Disclaimer: I, regretfully, do not own anything related to Star Wars. If I did, Obi-Wan would be my personal bodyguard. It isn't mine and I am making no money off of this. (Charitable donations for a better computer would help though… ha ha)
This story is done by me taking a breather from my Lord Of The Rings fanfic "Seriously? Why Me?" while I cope with writer's block, halfway through Moria. To my regular readers, I swear I'll update that one soon! Honest!
Feedback is appreciated!
He slumped down on his sleep couch, letting his posture slip. The inner agony over the last couple of months was overwhelming.
His Master despised him. He was sure of it.
Obi-Wan Kenobi had been a Padawan apprentice for all of two months, and was already wondering if life would have been better in the Agri-Corps. At least there he didn't cope with the feelings of rejection by the one person in the entire galaxy he was bound to. He just would have faced with rejection from the Temple.
At that particular moment, Temple rejection looked like the lesser of two evils.
Why does he hate me? Am I that pathetic and useless? Why did he even take me as an apprentice? A temporary respect that was overruled when he bonded me? The pain redoubled, making him gasp. It hurt so bad… not that his cold distant Master would care.
Qui-Gon Jinn had barely spoken to Obi-Wan since they had returned to the Temple after their first missions. Unlike what the teen knew about Jedi Masters and what they should do, Qui-Gon had not made any effort to strengthen the bond they shared. Where there should have been a connection filled with trust and love, there was a gaping, cold void. And somehow, Obi-Wan got the distinct feeling that he was the cause of it.
He wouldn't hate someone for no reason, would he? Then what did I do to earn this dislike? How could I have done something to displease him without knowing what it was I'd done? It didn't make sense. But then, nothing about his new Master made any sense.
Bant and Garen wouldn't understand. They would say that he should just open up, get to know his Master more. But how could he when Qui-Gon never spent very long in the same room as his Padawan? Was he that despicable? He could never do anything to his strict Master's standards.
The very reason he was in his room could be explained by Qui-Gon getting frustrated with having to teach the same kata moves over and over again, with no comprehension from his apprentice. It wasn't Obi-Wan's fault that the kata in question usually wasn't perfected until a Jedi reached the rank of Knight, but Qui-Gon didn't seem to care. He had eventually called off the training session and ordered his Padawan to their apartment to meditate. Obi-Wan had tried the meditation, but it hadn't seemed to work. Even the Force seemed to be working against him.
He lay flat on his couch, for the first time feeling the soft gurgling of his stomach. Glancing at the time, he realized it was past dinner time. Not that he cared. He didn't think he could get a mouthful of food down if he tried.
An idea occurred to him. What if Qui-Gon noticed something was wrong? Would he worry about Obi-Wan and actually pay attention to him, or would he just ignore it? The teen wanted, more then anything at the moment, to actually feel his Master's concern for him. Maybe if something happened to him…
Nah. He doesn't care about me. With that thought in mind, Obi-Wan rolled over and fell into an uneasy sleep. Maybe things would be better in the morning.
A knocking noise sounded in the narrow hallway he stood in. It echoed around him, calling, mocking. Obi-Wan flinched, trying to find somewhere to escape the pounding within the cold corridor.
His Master stood at the end, calling him. Obi-Wan! The teen started running to Qui-Gon but found his legs hampered by something… it was like running through quicksand. He couldn't reach his Master. He felt the older Jedi's disapproval. Try harder! That is not acceptable! You are a Jedi!
But Master, I can't! Obi-Wan kept straining through his invisible bonds, hearing Qui-Gon calling his name. Obi Wan… Obi-Wan…
"Obi-Wan!" The teen jerked himself awake, his blankets tangled around himself, drenched in sweat. Qui-Gon stood at the door, one eyebrow raised, arms crossed in front of his chest. "It is already 7:30! You should already be up!"
Shooting a quick glance at his clock, Obi-Wan sat up, rubbing the last traces of sleep from his eyes. "I'm sorry, Master. It won't happen again."
Qui-Gon nodded. "See that it doesn't. Do your morning meditations and head to class after you get something to eat. I do not want to hear any comments from Master Yrach about decreasing performances in class."
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan untangled his legs from his sheets, dragging himself out of bed. He paused only long enough to straighten the rumpled blankets and grab his lightsabre from the nightstand before brushing by Qui-Gon and kneeling in the common room, opening himself to the Force. He thought about his nightmare, allowing his lingering alarm to drain into the Force along with his still-present pain. At least the fear from the dream went away. The pain seemed attached to him.
Was there nothing that would relieve this Sith-cursed burden? What could Obi-Wan possibly do to earn his Master's attentions?
He finished his meditations, showered and dressed before racing out the door. He didn't have time for breakfast and still didn't think he could stomach a mouthful anyways. Maybe I'll just starve to death. Will he even notice?
