Timeframe: JA, Obi-Wan is somewhere between 13 and 14.
Genre: Fluffy humor, I hope.
Characters: Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and a touch of Mace and Dooku
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me; it's all property of the Great Bearded One. I'm just borrowing the characters for a short stint; I swear to put them back when I'm done.
Notes: So here we have something light and fluffy after such a heavy fic I submitted last time. For those of you who have read Shadows of the Future, you may or may not remember a comment Obi-Wan makes about midway through the story how he destroyed two of Qui-Gon's couches. Well, here's the story I wrote around that comment. Before I let you go, though, a huge, HUGE thank you to my two lovely betas: NiennaNarmolanya and WynssaStarflare! (hugs the crud out of them both) Nienna keeps me from the evils of Darth Run-on Sentence, and Wyn, my fellow sufferer of o-chem, nitpicks the crap out of my grammar. I would be lost without you! (grins)
Now, off with you! Enjoy the viggie!
Temple couches were the best couches around.
Obi-Wan discovered this early on, when he finally became Qui-Gon's apprentice and moved in with his new Master. The couch in the sitting area of the common room was large and comfortable, if a little stiff, but perfect for bouncing on, an activity Obi-Wan only engaged in when his Master was most certainly absent.
He stumbled across this fact purely by accident, when the training salle was packed and he was unable to get near a trampoline to practice his flips. It had been a day without Qui-Gon, as the Jedi Master was given an assignment that he was unable to let a not-quite thirteen year old accompany him on, and Obi-Wan had been determined to master a certain difficult move before Qui-Gon's return.
Unfortunately, being unable to get near the trampoline put a rather large wrench in his plans.
He returned to the apartment and flopped down on the couch heavily, doing everything but pouting, because pouting was childish. His mood lifted quickly, however, as he bounced right back off the furniture.
He lay on the floor for a moment, blinking up at the ceiling in shock, before a slow grin spread across his features. He removed his robe then, and hopped up onto the couch, highly pleased with the amount of spring it had. He began practicing, flipping off the couch and into the rest of the common area, slowly but surely perfecting his moves.
He was practicing again, as he always did when left to his own devices. Today Qui-Gon was at a rather intense Council meeting, arguing with them over one thing or another like he always did, and he'd been gone since before their morning meal. He hadn't left any instructions for Obi-Wan, who meditated dutifully and attended his classes for the day, and he was now in the process of further refining his flips.
His landing was still rather shaky, though he blamed that on his inability to obtain any real height. The ceiling was rather low, after all, and he had little desire to split his head open because he'd bounced too high.
Obi-Wan landed and rolled, coming to his feet gracefully and shaking his head to rid it of the disorientation he always had after executing a flip. He was getting better at regaining his footing after a fall; Qui-Gon actually commented on it the last time they'd sparred, giving Obi-Wan a rare, warm smile that expressed his pleasure in seeing his apprentice improve.
Maybe I should try to make it a little more difficult? Obi-Wan mused as he turned back to the couch, hopping up onto it and bouncing a couple of times. What if I tried kicking something off the table once I come out of my roll?
He bounced a few more times, spreading his arms as he prepared to launch himself into a tight flip. There was nothing on the table at the moment, and it was a bit too far away. Maybe he could balance something on the back of a chair? That could be moved without anyone being the wiser, and the back of a chair was actually more within his range of –
Obi-Wan shrieked when the couch gave beneath him, swallowing his legs up to his knees. He'd made the mistake of bouncing between the two cushions instead of sticking to one side or the other, and though certainly more springy, he'd felt early on that it lacked the necessary support.
I broke it, he thought, panic rising up in him and paralyzing him. Stars and galaxies, I broke the couch!
What was Qui-Gon going to say when he found out? Oh, he was in so much trouble! He knew better than to bounce on furniture!
Okay, calm down, he thought, blowing out a breath and striving to release his anxiety while quickly shielding the bond with Qui-Gon. The more time he had to fix this situation, the better, and if he could do it without his Master ever finding out… well, that would be wonderful.
