Sleep Peacefully, My Padawan

By Bloody Phantom

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars! Just the idea for this single piece…

Anakin shifted on the sleeper, his new braid moved with him and tickled his neck. He groaned and whacked it away. How the Force did other padawan's live with a braid dangling in the way? He moved to his back and stared at the darkness above him. He was unable to sleep. It was hard when he was in a new place. The sleeper had yet to feel like his, the room didn't belong to him either, not yet. It may have been given to him, but it still felt like it belonged to Obi-Wan. He still felt like an unwanted guest, a burden, and harsh reminder to Obi-Wan. A reminder that he was there and Qui-Gon was not. How could anyone sleep with that feeling hanging over them? He didn't belong at the Temple yet. He was still the former slave boy from Tatooine, the boy Master Qui-Gon Jinn almost risked his career for.

It was the first night at the Temple with Obi-Wan as his Jedi Master. They had returned from Naboo yesterday and had spent the rest of the day learning his new routine. He frowned as he thought about Naboo. There were good things about the planet, Padmé, destroying the control ship, Padmé, winning the battle against the Trade Federation, and, oh, did he mention Padmé? But it was also the planet that killed Qui-Gon, the man he really wanted as his Jedi Master, not that he had a problem with Obi-Wan. It was just Obi-Wan didn't seem to like him. Why would he want a Jedi Master who disliked him? Who thought he was…what was the word? Dangerous? How could they work together if Obi-Wan didn't even want him?

He sighed and shifted to his side, facing his closed door. Something immediately caught his eye. He blinked and sat up, staring at the door. His head tilted to the side in confusion. There was a blue light shining from underneath the door and he couldn't imagine where it could have been coming from. He flung his blankets to the side and slipped off of his sleeper. What was that blue light? He walked, cautiously, towards the door. His heart was pounding in his chest with anticipation and excitement. He hoped the mysterious light was something exciting and interesting, or the mystery would be nothing but a disappointment. He manually opened the door, just a crack. The crack was just large enough to look through. He leaned forward and peered out into the sitting area.

His inhaled in shock and his eyes widened. His heart seemed to have skipped a few beats. It couldn't be…He leaned forward until his forehead hit the door. Obi-Wan had told Anakin he was going to sleep in the sitting room that night, being unwilling to set foot in Qui-Gon's old sleeping quarters. So, Anakin wasn't surprise to see him lying out on the couch, sleeping restlessly it appeared. His movements were frantic as if he was caught in some nightmare-ish dream. His face was pulled back, almost like he was in pain. He muttered in his sleep, his words came out too fast and quiet for Anakin to hear. However, that wasn't what surprised Anakin. Obi-Wan wasn't the one creating the blue light. It was the blue figure standing over him. Tall, intimidating, and there was a blue glow surrounding him. Anakin was able to see straight through the man. To add onto Anakin's shock, it was a man he knew all too well. A dead man. Long hair, part of it pulled back, a short beard, board shoulder. It was Qui-Gon Jinn.

Anakin blinked a few times, wondering if he was dreaming, but the figure still stood over his former padawan. Anakin couldn't move. His foot was frozen to the ground; his lungs seemed incapable of working. Short breaths came through his mouth. His vocal cords momentarily stopped working as well. All of his senses, but his sight, seemed distant. He was only able to watch as Qui-Gon finally knelt down next to the still dreaming Obi-Wan.

Qui-Gon reached out and placed a hand on the younger man's cheek. From Anakin's angle, he couldn't tell if the blue hand was actually touching the cheek or just hovering close to the skin. Whatever the distance, it seemed to have worked. Obi-Wan's body stopped moving, his muttering quieted, his face relaxed. His head turn towards the hand by his cheek. He looked peaceful and younger. A small chip broke off his inner resentment towards his new Master. Just a small chip. That small chip of resentment turned into pity. Realizing Obi-Wan was missing Qui-Gon more than Anakin had him pitying the man. He knew Qui-Gon longer, been in his presence longer. Cared for him longer. Having him die would have been a very harsh blow. Anakin didn't want to add onto his burden.

