I'm sad to report this is the last chapter. It's taken me a while – due to my terrible lack of updating in the last few months – but recently I pulled my act together and tried to write a story you would all enjoy. I hope you have!
I got this chapter up earlier than expected! Happy Valentines Day for tomorrow!
A big thank you to my very faithful readers- peaceguardian, where the wind blows, peanutmeg, Selene476 for reviewing so nicely! Also to any anonymous reviewers who I can't thank with PMs thanks for reading and reviewing! :D
Disclaimer: Nothing I own of the Star Wars franchise do I.
Thanks again! And enjoy!
Chapter 10- Concluding Act
(In the Banquet Hall)
Kol looked over at the Jedi Master gently wiping the blood from the face of the young boy. Not only had the boy saved Kol's life, but now Viza's. How could such a young boy be so selfless- putting himself in danger for those who were not his kin or even his allies? The rebel leader could not fathom the notion.
"Keep the Chief Advisor down," Raidon ordered two of his Imperial Guard who hurried to obey his order. "First Minister- please also stay where you are." Seething, the Malrion First Minister nodded curtly. With the majority of the room now turned against him, including his own Guard and many ministers there was nothing else he could really do.
Qui-Gon rose to his feet, making sure Obi-Wan was more comfortable, shrugging off his own cloak to cushion his Padawan. /Stay here for a moment/ he instructed Obi-Wan, who nodded along with a verbal agreement through their bond. Qui-Gon could feel the boy clinging to their mental link as though it were a lifeline for a drowning man.
"You are the leader of the rebels?" Qui-Gon said to Kol who stood up, helping Viza to her feet.
Kol nodded. "I am," he said confidently. Viza stood at his side, watching him closely. The other rebels had drawn closer to their leader, watching carefully the proceedings. Now that the Chief Advisor and First Minister had been apprehended…did this mean…?
"I believe the people of Malrion will not be pleased when they learn of their Government's deception," Qui-Gon said to the inhabitants of the room as Captain Raidon walked over to him. "I advise letting the Justice Sector take control of matters for now, until a new election can take place."
Advisor Wei rose shakily. "But what about us? The Government steps down but what happens to the ordinary ministers?" There were murmurings of agreement from the ministers and advisors still kneeling on the floor where they had been placed by the rebels, despite there not being any weapons trained on them. Several still looked shell shocked at the revelations and the sudden act of violence by the Chief Advisor.
"It is up to the people. If you can prove your innocence then there should be no harm," Kol spoke up. "I do not want to run Malrion. I want a fair Malrion- one for the people to fairly decide what they want- who to run for Government. I have done my job in freeing Malrion."
"But-" Zariya spoke up. "I thought-"
"We are not politicians, we do not know how to run a planet," Kol interjected. "We must let the people decide." Viza smiled warmly at his side. "I want no more blood to be spilt. Zane's memory has been avenged and Malrion free. I am satisfied."
Qui-Gon nodded at Kol. "That is wisely said," he agreed. "Your brother would be proud." The Jedi Master's lips twitched at the identical looks of shock on both Kol and Viza's faces at his correct deduction. "Now, I must speak with the Jedi Council. I am sure they will be supportive of the new government to be formed on Malrion. I also need to get my Padawan to a medical clinic urgently."
"We will have the First Minister and Chief Advisor under house arrest until the allegations can be proved," Raidon volunteered. "The Justice Sector will be suitable to watch the affairs for a couple of weeks until the new elections. We have expert facilities here to treat your Padawan."
"Thank you Captain," Qui-Gon offered a smile. Whilst Raidon and Kol continued talking, Qui-Gon crossed back over to where Obi-Wan was slouched against the table and crouched down beside the young boy. A little bit of colour was now back in Obi-Wan's cheeks now he had the use of the Force to help deal with the pain.
"Come on Obi-Wan- we need to get your injuries seen to," Qui-Gon said gently, rousing the boy from the light healing trance the Master had helped him into.