First things first, he told himself, trying to force down the terror that was choking him. He had to get out of the couch before he could figure out a way to fix it. Maybe he could patch it up quickly. He did have paste in his room, as well as various kinds of adhesive. The situation was salvageable, and no one would be –
I'm stuck! he thought, panic returning in full force. I can't be stuck!
He was, and every attempt to move his legs was met with excruciating pain. It seemed the wood support frame had decided to dig into his calves if he tried to lift them upwards, going against the grain of the break.
"Force help me," he muttered, fighting off his panic as he bent over, shoving the cushions aside so he could properly assess the situation. He fought the urge to curse then, as cursing was only all right in the most desperate of situations, and his predicament wasn't at that stage yet. There was a layer of cloth that covered the frame, and Obi-Wan couldn't see how he was trapped without cutting through it.
Okay, be calm, you can do this, he thought, reaching for his lightsaber before he thought better of it. What he needed was a laser cutter, or a tool that was designed for accurate cuts, and his lightsaber, unfortunately, wasn't meant for precision. Well, it could be used as such, certainly, but Obi-Wan didn't have anywhere near that kind of skill.
Maybe he should just tear the fabric…?
He jumped at the insistent shout from his Master, biting his lip to keep from crying out when he jarred his legs. Here he thought he'd been shielding the bond, too…
There was a tap along his shields then, forcefully asking what had happened, and Obi-Wan sensesd that Qui-Gon was racing towards the apartment, the man's concern broadcasting loudly.
Obi-Wan groaned. I am in so much trouble…
When Qui-Gon felt his bond with Obi-Wan flare to life, broadcasting the boy's fear and then sharp, twisting pain, he feared the utter worst. He knew he'd left the boy to his own devices for the day, and part of him began to draw up every horrible thing possible. Visions of a mangled apprentice danced through his mind before he could stop them, with Obi-Wan lying on the ground of the training salle, his limbs bent at unnatural angles, blood pooling from his broken form…
The fact that Obi-Wan wasn't responding to his hails did little to quiet his steadily rising panic.
I've taken negligence to new heights! He cursed himself as he strove to locate his apprentice, reaching out with the Force to find Obi-Wan's brilliant presence. To his surprise, he found the padawan in their quarters, and much to his relief, the boy's presence remained steady. It wasn't fading slowly as he'd feared.
He still wasn't replying through the bond, however, no matter how many times Qui-Gon pounded on his shields, trying to figure out what had happened. He could feel the boy's barely controlled panic as clear as day, and his curiosity began to get the better of him.
If Obi-Wan wasn't fatally wounded, what had caused the pain Qui-Gon sensed? Had he broken a bone somehow?
Qui-Gon braced himself as he palmed open the door to their apartment, having raced all the way there, and tore into the common space.
"Obi…" he started to call, but froze when his gaze landed on his apprentice.
Qui-Gon thought he was ready for anything. The sight of Obi-Wan, however, was the last thing he'd ever expected: the padawan was knee-deep in the couch, looking for the world as if the furniture was in the process of eating him. His face was bright red and his arms were folded across his chest, and Qui-Gon sensed Obi-Wan's deep embarrassment, his blue-green eyes wide with alarm.
"What… what happened?" Qui-Gon finally got out, shock rooting him to the floor. "Why are you in the sofa?"
"It was an accident," Obi-Wan said, his voice trembling a little. "I was being foolish, Master."
"Oh?" Qui-Gon asked mildly, finally willing his feet to take a few steps in Obi-Wan's direction. "What were you doing?"
A soft mumble answered him and Qui-Gon quirked an eyebrow as Obi-Wan bowed his head, his gaze training on the carpet.
"What was that, Padawan?"
A small scowl answered him. "I was… bouncing, Master."
Qui-Gon lifted an eyebrow, finally coming to stand directly in front of his apprentice. "Bouncing."