Qui-Gon kept his hand there. "I am sorry…" A short moment of hesitation. "…little one." Anakin's eyes narrowed in confusion. Little one? Was that Qui-Gon's nickname for him? Anakin did not remember him calling Obi-Wan 'little one' before. The two names he remembered him calling him were 'padawan' and 'Obi-Wan'. His name and his title. Where did 'little one' come from? "I did not want to leave you so soon, but I was given a choice. The alterative was too unbearable to even consider. I had to go. It had to be me. I am sorry I left to quickly to tell you all that you needed to hear. Those were not supposed to be my last words. I did not want them to be."

Qui-Gon closed his eyes as if to block something out and opened them again. "I am sorry I hurt you. Once again, I did not mean too. You know how I get when I get caught up in something. It's a habit I was never able to break and, for that, I am sorry. The truth is, little one, you should have been Knighted years ago. I was selfish and wanted to keep you under my care just a little bit longer. The Council was pressuring me for the past two years to allow you your trial. I refused every time, telling them you were too young, not ready." He shook his head. "I was the one not ready. You were ready. You grew up too fast for me. Why did you grow up so fast, little one? I never thought I would run out of time to tell you any of this. I always told myself that I had time. Just that morning of the day the Sith killed me, I had thought to myself, 'when did you grow up'. One moment you were thirteen and the next you were twenty-three. So fast. I was right there the whole time, but I still feel like I missed it." He paused and sighed. "I was not ready," he repeated.

"Xanatos was almost my downfall and caused me to distrust those trying to get close to me. Tahl's death brought me closer to the dark side then I ever wanted or needed to be." Qui-Gon brushed his cheek with the back of his hand. "You saved me from both. You were my light during those dark times, my beacon of hope. I couldn't ask for a better or more loyal padawan then you. You are my legacy, Obi-Wan. You will carry on my teachings," Qui-Gon chuckled. "Although, not my beliefs. We were never able to agree on that."

Anakin pressed against the crack, almost hypnotized by what he was witnessing. It was a private scene and he knew he should let them have this moment to themselves, but, if he didn't witness it…who would be there to say it happened? Qui-Gon would be gone and Obi-Wan would never know. It felt like there needed to be someone there to say it happened. To be able to tell Obi-Wan what his Master truly thought of him some day. Someone had to do it and he was that person.

"You feel you aren't ready for the challenges ahead, but you are strong, padawan. You are ready. It will be hard. It will be tiresome. But I know you will get through each hardship. It will shape you into a strong and wise man. There will be times where you feel alone, abandoned, like right now. But you aren't alone, little one. Never alone. During my time of pain, I accepted you as my padawan and you healed me. Let Anakin do the same for you. Don't push him away because of your grief, like I had done so many years ago. It will only keep that wound opened. Trust me, padawan. I know."

Obi-Wan shifted in his sleep, turning from his side to his back. Anakin could no longer see his face to know if he was still sleeping peacefully. "You may not see me or sense me, but I will never be far either. I will always be right there." Qui-Gon took advantage of Obi-Wan's position to place his hand over his heart. Obi-Wan seemed to inhale at the exact moment Qui-Gon's hand touched his chest, as if he felt him. Then, he breathed out. "You also have your friends, Bant and Garen. There's Yoda and Mace. You are never alone. There will always be someone for you to turn to if you need help. Don't push them away like I did. This is one area, Obi-Wan, that I hope you aren't like me."

Anakin blinked as he took in this side of Qui-Gon he never had the chance to see. A Qui-Gon Jinn with a flaw. He had looked up to the tall man the moment he met him. To him, Qui-Gon was a flawless man, the perfect image of a Jedi. He had hopes of becoming exactly like him, learning what he taught him and applying it to his life. To see him admitting a flaw helped Anakin see that he wasn't just a Jedi. He was also human. He was a man like anyone else.

