Title: The Troubled Air that Rages
Authors: LuvEwan and Perky McSkittles
Timeframe: During TPM
Summary: Obi-Wan knows a change is coming in his life. And he's worried that change is called Anakin Skywalker.
A/N: This was a co-writing experiment between LuvEwan and Spiritweaver. We had a great time with it. We used Google Documents, which is awesome for co-writing. I mean like perfect. Totally. Check it out if you are planning to co-write at some point. We mostly took turns writing paragraphs, however all the Obi-Wan was one of us, and all the Qui-Gon and Anakin were the other. We both hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor!

The Troubled Air that Rages

When the souls of the oppressed
Fight in the troubled air that rages, who can stand?


Jedi Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi stood, staring out at the warped and distorted starsacape of Hyperspace. He felt that the warped views were an allegory for his life, constantly changing and unceasing in magnitude. He could sense the change coming in the Force. He was standing on the precipice and did not know what the new dawn would bring.

After a time, Obi-Wan began to wish the constant streaming of Hyperspace would not end. He could remain in-between, always moving towards something but never reaching it, never needing to name or acknowledge the sinking dread inside of him. He could hear voices, and life forces, in other areas of the star ship, and he wanted to gather those energies to him. He wanted to live in the stillness before another transition. He wanted Qui-Gon to tell him, again, to remain in the present, and urge him to release his disconcertment to the Force.

But he knew Qui-Gon wouldn't tell him that. His master had picked up a new stray to occupy his attention. It had happened in the past, Qui-Gon would discover a being or small animal and lavish attention upon it, until something else caught his fancy. Obi-Wan knew he should not be bitter, it was unJedi-like, but something felt different about this one. About Anakin.

With other strays, Obi-Wan could anticipate their leaving. Qui-Gon would help them regain their footing, and it was only so long before they struck out on their own again. Things would settle into normalcy, with Obi-Wan alone in his position beside Qui-Gon. He tried to envision the Naboo mission ending in the same manner. Of course Anakin would not be accepted by the Council. Qui-Gon would be upset--he had never believed so ruthlessly in a cause before--but Obi-Wan knew his Master would move on.

He would have to.

As if summoned by his dark musings, the sandy haired Anakin Skywalker entered the room and approached the window where Obi-Wan was standing. Resigned that his solitude was ended, for the moment at least, he turned to the boy.

"Mister Obi-Wan, sir?" Anakin said.

Obi-Wan immediately felt foolish. The person so threatening in his mind barely stood to his waist. He cleared his throat. "What did you need, Anakin?"

"What's going to happen to me, Sir? On Coruscant I mean? Master Qui-Gon said I will be a Jedi, but it seems too good to be true. Its all I've wanted my whole life and now it actually happening? Good things don't happen to slaves." Anakin said.

Obi-Wan felt a genuine smile quirk at his mouth. "No matter what happens when we reach Coruscant, you are no longer a slave. Qui-Gon made sure of that."

"But if the Jedi don't want me, will I be a slave again?" Anakin said, worried.

Obi-Wan hesitated. It wasn't that he was unfamiliar talking with children, but this child.... "No, Anakin. You are free now. That will not change."

Anakin looked relieved. "So do you think I will be a Jedi like Master Qui-Gon says? What's it like learning from him? He says he would like to teach me all about Jedi."

Obi-Wan blinked. He felt heat rush to his ears. "Yes, well...." He willed himself not to think. "My master is a wonderful teacher. He is a kind and compassionate man, and always willing to help others. But right now he would tell you to focus on the present. The next days will be very busy, for us all. But your next task will be to stand before the Council. You should prepare yourself."

"Prepare myself? What is the council going to have me do? Will it be hard?" Anakin asked.

"Qui-Gon says the life of a Jedi is never easy. And it isn't." Obi-Wan paused. Part of him wanted to stop there, but pettiness was beneath a Senior Padawan. Beneath any Jedi. "I don't know what the Council wants. I only know that you must seek the peace inside yourself."

"I feel peace sometimes, when I am flying. Or fixing things. Is that what you mean?" Anakin said, his face scrunched up.

Obi-Wan hesitated. "....in a way, yes. Those are things you are comfortable with. Try to find that feeling with every action you take and focus on it. It's something the youngest initiate must master."

"Thanks Obi-Wan!" Anakin said with an energetic youthfulness that Obi-Wan wondered if he ever possessed. "I think I will go practice a bit, just to make sure..."

Anakin trailed off as Qui-Gon Jinn cleared his throat. Obi-Wan wondered briefly how long his Master had been standing there. "Ah, here you are. I've been looking for you both, Anakin, Obi-Wan."

Obi-Wan felt the flush spread from his ears to his cheeks. "What is it, M--"

"Obi-Wan was just telling me how I could get ready to be a Jedi!"

"Did he now? What did he suggest?" Qui-Gon asked with a grin.

"He said that I need to be at peace! That Jedi kids learned this ages ago. But I bet I can do it too!"

Qui-Gon's grin faltered slightly, "Well, I wanted to let you now that we would be arriving at Coruscant soon, and if you wanted to watch us land you should go to the cockpit."

"Yippee!" Anakin shouted as he ran out of the room.

Obi-Wan straightened. He found himself avoiding his Master's eyes. "He asked me about the Council meeting," he explained quietly.

"And you felt his curiosity warranted a subtle jab at his inexperience in the ways of the Jedi?"

Obi-Wan flinched. "No. I was only explaining...." He took a breath, and made himself look at the older man, "I apologize, Master. But I was simply telling the boy the truth."

"Be that as it may, place yourself in his situation. Far from home and for all intents and purposes alone. He is reaching out to you Obi-Wan, but something is troubling you about this boy. What is it?" Qui-Gon asked.

He compressed his lips. He never lied to his Master. He'd never had a reason to lie to him. But how could he articulate his misgivings without coming across as bitter or.....jealous? "I just know he is too old to begin training. The Council will never agree, Master."

Qui-Gon let out an impatient sigh. "He will be trained Obi-Wan, one way or the other. But that is besides the point. We were discussing your behavior towards Anakin. Your hostility. Your Trials are fast approaching, sooner then you may think. I am proud of you, and Anakin is just a boy. I have known him for a few days. Do not think he could replace you so quickly."

Obi-Wan blinked back a sudden, bright rush of tears. His throat felt thick. He had not expected Qui-Gon to pierce straight to the center of his worries, especially when he himself had not acknowledged it. "But will he....replace me?"

Qui-Gon smiled at him, "Not even Master Yoda claims to see the future clearly, Padawan. Perhaps one day Anakin will be my student, will I care for you any less? Of course not. The heart can never be completely filled, it will grow as you do. One day when you have a Padawan, do you think you will care any less for me?"

Obi-Wan was helpless against that. He wiped quickly at his eyes. "No...no of course not." He wondered how he could face his trials if he could not face his Master. He stared earnestly into the waiting face. "But I cannot help the way I feel. I am...worried."

"If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, focus on the present, Obi-Wan. There is a time and a place for thoughts of the future, but for now we are here, together. I am the master, and you are my apprentice. Allow me to worry about Anakin's fate."

It was not enough. The terrible, dark weight remained in Obi-Wan's mind. But his Master, as always, was a luminous reassurance to his heart. "Yes, Master," he murmured, thankful those words were still his to speak, and smiled.

Qui-Gon smiled back and put his arm around Obi-Wan's shoulder. "We should go to the cockpit to make sure Anakin is alright."

As they left, Obi-Wan felt a sense of dread, as if something was about to a come to a head. Whatever it was, he would face it by his master's side.