Obi-Wan grimaced. "Yes."
Qui-Gon was silent for a moment, his lips pressing together briefly, and he folded his arms over his chest. "Do I want to know why you were bouncing on the furniture? Or am I better off in ignorance?"
Obi-Wan looked up at Qui-Gon sharply, his surprise rolling through their bond, but he didn't answer, and Qui-Gon sensed that he was thinking.
"Well," Qui-Gon said finally, tilting his head to one side. "Is there a reason you are still in the couch? Are you stuck?"
Obi-Wan looked back down at the ground, his embarrassment flashing sharply, and Qui-Gon barely caught the nod the boy gave him.
"I can't lift my legs out," Obi-Wan said. "Every time I try, the wood just digs into my calves."
"That is a problem," Qui-Gon replied, moving forward and kneeling before his apprentice. He couldn't help making a show of his examination, uttering several soft 'hm's and prodding at Obi-Wan's legs while tugging on his beard in thought.
"Well, my apprentice, it seems you've gotten yourself into a rather painful predicament," he said at last, earning an exasperated stare from the boy. The relatively dark expression on Obi-Wan's face made him chuckle softly, and Obi-Wan folded his arms over his chest with an audible huff.
Trust he would find this humorous, came the faint thought, one Qui-Gon knew came from Obi-Wan, and it made his lips twitch with the urge to grin. I bet he's just going to leave me here…
"No, Obi-Wan, I won't leave you stuck in my sofa," Qui-Gon said, watching the boy start in surprise. "I would like to be able to sit in my common area, after all. In order to do so, I'll need to request a new couch, but before I can do that, I need you out of this one so it can be removed."
Obi-Wan nodded a little, swallowing, and Qui-Gon gave him a small smile.
"I won't ask why you were bouncing, but in return, you'll be on kitchen duty for a month," Qui-Gon said, watching as Obi-Wan made a face, but nodded silently. "Now, let's get you out of there."
-One Month Later-
Obi-Wan trudged back to the apartment he shared with his Master, doing his best to control his mounting frustration. Once again the training salle was completely packed, leaving him with nowhere to practice his flips, ones he badly needed to master before he and Qui-Gon sparred later that week. He'd been unable to squeeze in much private practice time, what with being assigned to kitchen duty on top of all of his other responsibilities, and he felt it was beginning to show.
At least I'm done with working in the kitchens, he thought with a sigh as he palmed open the door to his quarters. Qui-Gon was out until the evening and hadn't exactly said why, so once again Obi-Wan was left to his own devices.
He supposed he could use the time he'd planned to be at the training salle to finish up some of his class work, or perhaps complete the research required for their upcoming mission…
Obi-Wan's gaze landed on their new couch and he paused.
He stood in the entryway, his mind hovering back and forth in indecision. He chewed at his lower lip in thought; couldn't he use the new sofa for practicing his flips just this once, since he badly needed the experience? After all, the old one hadn't broken for a while; surely just once wouldn't hurt? It wasn't as if he was going to repeat the action. It would only be for today, so he could catch up on everything he'd missed.
Mind made up, he tugged off his boots and made for the piece of furniture.
It was a bit springier than the old couch, though he found he couldn't complain. It made for a better bounce, and soon he was well on his way to mastering the flips Qui-Gon had taught him. He only needed a few more repetitions and then –
"So then I said –"
Qui-Gon froze mid-sentence when a bright flash of anger surged through his bond with Obi-Wan, stopping him in the middle of the hall and causing his eyes to go wide. He frowned when it was instantly silenced, and when he sent a query after it, he received a quiet reassurance, telling him everything was fine and that Obi-Wan had merely made a mistake in his practice.
Qui-Gon quirked an eyebrow at that thought; he'd sensed his apprentice's mounting frustration all day and supposed that it had been one setback too many. After sending a calming Force-suggestion, he turned his attention back to his surroundings.
"What happened?" Mace asked, his brows knitting in concern.