Starving to death looked like a possibility, today.
By lunchtime, Obi-Wan's stomach was starting to complain about the lack of nutrients, but its owner didn't care. He figured that negative attention from his Master was better then no attention at all, and starvation wouldn't go unnoticed, even by the most obtuse person...
He forsook the main dining area where he knew his friends would be, retreating to one of the Temple's many gardens with a datapad. He would use the pretense of studying if someone came looking for him. However, he couldn't concentrate on his psychology notes and was soon numbly staring into the distance, not really seeing, his thoughts focused on his cold-hearted Master.
He was jolted out of his thoughts by the sound of a gimmer stick tapping the ground near him. Only one person in the Temple used a gimmer stick, and Obi-Wan knew he wouldn't be able to pretend everything was all right around that one person. Please don't come near me, please leave me alone, please…
"Missed you at the meal, your friends did." Master Yoda limped his way to where Obi-Wan was sitting, fixing the teen with an inquisitive stare. "Troubled you are, young Obi-Wan. Harbour it, you must not, or in you the Dark Side will grow."
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan forced himself not to fidget. "I just wanted to study for my next class without dealing with the racket from the dining hall." He felt bad for lying to the Master, but… Yoda wouldn't understand the issue named Qui-Gon Jinn… would he?
Besides, rationalized Obi-Wan, I do have a test today that I need to study for. Qui-Gon would want me to keep my grades up.
"Hmm." Yoda frowned at Obi-Wan, one large ear twitching. "And how fare you with your Master?"
Obi-Wan hesitated. "All right."
The other ear twitched. "Merely all right, hmm? A rift I sense between you two. Close are you, to him?"
"As close as I suppose a Master and Padawan ought to be."
"And how close is that?"
Obi-Wan hesitated. He thought Qui-Gon was being a normal Master until he saw the way his friends acted around their own teachers. He knew Garen was very close to his Master Clee Rhara, close enough that he trusted her with anything, and he knew the Master thought very highly of her Padawan. Qui-Gon had never shown any affection to Obi-Wan like Garen and his Master shared.
Yoda sensed Obi-Wan's distress. "Right, this treatment of you by your Master is not. Talk to him, you should. Intervene I will, if worse it gets."
Obi-Wan got to his feet, bowing. "Thank you, Master." He looked at his chrono. "Oh no, I'm going to be late for my next class!"
"Run along then, young Padawan." Yoda's sleepy eyes focused on Obi-Wan. "Remember, young one, Qui-Gon's first Padawan you are not. Under the shadow of another are you being judged." He turned from the confused teen and knelt in meditation under the same tree Obi-Wan had leant against not three minutes before.
Obi-Wan forced himself to turn from Yoda and move to his next class, his mind racing. But… I know about Xanatos! He left the Order years ago! How can Qui-Gon still think about him more than me?
He just got to his psychology class when the warning bell rang, signaling the beginning of the lesson. Or in this case, the test about common mental disorders. Here's hoping I did enough studying!
He wearily entered through the apartment door later on that night, sporting numerous burns from sabre practice before dinner, courtesy of Bruck Chun. He hadn't had the time to treat the wounds, but didn't care. They didn't hurt.
Qui-Gon looked up from his meditative position on the couch. "You're late, Padawan."
"Sorry, Master. Garen and I were talking about the new line of starfighters that the Senate has purchased and we lost track of time."
Qui-Gon nodded, then took a glance at the burns across the teen's arms. "You had better get some bacta on those burns, Obi-Wan." He waited for his apprentice's answering nod before inquiring, "I heard you had a psychology test today. How did that go?"
Obi-Wan smiled briefly. "All right." In truth, he had just barely squeaked past. However, he didn't want to tell his Master that. Just another reason for him to be displeased with me.
"Hmm." Qui-Gon nodded again before looking at the wall-mounted chromo. "It's late and the Council has a mission for us tomorrow. They will be giving us a briefing first thing in the morning, so I highly recommend you get some sleep before then."
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan turned towards his room as the older man turned back to his meditation, the pain renewed at the abrupt dismissal. Not even a 'Good night, Obi-Wan, sleep well'? I suppose it's too much to ask for from this Master.
He softly hissed as he pulled his night tunic over the wounds on his arms. They stung with a fierce fire, reminding him of the humiliation of Bruck soundly beating him in front of dozens of other Padawans and Masters. Hit with a sudden lack of desire to do anything about his wounds (wounds I probably deserve for being so slow and stupid), he finished dressing and crawled into bed. The meager dinner he'd eaten hadn't been nearly enough for his loudly complaining stomach, but the teen didn't care. He just wanted to go to sleep and shut the pain out forever.
His sleep that night wasn't much better than last night's. If anything, it was worse.
I may continue working on this some more, depending on reviews (or lack thereof)… Don't be too expectant though, this chapter alone was hard to write!