HIDDEN IN THE LIGHT




Disclaimer: I don't own them, I'm just playing with them. I don't have anything, so don't think you'll get something if you sue me.

As always, feedback is greatly appreciated. THANK YOU sends mental hugs to all reviewers

I got this idea late one nite on my many occasions of insomnia, and had the basic outline done within an hour.

Takes place 8 years before TPM.

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Obi-Wan's face was neutral as he watched the healer move swiftly around the patient occupying the med table. He mentally replayed the events that lead to the near death of his mentor, hoping to think of another possible outcome.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and his master, Qui-Gon Jinn were sent on a mission that was doomed from the start. Even before boarding the transport, they sensed a disturbance in the force. They trusted the force to guide them, instead of the letting the dread distort their judgement.

Why didn't they listen?

They were in hyperspace when an engine blew and threw then into normal space. The sudden drop caused panic, and activated a hidden device on the ship. One after another, bombs exploded around them, causing the ship to shudder and a vacuum to sweep out passengers and other assorted debris into space. They were lucky, the pilot was able to set them down on a nearby planet.

The few survivors exited the craft swiftly and efficently, but Qui-Gon had one of his feelings. The older Jedi raced to the far end of the ship, followed closely by his padawan, who was protesting the elders actions. That's when they heard it.

A little girl was trapped behind a bulkhead, screaming and crying out for help. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan started to remove the charred metal and call out reassurances to the child. One of the crewmen found the Jedi's and offered his assistance. He was much larger and could discard the hull fragments without much difficulty.

After several intense minutes, a small way was clear and Qui-Gon eased his way into the tiny opening. He found the little girl pinned between the wall and a piece of the ship that had become detached. He had quickly scanned her and found her realitively uninjured, except for some minor bumps and bruises. He concentrated on the force to move the offending metal and picked the little girl up in his arms. The ship creeked wearily, alerting the occupants of its ultimate demise.

Obi-Wan reached out, grabbed the child and handed her off to the crewman and turned around to help his master out. When he turned, his body went numb. Tons of rubble fell from the ceiling, burying the tall Jedi master. Obi-Wan yelled and frantically began moving debris, tears streaming down his face. Several pieces were too big and heavy for him to move. He tried to focus on the force, but in his paniced state, it eluded him. He took several deep breaths, calming his mind and finding his center. He focused on the large obstacles blocking his path, and with a outstretched hand, he moved the majority of it aside, exposing the battered form of his master.

Within a couple of hours, help arrived and Qui-Gon was rushed to the temple healers. His diagnosis wasn't good, but there was still hope. Later, all hope was shattered when Qui-Gon's vitals began to plummet.

Obi-Wan was snapped out of his reviere but the healer. Though he tried to hide his emotions, concern was evident on his face. "How is he doing, Tel'ac?"

Master Healer Tel'ac lowered his head and sighed, "We've done all we can. His body is healed, but the damage to his brain may be irreversable. He has slipped into a coma and seems to be slowly drifting away."

Obi-Wan nodded numbly and walked over to his masters bedside. Qui-Gon lay so still and peaceful, almost as if he were merrily napping. Obi-Wan sat down heavily on the chair next to the bed and lowered his head, tears falling freely down his cheeks.

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Qui-Gon opened his eyes and tried to focus on his surroundings. He turned around, searching and finding no indications of where he was. He found himself completely surrounded by darkness, standing in a void that cut off light. Panic welled up in him, causing him to shake. //This is unbecoming of a Jedi// he reprimanded himself. He closed his eyes and took several deeps breaths, willing the force to lead him.

No responce.

He opened his eyes quickly, sensing something tingling along his senses.He had to focus hard to make it more identifiable, still unsure to the sensation that was all around him. Then it hit him.

Abandoned. Alone.Forsaken. Total solitude, in this unforgiving place that echoed his existance. He could feel his loneliness hovering all around him and he struggled to escape its threatening sufffocation . It had been years since the Jedi Master was alone, physically and mentally. He called out for Obi-Wan, searching the desolation for the familiar warmth that was his padawan.

Again, there was no responce.

Only the darkness was there, echoing back the space surrounding him and gripping his senses with an icy grasp. Despair started to fill the void left by the force, allowing the darkness to creep into him. His heart pounded loudly in his ears, and a chill went down his spine. A prickly sensation streaked down his arms and made his fingers tingle. His feet suddenly felt heavy, and a numbing sensation began to climb up his ankles and calves.

He lowered his eyes to see that the inky blackness was slowly sucking him under. His boots were completely covered and the darkness made its way futher up his leg. He yelled for help, struggling to escape. He was breathing raggedly, watching helplessly as the void crept up to his waist. As young children, all Jedi's are taught that panic and fear lead to the darkside, clouding your judgement and causing you to lose your focus. All that didn't matter now to the struggling Jedi. He twisted around, hoping to dislodge some of the blackness, only to find himself sinking deeper. The sensations of the abyss were overpowering and caused him to mentally falter, pulling him down at a faster pace.