"It was nothing," Qui-Gon replied as they resumed walking. "Just something with Obi-Wan, but everything appears to be fine. Now, as I was saying…"
It wasn't long before the two of them found themselves in the common area of Qui-Gon's apartments, and Mace settled himself in one of the armchairs while Qui-Gon set about making the two of them some tea.
-Obi-Wan?- he queried into the bond, attempting to contact his apprentice and let him know of their guest. Unfortunately all he received was a faint haze of thought; the boy was getting better and better at shielding.
-Obi-Wan?- he tried again, more insistently, and tapped along the shields.
-Just a moment,- came the rather distracted reply, and Qui-Gon sighed before dropping the matter. He could be patient; Obi-Wan was most likely in the process of refining some difficult maneuver.
"Where is your apprentice, Qui-Gon?" Mace asked as Qui-Gon stepped into the sitting area, carrying two steaming mugs of tea.
"I believe he's at the training salle, practicing on his own. He usually does so when given free time," Qui-Gon replied as he handed over one of the mugs and made to sit on the couch.
"I can hardly believe he managed to master those Ri'one flips you showed him so quickly," Mace said, sipping at his tea. "He must practice an awful lot in order to be advancing already."
Qui-Gon shrugged slightly, trying to dampen his flash of pride in the boy. "He is dutiful, I'll give him that," he said as he lowered himself onto the couch. "I sometimes wonder if he spends more ti-"
The Living Force shrieked in warning just before he sat, but it was too late to do any good. The moment his body touched the furniture, the sofa gave an impossibly loud groan of snapping wood and tearing fabric, and Qui-Gon found himself sitting in the couch, with hot tea covering his tunic front.
He sat for a moment in stunned silence, quietly assessing his current situation before he drew one inevitable conclusion.
"Please forgive me, Master."
Qui-Gon lifted his head from his arms at the sound of Obi-Wan's trembling voice, and fixed the boy with possibly his darkest look.
"I hope you've learned something from all this," he growled as he set his chin on his folded arms. He currently lay on his stomach in the Healer's wing, as he had just finished receiving treatment for possibly the most embarrassing injury he'd ever received. He couldn't move from the bed, lest he rip the makeshift stitches in his backside.
Of all times for the Healers to be short on bacta, he groused, it would have to be the single time I truly want treatment.
"I have, Master," Obi-Wan whispered, not daring to move from the doorway. Honed Masters fled in the face of Qui-Gon's foul mood, so he supposed he couldn't blame the boy for fearing for his life.
"That's good to hear," Qui-Gon snapped, tapping one finger against his arm. "Not only has your foolishness destroyed yet another piece of furniture, but you've managed to make Mace laugh so hard they had to inject him with sedatives just to calm him down, and I'm confined to this uncomfortable bed on account of these awful wounds."
"Would you like another painkiller? I can fetch the Healer if you do."
"No thank you, Padawan," he said. "I'm afraid I've already had as many as they can safely give me."
"Does it…" Obi-Wan began, daring to take a single step into the room. "Does it really hurt that much?"
Qui-Gon lifted his head again to give the boy an exasperated look. "Would you care to find out? I'm sure we can find a couch for you to plop down upon, completely unsuspecting of anything wrong, only to find yourself falling right through the framework with wood digging into a region you'd rather it didn't."
Obi-Wan wisely remained silent.
"You know, Obi-Wan, you're lucky I'm naturally a kind-hearted soul," Qui-Gon said after a moment. "Otherwise you would be the deadest dead padawan ever."
Obi-Wan gulped, the color draining rapidly from his face, and Qui-Gon heaved a heavy sigh. Scaring ones padawan was hardly part of being a good master, and weren't Jedi known for their forgiveness?
Pity he felt like throttling the boy at the moment.
"Stop looking like the galaxy has come to an end, Padawan," he said at last. "Yes, I am upset with you, and it is most likely that I will remain that way for a while, but I think it's high time I got an explanation for as why you feel the urge to go around breaking my furniture."
