A/N: So… after a prolonged absence, I'm back.
I'd like to thank everyone who reviewed my previous works, especially Carmarthen. She also has a link list with most available Maul/Obi stuff on her livejournal, for those of you who might be interested.
I wrote this while I should have been studying. I passed the exam anyway, went on holiday to Canada for three weeks and am now settled into a new job.
This thing was started as a means of creative compensation, since pharmaceutical law is inherently uncreative and boring. Then I ran into a really old poem, quoted and translated from Middle High German below.
Rated for safety.
Usual Caveats: I'm German. If you find any mistakes that make you wince, please bother to correct me.
Disclaimer: George Lucas owns the cast of this story. I'm not making money with them.
A Knight's Honor
Kein besser latwerie nie gemachet wart,
als ich lêr und kúnde, von sinneklicher art,
gesunt ze laster wunden und ze schanden súchten:
Mit fúnf bimenten rein sol sie gemenget sin:
Trúwe und zucht, milti unde manheit hórt dar in,
da bi sol mase et búlvern, smeken unde trúchten.
Diese latwerie ist er genant,
ein bals ob allen spisen.
Mit ir wirt schanden not entrant,
si zimt nicht dem unwisen.
Wem si wont stete bi,
der ist vor hôbt schanden vri.
Wol im, des lip der latwerien búchse si!
Sin reines lop, sin hoher nam wirt blóien unde frúchten.
Süßkind of Trimberg, late 13th century
No better salve was ever made –
than what I teach and tell – sensibly designed
to heal vice's wounds and disgrace's illness:
Of five pure ingredients it shall consist:
Loyalty and discipline, generosity and courage need to be in it,
Lastly, temperance shall be sprinkled in it, to be tasted and felt.
This salve is called honor,
A balm better than any other.
It will let you flee from disgrace's grip,
And it will never stay with a fool.
Whom it stays with
Shall be free of disgrace's evil.
Happy he whose body is this salve's vessel.
His high praise and noble name will blossom and carry fruit.
Not very prettily translated by the author
Obi-Wan watched. Blades of light clashed, nearly invisible from his side of the force field, only the sounds making their way through the barrier unhampered.
Qui-Gon had no hope of winning; merely defending himself, he was only prolonging the inevitable. Already Obi-Wan sensed that Qui-Gon accepted the possibility of loosing this fight, knowing he would not be able to keep up. The Sith creature was younger, made up its lack in height with agility and the determination to kill rather than defeat.
Such was the stuff of nightmares; Obi-Wan's nightmares. He'd sensed they were doomed from the moment they had boarded the Neimodians' ship.
Handles locked; for one moment the Sith and Qui-Gon stared at each other, then ruthlessness won and smacked Qui-Gon in the face with the hilt and sunk one red blade into his chest.
Was that him who had shouted? No matter. The force field let up and Obi-Wan stormed at the Sith. It had to pay.
They met in a flurry of swings and blocks and feints and thrusts, but it was in vain, neither gaining ground. While Obi-Wan would not lose this way, he surely would not win either. In the back of his mind, he felt Qui-Gon's life Force poking him, warning him not to get carried away. Trying to tell him… oh. So he took a deep breath and surrendered his hate and summoned his Master's saber, finally meeting the Sith on equal ground.
Light flowed around him and through him, amidst the chaos of the fight, and he was carried and guided and shown a weakness.
One blue blade cut the lightstaff's handle neatly in two, raising a shower of sparks, and while the Sith creature reared back ever so slightly to protect its eyes, a green blade found its target.
Both Obi-Wan and the Sith watched as one black gloved hand fell to the ground, still clutching its half of the saber. It clattered, the blade was deactivated, and the glove's leather smoked a little from the heat. Obi-Wan retreated, kicked the Sith's right arm so it let go of the other part of the saber. Kicked higher to make it stagger back dazedly and fall to the ground, where it lay and blinked in puzzlement. This was not supposed to happen.
Somewhat surprised himself, Obi-Wan kneeled next to its head and pointed his saber at its throat. It watched him levelly. Kill me now, the look said. But it wasn't right. Obi-Wan had won, and under no circumstances would he kill a defenseless being. Creature. Whatever.
He knocked it out with a well placed hit to the temple.
Then he went to look after Qui-Gon.