Obi-Wan nodded slowly, still basking in the warmth of their bond as Qui-Gon came down to his height level. "I can… walk Master..." he said determinedly despite the flitting pain Qui-Gon could feel emanating from behind his Padawan's shields.
Qui-Gon raised an eyebrow. "I think not my Padawan." He was also concerned by the heat radiating from the boy's forehead as he held the back of his palm to it. Fever was setting in already. Shock could follow soon after if he didn't act swiftly.
"Then what- " To Obi-Wan's horror he saw what his Master was about to do and had no power to stop it. Easily, Qui-Gon scooped up the young boy into his arms- his own cloak and all, mindful of Obi-Wan's injured leg and head, his actions smooth and steady so as to not jar the limb and cause his apprentice further pain. Using the Force to deaden the nerve endings was helping somewhat.
Obi-Wan didn't care about the pain; his cheeks flamed a bright red in embarrassment. He could feel the entire room's eyes upon him as Qui-Gon held him carefully to his broad chest and rose to his feet. "Master please!" Obi-Wan pleaded, hiding his face in his Master's tunic. "Don't carry me!" He switched back to talking through their bond. /Master! It's embarrassing!/
"I'm not going to argue on this point Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon retorted, ignoring the pleas as Raidon indicated for the two Jedi to follow him, Viza coming along too. Kol was busy talking to the rest of the rebels. "Your injury is severe. Any more pressure on your leg could worsen the situation." He tightened his grip on the precious bundle in his arms. /I'm not letting you out of my sight for a while Padawan/ He added, projecting the worry he had felt for his young charge over the past few days through their bond.
Overwhelmed by the feelings of care and concern radiating from his Master, Obi-Wan chose to nod meekly, still refusing to look anywhere else but at the comforting, familiar tunic covering his Master's shoulder. Ok, perhaps he wasn't going to admit that he was slightly enjoying the indulgence.
Qui-Gon entered the medical bay, his concerned levels ranking up a notch as Obi-Wan had fallen silent in his arms. Despite Qui-Gon's every care, the slightest touch to the limb sent pain shooting through his Padawan and Qui-Gon could see the tell-tale signs as Obi-Wan's jaw clenched and blue eyes blinked moisture away. No matter what, Obi-Wan made no sound.
Two healers looked up as Qui-Gon, with Obi-Wan in his arms, Raidon and Viza all entered the medical bay. Upon seeing a bloodied and injured Obi-Wan they were jerked into action, quickly leading Qui-Gon into the operating area, laying Obi-Wan gently on a bed.
"Padawan you will be fine," Qui-Gon promised, standing close to the bed as another couple of healers entered the room, preparing to treat Obi-Wan's range of injuries.
Obi-Wan nodded once, eyeing the healers warily as they prepared sedatives and equipment for the operation.
"Master Jedi- you will have to step out," the head healer said, a mask over her face as she and her fellows prepared to remove the blaster bolt.
Qui-Gon looked as though he was going to resist the healer's quiet but firm command, but then felt Obi-Wan's thoughts float into his mind. Inwardly he smiled at the feeling he had surprisingly missed during the last couple of days. /Go Master- you said you had to update the Council?/
/I will be back as soon as you are awake/ Qui-Gon sent back, taking one last look at his small Padawan before he was sedated for the operation, sending an extra wave of Force suggested sleep towards Obi-Wan.
Qui-Gon did smile at the sleepy thought and left the room where Viza and Raidon were politely waiting for him.
"How is he?" Raidon asked.
"He has a blaster wound to the upper knee and a gash on his forehead," Qui-Gon said. "All are treatable."
"My -I mean Leader Kol sends his best wishes to Obi-Wan," Viza spoke up. "Apparently Obi-Wan saved my brother from being shot as they entered the Palace," she informed Qui-Gon, finally admitting to the connection between her and the rebel leader. Qui-Gon still marvelled at how Kol had allowed his sister so deep into enemy territory.
