Title: Going Home
Genre: Drama/Angst and eventually some mild mush.
Feedback: If you find one ounce of enjoyment in this fic – please do take the time to let me know. This is my first attempt at writing fan fiction of any kind. This starts out in a very different place from where it ends. I hope you find it as satisfying as I did :)
Summary: It has been a year since the battle at Naboo. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon have not spoken and many things remain unfinished between them. Yet when Obi-Wan goes missing, Qui-Gon wonders if he will ever have a chance to make things right.
Disclaimer: Alas, they don't belong to me. All recognizable characters belong to George Lucas, Dave Wolverton and Jude Watson.
/Italicized text indicates thoughts/
Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn strode through the temple corridors towards his quarters. He was unusually preoccupied today, so much so that Anakin had managed to score a kill point during their earlier sparring session.
Qui-Gon smiled as he remembered the look of shock and surprise on his padawan's face, he was quite sure it was mirrored on his own. This was the first time the apprentice had even come close scoring a point against his master in any number of the sessions they'd had since being paired. The incredulous look on the boys face had quickly melted into a smile that's brightness rivaled that of the twin suns of Tatooine – and rightly so.
Qui-Gon had to admit - the boy was good. True, he had been preoccupied and perhaps a trifle too confident in his own abilities, but still – he was a Jedi Master. Which in no way changed the fact that the boy had beaten him fair and square.
Suddenly, in his minds eye, the image of his smiling young padawan was replaced by that of another. A boy with spiked ginger hair, an impish smile and the most expressive blue/gray eyes he had ever seen. The object of his preoccupation . . .
Closing his eyes, he tried to push the image from his mind as he always did when he thought of his former apprentice. Yet try as he might, he couldn't get Obi-Wan out of his mind.
Today was the one year anniversary of his near death at the hands of the Sith on Naboo. Has it only been one year, force it seems so much longer, he thought.
As Qui-Gon continued to walk, various images from that fateful day ran through his mind. The look of hurt that crossed Obi-Wan's face as he offered to train Anakin in front of the Council. He felt the boy's pained surprise through the training bond before shields were quickly and thoroughly slammed into place. It would be the last time he would feel anything from Obi-Wan through their bond. His steps faltered, slowing in remembrance of the pain that HE had caused.
Quickly regaining his composure he hurried on. But still the images came. Obi- Wan running to catch up with him in the reactor core, his padawans agonized scream as his master was run through with the Siths saber. Obi-Wan, tears streaming down his face as he held his dying master. Finally reaching his quarters Qui-Gon palmed opened the door. He stepped inside and let the door close behind him. Leaning back, he closed his eyes and let the memories overtake him.
Anakin Skywalker sat in his final class of the day. Outwardly he looked the model student, attentive and obedient. Inwardly he was bored. He knew the material inside and out. He never failed. In fact, he excelled at almost everything he did at the temple. His grades were excellent and his sparring technique was nearly flawless for a boy his age. None of his age mates had managed to defeat him when it came to sparring. Those who would spar with him voluntarily that is.
The one area that Anakin seemed to have a problem with was in socialization. He had tried to make friends, but it just never seemed to work out. Qui-Gon had warned him that there might be some animosity towards him where he arrived so late to the temple and already had a master.
So what, he thought. I didn't grow up in the temple. Big Deal. They're just jealous. I've only been here a year and I'm better than any of them.
He smiled as he thought of his sparring match with Qui-Gon earlier that day. His master had seemed distracted. Qui-Gon was usually so focused that he could easily predict any counter move Anakin could come up with. But not today.Anakins smile widened.
Still, he wondered what it was that could have distracted Qui-Gon so. Not that it mattered. He was the Chosen One after all. It stood to reason that over time he would be able to hold his own against the best in the Order. This was only the beginning. His eyes narrowed the tiniest bit and the smile he still wore began to look more like a smirk.
/I'll bet in 5 years my abilities will surpass even that of the great Master Jinn/
His musing was interrupted as he heard a familiar name mentioned.
"...Obi-Wan Kenobi. As you all know, the Sith were once considered to be extinct. Many Jedi grew up believing they were nothing but a myth..." Anakin listened as the instructor, Knight Bel'ya continued. "...we now know that they were and are very real. This new chapter in the history of the Republic is still being written. However, we do know that the Sith CAN be defeated, thanks to our very own Knight Kenobi."
Anakin tried not to roll his eyes as the instructor continued on. "As you all may be aware, it has been one year today since the battle at Naboo..."
Of course, thought Anakin. No wonder Qui-Gon had been distracted. His master had amlost died that day, but Qui-Gon had not been his master at the time.
Anakin mentally scowled as he thought of his Qui-Gon's former apprentice. Obi-Wan had never liked him. Anakin quickly tamped down on the surge of anger he felt as he remembered overhearing Obi-Wan referring to him as dangerous. He thought back to the last time he saw the knight.
He had been sitting at Qui-Gons bedside in the palace infirmary on Naboo. Qui-Gon had only just been removed from the bacta tank hours before and was still unconscious
Obi-Wan had approached Qui-Gon and had either chosen to ignore Anakin's presence or was so focused on his master that he just didn't notice the boy. Either way, his presence had gone unacknowledged.
Anakin recalled thinking that there was something different about Obi-Wan, but he couldn't place what it was. Obi-Wan had stood staring down at the master for what seemed like endless moments to Anakin. Finally, Obi-Wan reached out and grasped Qui-Gons hand. In his other hand was an object that Anakin could not see.
Very gently Obi-Wan had placed the object in Qui-Gon's hand and enclosed that big hand with both of his own. His eyes closed briefly. Anakin thought that he may have seen a tear escape from beneath lowered lashes. But before the thought could register, Obi-Wan turned abruptly and exited the room.
Anakin, being curious, slipped from his seat and approached the sleeping master very quietly. Without even thinking about it he reached out and took the small pouch from Qui-Gons hand and looked inside. Still not quite sure what it was he dumped the contents into his hand. It was a ginger colored braid, neatly coiled and tied off with a piece of string.
Obi-Wan's braid. So that's what was different. Anakin startled as Qui-Gon began to mumble weakly in his sleep reaching for consciousness. "Obi-Wan! No...do...don't...you...too much...too..." Quickly Anakin shoved both the pouch and its contents into his pocket.
Anakin frowned at the memory and had the decency to at least feel a small amount of guilt and shame at his actions. He had never given the pouch to his master. It was in fact tucked into a small box with his few belongings from Tatooine in the back of his closet.