Disclaimer: Star Wars and all its characters are property of Lucasfilm Ltd. No money is made and no copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: Missing TPM scene.

. . .

Obi-Wan wasn't sure how he'd gone from a senior Padawan Learner to a babysitter, but he knew it was all his Master's fault. Qui-Gon was the one who brought Anakin to Coruscant, but as usual, Obi-Wan was the one taking care of things while Qui-Gon spoke with the Jedi Council about the situation with Queen Amidala.

Anakin was to be brought in for testing the next day, and Obi-Wan couldn't wait to be rid of him. He'd already had to chase Anakin down to the Republic Senate when he ran away to talk to that handmaiden who'd followed Qui-Gon out to Mos Espa, and then he'd had to drag Anakin out of what Obi-Wan was sure was the longest shower known to the galaxy. The boy's never-ending fascination with water, the Jedi, and all the ships flying around the Coruscant skies were enough to make Obi-Wan start taking headache suppressants.

Obi-Wan was sitting cross-legged on his meditation mat, trying to meditate - "trying" being the operative word, of course. Instead of amusing himself with the HoloNet in the common room as Obi-Wan had told him to do, Anakin had come into his room and was currently sitting on his bed, watching the rain with a bemused expression. Since Anakin was being quiet for once, Obi-Wan left him alone and continued to try to meditate.

"Why does it rain so much, Obi-Wan?" Anakin asked, practically on cue. Obi-Wan sighed. He should have known the silence wouldn't last long.

"It rains once a week here. I'd hardly call that 'so much.'"

"But why? There's nothing here to grow."

"It keeps moisture in the air."

"Do you like the rain?"

"I don't really care about it, one way or the other. It either rains or it doesn't. Can I return to my meditations or did you have more questions?"

Now Anakin's attention was fully on Obi-Wan, not the rain. He climbed off the bed and sat down on the mat next to Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan found Anakin's intense gaze rather unsettling. He was a pretty little boy, but Obi-Wan thought he was rather creepy, truth be told. He wasn't natural.

"Why do you meditate so much?" asked Anakin, having apparently missed Obi-Wan's sarcasm. Or was ignoring it. There was no telling.

"Because it clears my thoughts. Jedi do it often. If you become one, you'll have to meditate as well."

"Why do you need to clear your thoughts?"

Since ignoring Anakin only caused the boy to ask even more questions, Obi-Wan decided to keep humoring him. He maintained his meditative pose, though, trying to think of the simplest way to explain things. "It's calming. It helps you focus on what's important and not let your emotions get out of control."

"What's important?"

"It depends on the situation."

"So what are you trying to focus on now, then?"

"Not throwing you out of the window."

Anakin's expression crumpled. "You want to throw me out of a window?" he asked in a wounded voice.

Obi-Wan sighed. "I was joking." Well, mostly. "Don't take things so seriously."

"Me? You're the one always focusing on what's important. That's pretty serious."

Obi-Wan really disliked Anakin throwing his own words back at him. "Sometimes, laughing is important."

"I've never seen you laugh."

"You've known me for less than a week, so I wouldn't say that means anything."

"Still haven't seen you laugh, though."

"I haven't had anything to laugh over recently."

"I could tickle you, if you want."

"Touch me, and I will toss you out the window."

Anakin frowned. "Are you joking again?"

"Yes," said Obi-Wan with a sigh. Anakin fell silent, so Obi-Wan closed his eyes, trying to visualize a beach, letting his frustrations ebb away like the tide. He wondered how much longer he was going to be a Padawan. He was long overdue for Qui-Gon to recommend he become a Knight, but whenever he asked about it, Qui-Gon looked irritated with him.

He felt a slight tug on his Padawan braid and opened his eyes to find Anakin fondling it. "What are you doing, Anakin?" Obi-Wan had already discovered Anakin was incredibly tactile, but this seemed unusual, even for him.

"It's pretty. And soft." Anakin looked up at him and smiled, still playing with the braid. "I like it."

"Pretty?" asked Obi-Wan. "You're being ridiculous. If you become a Padawan, you'll have one of your own, and can play with that. Until then, give mine back."

Anakin jerked on his braid, making Obi-Wan's eyes water in pain. "Ow!" cried Obi-Wan, forcibly taking his braid out of Anakin's chubby little hand. "Why did you do that?" he demanded.

"I didn't mean to tug it so hard," said Anakin, sounding petulant. He looked petulant, too.

Obi-Wan's rubbed the sore spot on his head, finding himself rather not amused by the fact that Anakin had literally given him a headache now. "Don't do that again."

"I'm sorry." Anakin paused and then flung his small arms around Obi-Wan's neck. "You still like me, don't you?"