However, Qui-Gon was surprised at what she said. Obi-Wan had gone out of his way to save the person he perceived as his enemy? Pride rose up in his chest for the young boy that lay behind the closed medical door. "Captain, is there a way I can send a communication to Coruscant? I must update the Council on the events here."
"I will be happy to oblige," Raidon said, "Please follow me."
"My Masters," Qui-Gon bowed to the holographic image of the Jedi Council seated before him as he prepared to update them. Raidon had brought up back to Klone's now deserted quarters to make use of the secure connection for the transmission off-planet.
"Master Jinn, news you have for us concerning Malrion do you?" Yoda asked, leaning forwards.
"Yes. It seems that not everything was as we first thought," Qui-Gon started. "Evidence has been brought forward of corruption and vote-rigging with the present Government."
A surprised murmur rose up around the Council. Malrion had always been considered a strong planet in the Republic with a stable economy and government. This news had come as a revelation to those living outside the planet. It would probably come as a surprise, though not an unwelcome one to many on Malrion, Qui-Gon thought ruefully.
He then proceeded to tell the Council all that had happened in the last few days, from Obi-Wan's kidnapping to the occurrence in the Imperial Palace banquet hall an hour before. Intermittently, a Council Member would ask a question, or have Qui-Gon clarify an event.
"What now is to occur on Malrion?" Mace Windu asked, steepling his fingers together as he surveyed Qui-Gon.
"It has been suggested that the Justice Sector take over until a new Government is formed," Qui-Gon answered. "They are currently reviewing the evidence that has been provided by the Chief Advisor's assistant, the Chief Advisor, First Minister and a couple of senior aides are under house arrest."
The Masters nodded in agreement, quiet murmuring as they conferred, the blue holograms wavering as Qui-Gon waited patiently for a response. Despite his schooled features, his mind still dwelt on his Padawan in the medical wing.
"Agreed the Council has. To stay on Malrion you are, until a new Government is formed." Yoda commanded. "Offer your help if necessary you shall."
"But where is your Padawan?" Mace Windu asked concerned, leaning forward in his seat, remembering the last transmission he had received from a rather frantic Qui-Gon. This Qui-Gon reporting calmly to the Council looked more at ease, though Mace noted the slight tension in the shoulders. "And is that blood on your tunic?"
"Obi-Wan was taken by the rebels and in a battle with the Palace Guard was shot defending the leader from harm," Qui-Gon replied. "It is not my blood. He is currently being treated in the Palace medical wing. The injury is not life-threatening," Qui-Gon picked up on the relief shown both by Mace and Master Yoda.
"Good to hear this is," Yoda's ears lifted. "Stay and heal with your Padawan you shall."
"May the Force be with you Masters," Qui-Gon bowed his head.
"May the Force be with you," they intoned back, before the hologram shook once and then disappeared.
Exhaling, Qui-Gon rolled his shoulders slightly to relieve the tension. He glanced at his chrono, surprised that nearly an hour had passed during his session with the Council. He wondered how Obi-Wan was doing. Accessing the bond so easily, all he felt was peace emanating from his Padawan's end. The boy was still sedated it seemed.
Leaving the room, Qui-Gon headed back to the medical wing. Imperial Guards were stationed along most of the corridors as he passed. All recognized the Jedi Master and made no move to stop him as he strode past, lightsaber attached to his belt again after Kol had returned it apologetically after the arrest of Klone and the First Minister.
Arriving back in the medical wing, Qui-Gon spotted the head healer was already waiting for him.
"Master Jinn," she bowed her head in greeting, Qui-Gon copying the gesture, hoping he didn't seemed rude as he hurried to ask her about Obi-Wan.
"Your apprentice is out of surgery," the healer Liu said in her quiet way. "We believe it was a success. With time he should regain full use of his leg and his head injury was shallow and not of great concern. We have treated him for mild fever and shock. He should wake presently."
