A/N: Basically, it's everything everyone's ever done with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon with one little twist -- Obi-Wan's blind. It's irreversible, he even dreams in sounds and smells (as I will explain later) for now, just know that Obi-Wan is blind. Period.
"Obi-Wan is a great master. As strong as Master Windu and as wise as Master Yoda." Anakin Skywalker
Twelve Years Ago
The Jedi held the baby in her arms. The Jedi, Sh'nike was humanoid, as was the child. Sh'nike had been on a diplomacy mission on a planet a solar system over when she'd felt the disturbance in the Force. She rushed to the planet where a baby was born -- the cause of the disturbance. Just touching the baby was enough to know that the mediclorians in his system were far above normal.
It was easy enough to negotiate the release of the baby to the Jedi. The woman who had given birth was young and not ready for child. She only asked to name the boy -- Obi-Wan, a combination of a father's and grandfather's names, and a surname of Kenobi.
Sh'nike had did a thorough examination of the child on the ship. Though barely four days old, it didn't cry, another trademark of a being one with the Force. She concluded that the baby was perfectly healthy except for one thing…
He was blind.
Never had there been a person blind from birth who was able to train as a Jedi. But Sh'nike was confident in her decision to get the child. She would report to Coruscant with the child and ask for it to be brought up as a Jedi. She would see that it was accepted into the order…
Obi-Wan turned his head slightly but did not turn away from the drawing he was working on. His left hand brushed over the paper, able to feel the impressions from the pencil. With his right hand, he added two more short lines. "Hello, Bant."
Bant Eerin dropped into a seat next to Obi-Wan. Though impressed by his drawing she wasn't surprised. It was just something Obi-Wan could do, like being the best fighter with a lightsaber even though he couldn't see his opponent. Instead of commenting on the beauty of the artwork -- for it was beautiful -- she asked, "What is it?"
Obi-Wan shrugged, looking at her and tilting his head slightly to one side. It was only when he looked at you that you could really tell Obi-Wan was blind. His eyes were an impossibly light shade of blue and there appeared to be no pupils. He looked back in the direction of the artwork. It was done entirely in a charcol pencil with no shading. "I think I might have met him once, when I was very young."
Bant looked back at the picture. It showed the half-face of a man done in exquisite detail while the rest was blurry, distorted. Even the face was someone crude, like it was hewn of rock. The small girl smiled, liking this veiw into Obi-Wan's world. The man's had a half-smile, as if amused by something Obi-Wan had said. Obi-Wan put his pencils and sketchbook in a bag woven for him by Bant for his last birthday -- his twelfth birthday. He would be thirteen in less than a month. He had less than a month to be taken on as an apprentice.
This thought had entered the young boy's mind many times in the past weeks but he pushed it away viciously. Not only did he not want to be thinking of it -- for it often made his stomach flip -- but he also needed to concentrate on where they were going.
Bant and Obi-Wan left the gardens together and entered the early-morning hum of the Jedi Temple. "Are you nervous, Obi-Wan?" Bant asked quietly. Obi-Wan thought for a second before nodding slowly. He was nervous. He knew that there would be several Jedi looking for apprentices at this tournament. Obi-Wan was competing, along with his friend Garen and a handful of other initiates, all hoping to be apprenticed.
Bant squeezed his hand, smiling a little even though her friend couldn't see. She already had two Jedi looking at her as a possible padawan. Even at the age of ten her knowledge of the Force was strong. She would probably be apprenticed by the of the year to either Master Tahl or Master Rhara. She wasn't participating the tournament, though she was attending to support Obi-Wan.
They had arrived at the gym a full hour before the set time of the tournament. Garen Muln greeted them warmly. A lanky humanoid with a quick smile, Garen was unquestionably a good fighter, though his skills truly lied as a pilot. He clapped Obi-Wan on the back, thrusting a practice 'saber in his hands. "You want to spar?" he asked.
Obi-Wan nodded. "In a second, let me stretch first." He handed his bag of pencils to Bant who took him, though her silver eyes were on a figure just past Obi-Wan and Garen. "I didn't know Bruck was going to be here." She commented, eyes narrowing.
"Yeah," Garen said, his voice betraying his dislike. "He's paired with Obi, too. Should be a good fight, huh?"
Obi-Wan straightened up, activating the lightsaber that he would use to spar with Garen. He took a deep breath, letting the Force swirl around him, waiting until the right moment…
He put up a defense just as Garen's blade came down. They whipped apart from the force of the blow before coming back together. Obi-Wan flipped over Garen's head and lost his bearings for a split second. The sound of energy crackling through the air made him put his weapon up behind his head and the 'sabers clashed once again.
Obi-Wan fought using the Force as a guide. It was how he had done everything since he was small. The Force was something he could trust -- he had never felt inferior because of his lack of sight. On the contrary, he felt that he had a stronger faith in the Force because of it.
Obi-Wan's stance so far had been mostly defense but now he pushed the one advantage he had over Garen -- his height. In a fast series of blows coming from above, Obi-Wan managed to throw Garen off balance. He touched the lightsaber to the boy's neck, signaling the end of the battle.
Garen grasped Obi-Wan's proffered and stood up, breathing heavily from the challenging duel. He bowed, "Good battle, Obi-Wan."
Obi-Wan bowed back, "You were a tough opponent, Garen."
Garen grinned, clapping Obi-Wan on the back. More people had entered the gym and there were now other duels circling around them. "Who's here?" Obi-Wan asked, tilting his head in preparation to listen.
Garen surveyed the crowd. Much of it were fellow initiates -- Bant was sitting next to Quinlan Vos -- but there were several masters present. "Yoda is here, of course. He's sitting up front and looking at us 'cause he knows we're talking about him." He smiled at Yoda and gave a small wave. The old Jedi turned away. "Now Yoda's talking to this man…oh, I know I know him!" Garen frowned, trying to place the man. "Anyway, he's really tall with a little beard and long hair." Garen kept frowning at the man.
"And?" Obi-Wan prompted when his friend hadn't spoken for a while.
"Oh, yeah. Well, there's Master Tahl sitting next to Bant. I really think she'll take her on as her apprentice. Masters Bondara and Drallig are here too." Garen continued, referring to the lightsaber instructors.
"Who else…there's Master Rhara. And….I don't know, Obi." He smiled lopsidedly at his friend, bringing one of Obi-Wan's own hands up so he could tell. "We got to get ready. You'll do fine. We'll both get masters and sneak out for a night of drinking to celebrate." Once again, Garen's odd humor made serious Obi-Wan more than a little confused, but then Garen moved away and Obi was left on his own.
Obi-Wan reactivated his lightsaber, imagining how the energy blade would look. He had been told it was green. He took a deep breath, thinking. He knew he was good with a blade. He excelled there -- mostly because of his total faith in the Force. He could always sense where his opponent was, what they were doing, and what attack they would use. He thought that even if he could see, he would still fight blindfolded.
Obi-Wan moved towards the voice of Master Bondara. He stood next to the lightsaber master as he explained that Obi-Wan and Bruck were going to spar first. Obi-Wan nodded, showing that he was ready. He stood, sensing Bruck move to stand opposite him.
"The tournament will now begin." Obi-Wan didn't know whose voice it was and didn't have time to think. Usually, at a sparring match, you would bow to your opponent, then you would circle them once or twice to feel them out with the Force. Then you would attack. The process showed patience and precision and was usually effective.
Bruck ignored the practice and lunged straight at Obi-Wan, aiming for his chest.