The blackness was upon his shoulders, slowly inching its way up his neck. Qui-Gon shuddered and cried out one last time.

Then he saw it.

A small white figure in the distance. It seemed so far away. In the blink of an eye, there was the figure leaning over him, offering a hand up. //This must be the final thing you see before you die// Qui-Gon assumed.

The figure's hand remained outstretched, beconing Qui-Gon to take it. He looked pleadingly up at the bright spector, his eyes begging for help. The figure didn't move. Qui-Gon struggled at the heavy shroud around his frame, working his arms in a circular motion. The void was up to his chin. With the last energy he could muster, he freed his arm and reached out to the figure.

Their hands locked around one anothers, and Qui-Gon immediatly felt himself standing. He looked at his body and found no trace of the suffocating void that almost claimed him. He was still surrounded by darkness, but thankfully, this one wasn't trying to bury him alive. He returned his attention back to his rescurer and a gasp escaped his lips.

The figure was a woman, standing as high as his shoulders. Though her face was partially obsecured by a hood, he could see she had ivory skin, with deep green eyes. She was wearing a white dress that glowed with a incandescent radiance all its own. A long gossamer cloak drapped her shoulders, supporting the silky hood. It glowed a brilliant ethereal light and a soft hue of blue surrounded her face. Qui-Gon was speachless and stared at her, feeling a kind, gentlness filling his senses. She smiled slightly and stared directly into his eyes, not something alot of people do.

"Thank you," Qui-Gon stammered out.

She simply nodded.

"Am I dead?" Qui-Gon asked.

She shook her head no.

"Don't talk much, do you?"

Again, she shook her head no.

"I should introduce you to my padawan. He could learn alot from you." Qui-Gon smirked, though still unsure of where he was and if he was in danger.

A softt smile from her eased his tensions and misgivings. She looked at him curiously, the soft hue of color adding an intrigueing enigma to him.

"Ok, so I'm not dead, but I have a feeling I'm not entirely alive. Are you here to guide me, or just to keep me occupied while my body figures out what to do?"

Her expression became bewildered, concern crossing her delicate features as she shook her head yes.

"I've hovered around death before and I've never seen anything like you. I wish you could tell me who or what you are. Can you give me a clue? Why did you save me?" Qui-Gon asked, sighing at the mystery.

The smile graced her face again as she placed her two hands on his broad shoulders. She glanced over the span of his chest and rose her eyes to meet his. One hand slid down over his chest, coming to rest directly above his heart. The other hand journeyed up to his forehead, tracing a path and stopping on his temple. A silent exchange went on between them. Normally Qui-Gon shyed away from physical contact, but somehow, everything seemed natural and reassuring.

After a pause, he understood what she was trying to tell him. "You looked into my heart and saw that I was a kindred spirit, but my mind is closed off."

Her smiled broadened to show off pearly white teeth that seemed brighter than her glow.

"It's not my time let to leave is it? I still have work to do before I can rest." Qui-Gon stated, almost questioned.

She nodded a yes.

"Obi-Wan" He said absent-mindedly.

She rose an eyebrow and tilted her head slightly to the right, curiously.

"I can't leave my padawan. There is still alot he needs to learn, he still needs me to guide him." Qui-Gon said with certainity. "I can't leave him. I have to go back!"

She smiled, placing a small hand on the side of his face and turned his head. His eyes got wide, as a small speck of light shone in the black veil. Steadily, it began to grow, urging Qui-Gon towards it.

"Is that my consciousness?" He asked, turning to once again face her.

She nodded yes and caressed his face with the back of her hand.

"Thank you." he said, leaning over and kissing her on the forehead. Something tingled in the back of his mind.

Qui-Gon turned to face the light and started to walk.His steps started out heavy and burdened, but as he neared, they became soft and easy. He turned around to say one last good-bye, but the figure was gone.

Only the light was there, beconing him.

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"Tel'ac!!," Obi-Wan shouted.

The healer came rushing in just in time to see Qui-Gon's eyes flutter open.

The healer was immediatly at Qui-Gon's side, going over vitals and using the force to aid in Qui-Gon's recovery.

Obi-Wan was on the other side of the bed, holding Qui-Gon's hand, tears streaked across his face. He let out a exasperate sigh and allowed his shaking hands to tightly grip Qui-Gon's.

"Its amazing!" Tel'ac said. "He'll make a full recovery."

"Welcome back Master." Obi-Wan said, relief evident on his face. "You scared the hell out of us."

