Chapter Thirteen

"Beyond Expectations"

"Stop struggling."

"You are aware, I am completely capable of dressing myself."

His words and constant squirming did nothing to stop Remi and his assistant from changing his attire as if he was a newborn in the creche.

"You can't go in there wearing that shabby suit with all these holes and stains, and look at these hems!" Remi shoved the edge of his tunic toward his face while making a clucking sound with his tongue, and Qui-Gon had to agree, the hem was showing a bit of wear and tear. But it was so comfortable!

Temple Supply had issued him a new uniform recently, but he hadn't felt the need to put it on for a private hearing, and he told Remi so.

"A hearing? Stop acting so daft, mister! Unless...You really don't know, do you?" A hand flew up to stifle the younger man's laughter, but Qui-Gon didn't see what was so damn funny.

"I'm sorry, Master Jedi," the flamboyant but handsome barber apologized before resuming his previous tasks of tucking, pulling, and lint-picking, while his assistant applied some type of gel-like substance to his hair. "Surely, you would wish to be presentable when giving your padawan away."

"What are talking about?"

Qui-Gon noticed a sparkle highlighting the white flecks in Remi's pale eyes just before he was spun around to face none other than his padawan, himself.

"Come on Telusa."

Remi's assistant followed reluctantly, although Qui-Gon couldn't understand her reluctance or why she would have tears in her eyes. In fact, he couldn't understand anything. Give his padawan away? Did that mean... Was Obi-Wan going to...?

"Master."

This may be the most confusing and stressful day of his life, but hearing Obi-Wan say that one word worked as well as six hours of meditation would. But why? What had changed so dramatically in just a day? Had someone explained to Obi-Wan why he'd been acting so strangely lately? If that were true, he was truly grateful to them, although embarrassed as hell.

"I'm aware," Obi-Wan began, "we've lured you here under false pretenses, but you have to admit, you had it coming."

"So you knew?" He was mortified. Had he done all this for nothing? Were Obi-Wan and Padme together this entire time? He couldn't imagine anything more humiliating, although...his goal had been achieved, and that was what he wanted, wasn't it? No matter the cost to his pride. It would explain as well, why Senator Amidala had shunned his advances. He'd never had such an experience with a woman before.

Before his padawan explained any further, though, there was one thing he had to get off his chest.

"Obi-Wan, I want to apologize, for the things I said to you in Theed..."

"Qui-Gon, you don't have to. And besides, we don't really have time. Just know that although I don't always approve of your methods, I do trust you, and your plans are usually successful. From a certain point of view."

"So, you're saying you and the senator are a couple?"

"Not just that, Master. We're getting married. Today! That's what we're all here for. Even Padme's family have flown in from Naboo..."

"But how did you...? When did you...?" What was the point in asking questions when he couldn't even get them out? The best thing he could do was shut up and let Obi-Wan explain.

"Not as early as you think. I'll have to make this short because everyone's waiting, but during all your mischief, Padme came to me for help. You had her worried, but I've known you long enough to figure you were up to something, so I investigated. It's because of you, we started talking again, and well...realized we were still in love. So..."

What a relief. Wait until Mace heard about this! His plan had worked after all!

Qui-Gon quickly stood to his feet, a newfound energy adding strength to his aching joints. "Well, what are we waiting for? We have a wedding to attend!"


Pride is not a Jedi characteristic. There are numerous Force mantras to perform to rid one's mind of the unwanted emotion. However, when Qui-Gon stood next to his padawan as he pledged his life to Padme Amidala, the Jedi Master could not help but feel his chest swell. Just a bit. He would meditate on it later, as well as the evils of boasting. Now that the ceremony was complete and the reception had begun, there was someone he wished to speak to: The particular Jedi Master talking to Chancellor Palpatine, as a matter of fact.

"Excuse me, Chancellor, but may I have a word with Master Windu?"

Once assured the leader was out of hearing range, Qui-Gon allowed a wide celebratory smile to spread across his face. Mace's responding one was more like a smirk.

"Don't say it. This was all a coincidence."

"You go ahead and believe that, if it makes you feel better, but you and I both know the truth." Qui-Gon replied. For the first time in a while, he was feeling a bit giddy. Or maybe it was the Dornean brandy he'd had delivered to the party.

"All right, you got what you wanted, so now you can relax. You can go back to being a hermit and having intelligent conversations with vegetation."

The words were meant to bite a little. Mace had never understood his desire for solitary confinement and had always given him grief about it, but Qui-Gon didn't care. Nothing could dampen his spirits today.

He picked up another glass of his favorite brandy off the nearby refreshment table and observed the wedding attendees; all of whom were busy chatting happily amongst themselves, especially his favorite barber, who currently had Master Yoda cornered. The poor Jedi was going to be there a while. Remi had enough personality for three or four people, which could be a tad overwhelming for some. He was a likable fellow, if only he could calm down a little. Perhaps if he met the right person...

"What are you thinking?"

On the opposite side of the suite was Anakin.

"Qui-Gon...don't."

"I'll be right back."

He made his way through the crowd, receiving handshakes and exchanging smiles along the way, the most exuberant one coming from Remi.

"Oh dear, I always tear up at these kinds of events!" Remi explained, dabbing his leaking eyes with a lace tissue while Master Yoda made his escape.

"It was a beautiful ceremony." Qui-Gon agreed. He had known Remi a long time and considered him to be an thoroughly entertaining and trustworthy fellow. If not, he would never have been allowed to work in the Temple in the first place. So, in a way, the council had already approved of him.

Anakin had already achieved the age of an adult, and Remi was what - 35, 36 standard? Qui-Gon found the difference to be acceptable.

"Remi, my friend," he said, placing an arm about the younger man's shoulders and guiding him across the room. "Allow me to introduce you to someone."

_End_