Keeping his hand on Obi-Wan's chest, the older man continued. "I am proud of you, Padawan. You have surpassed my expectations. Every one of them." He moved his hand and touched Obi-Wan's head. Obi-Wan groaned and shifted position. "Don't let despair drag you down. Live. Live for me, little one," he said before fading away.

"M—Master…?" Anakin heard Obi-Wan grumbled as he lifted his head. He slowly sat up and looked around, as if he was looking for his former Master. He groaned and leaned forward as he rubbed his eyes. Anakin heard him muttering incoherently under his breath. He looked back up again and Anakin was able to see his grief all over his face. Anakin tilted his head in thought. He had never once seen Obi-Wan cry for his Master. Had he done so in secret? Or had he yet to cry for him?

Anakin backed away from his door as Obi-Wan settled back down on the couch. He sighed, feeling effected by what he saw. Obi-Wan was lucky to have someone like Qui-Gon. If only he had someone like that while growing up on Tatooine. Sure, he had his mother. He loved his mother, but he always wished for a father figure to care for him and his mother, to watch out for them, and make sure they were safe. To be the man of the house.

"Be there for him, Ani."

The sudden voice behind him made him jump, his heart pounding heavily in his chest, his blood rushing through his body. He gasped out loud and quickly turned around. His eyes were wide and, a bit, fearful. Not that he would admit to it if asked. The blue ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn now stood behind him. "Master Qui-Gon, sir!" he exclaimed in surprise.

Qui-Gon gave him a familiar grin. "Hello, Ani." He knelt down to Anakin's level. "He needs you right now. More than ever," he said, staring pass Anakin's head to the crack.

Anakin turned his head, but he didn't have a clear view of Obi-Wan from his angle. He turned back to the ghost. "Why did you show for me and not him? Is this normal for Jedi?" he asked, indicating to Qui-Gon's mere presence.

Qui-Gon chuckled and shook his head. "No, it is not normal. I have yet to fully immerse into the Force. And I cannot show myself to Obi-Wan, no matter how much I wish too. He needs to get over my death first. Until he is able to accept my death, he would not be able to see me, but even then, I will not show myself to him. He needs to grow on his own now. If he knew he was able to talk to me like this, he would always be coming to me for advice and knowledge. He needs to grow on his own," he repeated. He gave Anakin a firm look. "I would appreciate it if you don't tell him of this."

Anakin quickly nodded his head. "Of…of course, sir. My mouth stays shut."

Qui-Gon nodded in appreciation. "Thank you, Ani. May I ask a favor of you?"

Anakin nodded again. "I'll watch out for him, I swear, Master Qui-Gon."

The older man smiled. "Thank you. He needs it." He sighed and gave Anakin an apologetic look. "I am sorry that I was unable to train you, Anakin. But I promise you that you are in the best care. Obi-Wan will do his best for you and I cannot trust anyone else to do better. Well…maybe Yoda," he said in a teasing tone. Anakin grimaced at the thought of the short, green troll teaching him. Qui-Gon just laughed at him. "Trust him, Ani. You need each other." The boy could only nod. Qui-Gon smiled again. "Goodbye, Ani."

"Will I see you again?" Anakin quickly asked, not wanting this moment to end.

Qui-Gon nodded. "When the time comes for you to join me in the Force, you will. But that would not be for years. However, if you listen with a clear mind during a moment of great conflict, you might be able to hear me whisper advice into your ear."

Anakin nodded. "I can do with that, I suppose," he said with a grin. "Thank you, Master Qui-Gon, sir."

"May the Force be with you," the ghost said as he was fading away.

"And with you, Master Qui-Gon," he quickly returned the famous Jedi words.

He stared at the empty spot were Qui-Gon had knelt before turning back around to look back through the crack. Qui-Gon had returned to Obi-Wan's side, kneeling by his former student like before. Anakin watched as he leaned forward and planted a kiss on his forehead. He leaned back and stared at his face. He touched his cheek. "Sleep peacefully, my Padawan," he whispered before fading, once again, into the Force.

Anakin closed his door and returned to bed. It didn't take him long to fall asleep.