Obi-Wan gulped again. "I was… well, practicing."
Qui-Gon quirked an eyebrow. "Practicing."
"Yes, Master," Obi-Wan whispered. "The training salle was packed and I couldn't get near a trampoline, so…" He hung his head. "The other couch didn't break for a long time, so I figured if I did it just once it wouldn't be a problem."
Qui-Gon stared at the boy cowering in the doorway. "So not only has this been a reoccurring event, but you just left the couch in its broken state for some poor, unsuspecting soul to sit upon?"
"I was running off to try and get some adhesive to fix it, Master, I swear!" Obi-Wan exclaimed. "I didn't know you were coming back to the rooms, otherwise I would've said something!"
Qui-Gon huffed while rolling his eyes. "I'd assign you to every possible duty in the Temple, if I were able," he snapped. "And it would be for the rest of the year!"
"That certainly is a stern punishment coming from someone like you."
Qui-Gon started at the smooth, cultured baritone, and Obi-Wan jumped about a meter before spinning to stare up at Jedi Master Dooku, who stood slightly behind the padawan. A faint smile adorned his lips, and his eyes danced with amusement when he fixed them upon Qui-Gon.
"I could scarcely believe my ears when Master Windu told me of what had occurred," Dooku said as he stepped into the room, motioning for Obi-Wan to follow. "It seems you've finally found an apprentice who is as troublesome as you were."
Qui-Gon scowled at his former master. "You'll forgive me if I take my own advice when punishing my padawan," he snapped as Dooku came to stand at his bedside, while Obi-Wan hovered at the very outskirts of the circle they formed.
"I seem to recall a former padawan of my own who managed to destroy the refresher unit in our quarters," Dooku began and Qui-Gon shot Obi-Wan a glare when the boy gasped.
"That was completely different," he grumbled. "You told me to clean the unit without giving me any real instruction on how to properly use the cleaning chemicals. I didn't know that two of them would explode when mixed."
"Did you really blow up a 'fresher?" Obi-Wan breathed, his eyes wide, and Qui-Gon scowled.
"The point is I did so in ignorance. You knew what would happen if you bounced too much on a couch, and you did it anyway," he growled.
"You'll have to forgive my former padawan," Dooku said to Obi-Wan. "When he starts speaking like this it's best to ignore him."
"Master," Qui-Gon growled, glaring up at the elderly man. "Don't –"
"In light of your master's confinement," Dooku continued, ignoring Qui-Gon's attempts to interrupt. "I would be pleased to correct some of your forms. He has told me about your progress in Ri'one flips, but has he bothered to teach you about others that exist? Ones that conserve movement more efficiently?"
"I was wai-"
"No, Master Dooku," Obi-Wan said, staring up at the Jedi Master with an expression akin to extreme awe, and Qui-Gon tried to sit up angrily.
"He is my appre-"
"You've been ordered to rest," Dooku said sharply, shoving Qui-Gon back onto the bed. "Until you are able to move without crying out in pain I will oversee your padawan's training. He is in good hands, my dear, former apprentice."
Qui-Gon seethed silently for a moment while forcing himself into several breathing exercises, meant for calming. "This is revenge, isn't it?"
Dooku gave him a wide grin. "Jedi do not seek revenge."
"You're still sore over losing that marble bath tub, aren't you?"
Dooku rolled his eyes a little as he ushered Obi-Wan from the room. "I'd remind you that it was a gift from an extremely important dignitary that was worth more than several Outer Rim planets, but it was a mere possession, Padawan. Now, Obi-Wan, has your Master ever told you about the time he got his robes tangled in a Gni'pmohw tree?"
Obi-Wan's eyes grew to the size of saucers. "Never."
"Master, you wouldn't dare!" Qui-Gon yelled after them and Dooku shot him a rather gleeful grin over his shoulder.
"Well, it all started when we were assigned to a rather drab little planet…"
"Master, don't! Master!"