"He is already awake," Qui-Gon noted, lips quirking as he felt Obi-Wan's lethargic thoughts humming softly in the back of his mind, alerting him to the fact his Padawan had awoken from the sedative he had been placed under for the operation. He sent back a wave of support and love. "Thank you for everything," he told the healer sincerely.
"It was our pleasure," Liu said, standing back to allow the Jedi Master into the room where his Padawan lay.
Qui-Gon entered the room, eyes immediately captured by the young boy that lay on the bed in the centre of the room, leg wrapped up tightly in stiff bandages. A bacta patch had been placed over the slash on his temple. Obi-Wan visibly brightened as his Master entered the room and strode over to his bedside.
"Master," the Padawan smiled as Qui-Gon reached him.
"How are you feeling?" Qui-Gon asked, noticing the various monitors Obi-Wan was remotely hooked up to, the numbers and lines flashing across screens.
"They are for show Master," Obi-Wan waved nonchalantly at the various items of technical equipment. "I feel much better."
"I'm glad," Qui-Gon said sincerely, seating himself carefully on the side of the bed, making sure it was the opposite side to Obi-Wan's injured leg. "You gave me a fright. On several occasions may I add."
Obi-Wan ducked his head. "I apologise Master," he said quickly. "I should have been more-"
"Don't apologise," Qui-Gon interjected gently, raising Obi-Wan's head with the crook of his finger under the boy's chin so they were facing each other again. "If anything- I should be apologising for not keeping you safe as I should have."
"But Master," Obi-Wan protested earnestly, unwilling to let his Master apologise for something – in the Padawan's opinion- was blatantly not his fault.
"I heard you behaved like an exemplary Jedi whilst in the rebel's control," Qui-Gon said, brushing back a roguish lock of hair from his Padawan's face. "I am proud of you Obi-Wan." The older Jedi practically felt their bond sing as Obi-Wan glowed at the praise.
"I thought I'd failed," Obi-Wan said quietly after a while. "I didn't know what to do. I needed you."
"And I you," Qui-Gon replied, just as softly. "Your place is by my side. It did not feel right without you Padawan," he insisted, watching the boy's cheeks flame red again, this time with pleasure at his Master's loving words.
"Thank you Master," Obi-Wan said, a smile tugging at his lips as he pushed himself upright with both arms and wrapped them around Qui-Gon's middle.
Surprised, but happy, Qui-Gon hugged his Padawan to him, gently smoothing the top of Obi-Wan's hair in a soothing gesture. "I spoke to the Council," he said as they broke apart.
"Yes?" Obi-Wan waited expectantly for a reply.
"We are to stay here until the new Government is formed," Qui-Gon told him. "You are to rest and recover," he prodded Obi-Wan lightly in the chest for emphasis.
"Yes Master," Obi-Wan giggled obediently as he squirmed away from tickling fingers as his Master sensed the challenging nature of his apprentice. "Master please!" he begged for relief, mindful of his leg.
Relenting, Qui-Gon allowed his Padawan to settle again, a grin on his face. "Well, let us hope our next mission is not nearly so dangerous," he said at length.
"But Master where's the excitement in that?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Seek excitement a Jedi does not," Qui-Gon reminded his apprentice, with a gentle tap to the nose in admonishment.
"I'll try not to," Obi-Wan smiled.
"Do or do not- there is no try," both Jedi said together, identical grins on their faces as they laughed together. Somehow, both knew they were going to be alright as they sat together, surrounded by the company of the Force and their bond.
Does that satisfy the mush needed between the two? I hope it does! Thank you everybody who has stuck with the story (despite my terrible lack of updates at first!) Big thanks to everyone who has reviewed, alerted or added to their favourite :) it made me very happy- and I'm glad you all enjoyed it!
I have already begun planning the next stage of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan's adventures so I hope you are all looking forward to it! Planning had commenced and it should be appearing soon. The title is In the Depths of my Mind. Just to let you know and anticipate!
Thanks again for the time you've spent reading this!