Startled by both Anakin's sudden affection and his question, Obi-Wan mumbled a "yes" and pried the boy off of him. It wasn't as easy as it should have been.

"Why don't you go play with the HoloNet? There's lots of interesting things on there for you to look at," suggested Obi-Wan.

"You're more interesting."

Obi-Wan snorted. "Well, make do with it. Please. I need to meditate alone."

"All right."

Anakin got up and walked out, looking mollified. It seemed too easy, but Obi-Wan took advantage of Anakin's sudden acquiescence and meditated for an hour. When he was finished, Qui-Gon was still gone - it wasn't unusual for such debriefings to take an entire day and even part of the night, as there was usually a Council discussion and Qui-Gon would inevitably start debating with them. Obi-Wan made sure Anakin was fed and spent the rest of the day practicing with his lightsaber. Anakin sat in the training room, watching him with fascination. He didn't ask many questions, apparently content with watching Obi-Wan run through his exercises and spar with a training droid. Obi-Wan found himself even putting on a show, adding extra twirls and spins just for the boy's amusement. Anakin never seemed more delighted.

When they arrived back at their quarters, Qui-Gon was still gone. "Well, I'm going to go take a shower, but you should get to bed, Anakin. It's late," said Obi-Wan, checking the time. He was already quite tired from his practice and wanted to go to bed himself.

"Will you tuck me in?"

Obi-Wan stared at him. "Tuck you in? Why?"

"Because I like it. It makes me feel better."

"How exactly does one tuck?"

"You know. You pull the sheets over me and kiss me good night and tell me to have sweet dreams."

Obi-Wan searched Anakin's expression, but he didn't appear to be joking. "I don't think so. I'm not your mother."

"But I might not have sweet dreams if you don't."

"Then don't dream." Freshly annoyed with Anakin's strange demands, Obi-Wan pointed at the couch Qui-Gon had designated for Anakin's sleep. Looking dejected, Anakin slumped towards it and mechanically changed into the sleeping pants Obi-Wan tossed at him.

Obi-Wan ignored his petulance and took his shower, making sure it was nice and hot. He didn't understand Anakin's moods or demands or even Anakin himself. Obi-Wan had never been tucked in, and he'd never had a problem with dreams. The very idea of Obi-Wan asking Qui-Gon to tuck him in made him snort, but he noted bitterly that Qui-Gon would probably have tucked Anakin in if asked. Qui-Gon seemed to be entirely in the boy's thrall.

Well, Obi-Wan wasn't going to let Anakin convince Obi-Wan into doing ridiculous things like that. The boy hadn't the slightest clue about Jedi etiquette, or the Code, or even how to control himself. He'd make a terrible Jedi, and he was dangerous. Qui-Gon refused to see it, but it was as clear as day to Obi-Wan. Nothing good would come of Anakin Skywalker, of that Obi-Wan was positive. He wasn't going to like him, and he would tolerate him only as much as he should any sentient being.

When Obi-Wan came out of his shower, he toweled himself dry and rummaged around for his sleeping pants. He pulled them on and turned to his bed, only to find Anakin lying on it. The nerve of Anakin astounded Obi-Wan.

"Anakin, what in star's name are you doing? Go back to your couch."

But Anakin was already asleep and tangled up in Obi-Wan's sheets. Obi-Wan went to wake him, but something about the peaceful look on Anakin's face stopped him. He reasoned that the boy would probably complain again and refuse to sleep if Obi-Wan woke him. Seeing no other recourse that didn't involve more effort than Obi-Wan was willing to put in, he laid down on the bed next to Anakin and pulled up what was left of the sheets over himself.

Anakin snuggled up next to him after a moment, and Obi-Wan awkwardly put an arm around him, which made Anakin smile in his sleep. He was at least warm, and he wasn't so irritating when he was sleeping. For one, he wasn't talking. And there was something rather endearing about the expression on his face, and the way his fingers curled around Obi-Wan's Padawan braid.

Obi-Wan silently cursed himself. He was starting to like Anakin, and that was even more irritating. He fumed for a moment, but resigned himself to the burgeoning affection - if Anakin was accepted as a Jedi, Obi-Wan would have to learn to live with him, after all. It wasn't like he was the enemy. Obi-Wan fell asleep shortly after that, feeling strangely comforted to have Anakin there. He'd never slept so close to another person, much less one who clung to him like some sort of stuffed toy.

. . .

Obi-Wan was deeply asleep when Qui-Gon came in during the night to check on them. Obi-Wan never realized that he had curled around Anakin in his sleep as much as Anakin had him, looking as content as a child with an armful of candy. It would have surprised him to find that out, but not as much as it would have to discover Qui-Gon pulled the slipping blankets over Obi-Wan and Anakin with a smile on his face, wishing them both sweet dreams.