, he freed me from it by taking me on as his Learner. And now, I am going to make certain that his final wish will be carried out. No matter what I have to do, I will make certain that you become a Jedi Knight!"