"Obi-Wan, how many times have I told you to watch your language?" Qui-Gon quipped, shaking his head.

"Yes Master" Obi-Wan said, with a touch of sarcasm.

"Don't start padawan. I may be ailing, but I won't always be and I'll have to teach you some manners, the old fashioned way." Qui-Gon said, smiling at his apprentice. He noticed there were several Obi-Wan's, mainly out of focus. He closed his eyes and tried to regain some control over his vision. When he reopened his eyes, everything was less blurry and confusing.

Obi-Wan mocked a tremor of fear and gulped, "It's so good to have you back."

"I'm glad to be back. But I had the most unusal experience." Qui-Gon started. He attempted to sit up, but the spinning sensation of the room reminded him of his condition and he eased himself back into a reclining position. His head felt like it was filled with cotton and noises made a weird echo in his ears.He smiled at Healer Tel'ac and reassured him that everything was under control.

Healer Tel'ac left the two, a sigh escaping him as he made his way back to his office.

Qui-Gon told of the strange woman who helped him while in limbo. Obi-Wan listened intently, though skeptical. After a few quiet moments, Obi-Wan noticed that Qui-Gon had fallen asleep during their conversation. Obi-Wan smiled and scanned his master, sensing he was in a much needed healing sleep.

Obi-Wan stayed by his masters side day and night, keeping a constant vigil over his still vulnerable master. Healer Tel'ac was quite impressed with Obi-Wan's loyalty, and allowed Obi-Wan to aid him in projecting healing force waves to his fallen mentor. The combined effort speeded up the healing process and advanced the physical therapy. Qui-Gon quickly regained his strength and was soon pestering the healers, asking constantly when he was to be released.

After a long and tesion filled week, Qui-Gon was released to Obi-Wan care. Obi-Wan brought the hover chair to take Qui-Gon to their quarters, but Qui-Gon refused, stating he was strong enough to walk. Healer Tel'ac had to threaten confinement and sedation to get Qui-Gon to co-operate.

Obi-Wan laughed all the way down the corridor, while Qui-Gon stewed during the ride. They past the extra rooms, some occupied with other Jedi that were that injured, the younger students rooms, and finally the long term care rooms. Qui-Gon would peer inside each of the rooms, occasionally seeing an old friend or young iniate that was injured. When they got to the long term care unit, Qui-Gon grabbed Obi-Wan's hand and told him to get Healer Tel'ac immediatly.

Obi-Wan assured Qui-Gon that he would be only a minute and rushed to go find the healer. Qui-Gon focused on the sensation that was pulsing through him, allowing it to lead him into a room. The room was dim and moniters were set up all around a bed occupied with a small figure.

The healer and Obi-Wan rushed into the room, just as Qui-Gon stood up to stand beside the bed. The healer flipped a switch to high illumination, flooding the room with a bright light. Qui-Gon didn't pay any attention to the two filing into the room, or the light suddenly becoming so pronounced. He focused on the small figure, a huge smile was across his face.

"Qui-Gon, what are you doing?" Tel'ac asked.

"I know her." Qui-Gon said, without looking up.

"Qui-Gon, you haven't met her before. She's been in a coma for over five years." Tel'ac said, standing beside his friend.

"Obi-Wan, remember when I told you about the beautiful woman I saw when I was dying? This is her." Qui-Gon said, looking at his padawan, tears in his eyes.

"Qui-Gon, old friend, several healers have tried to awaken her. She has been in a deep coma ever since she came to us. There's nothing we can do." Tel'ac said, saddly shaking his head.

"You just didn't know how to reach her." Qui-Gon said, placing his hand over her heart, and lightly touching her temple. He leaned down and whispered in her ear,"It's time you saw your own light. Allow me to help you, like you helped me. Wake up."

Tel'ac looked over at Obi-Wan and gestured for him to hold on to Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan stood beside his master and placed a hand on Qui-Gon's arm. A soft, warm feeling flowed into Obi-Wan, allowing him to sense an awareness.

Tel'ac jumped when the woman's moniters began to buzz and send out alerts. He checked the screens and found her responding, slowly becoming awake. His jaw dropped and he looked over to Obi-Wan, only to find Obi-Wan's eyes closed. Obi-Wan was concentrating, adding his force energy to Qui-Gon's.

The woman's eyes fluttered open and she fought to focus her eyes in the bright light. Tel'ac raced out of the room to alert the other healers and make a report. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan opened their eyes and studied the woman staring back at them. She smiled sweetly at Qui-Gon, instantly recognizing him. She opened her mouth to talk, but her voice was gone and only a deep rasp escaped her lips.

Obi-Wan retrieved some water and Qui-Gon lowered it to her lips to allow it to quench her obvious thirst. Qui-Gon smiled, his blue eyes twinkling, "It will be ok. Your home."