Yada Yada I don't own Star Wars or Jedi Apprentice.
Chapter 1. Visions Bad Advice and Even Worse Decisions
Three months shy of his thirteenth birthday, Obi-Wan Kenobi began having visions. They started with Mustafar, he watched his little brother burn over and over again. Each night he woke up sweating and crying, stomach churning in grief. He ignored the visions, dismissing them as dreams, after all he didn't have a little brother, and certainly not one named Anakin. Besides he had other more important things on his mind, mainly his approaching thirteenth birthday, and his need to find a Master. But the dreams didn't stop, and he saw more, much more.
He saw Qui-Gon Jinn take him as an apprentice, he saw his Master become more and more burdened by grief as people slowly died, becoming a bitter frustrated old man. He watched his Master reject him for Anakin Skywalker. 'My little brother' his mind had supplied, the grief burbling up once again, before he was once again swept away in visions.
The visions jumped from one thing to the rest, not often in order. Slowly in Obi-Wan Kenobi's dreams the galaxy swam into chaos, Anakin ripped away from him, burning always burning.
Now Obi-Wan was not a stupid child, and so after about a month, when he could no longer ignore or dismiss the visions as dreams, he went to go speak to Master Yoda.
Shifting on one of the poufs that decorated the ancient master's meditation rooms Obi-Wan watched the dust mites float in the lines of sunlight from the shuttered windows and waited for Master Yoda to emerge from his contemplation of the brief summary Obi-Wan had given him. Obi-Wan had not told Yoda overly much about the visions; they were unbelievable even to him, and with the deadline to become an apprentice even nearer he didn't want to jeopardize his last remaining chance to become a Jedi. Finally Master Yoda too stirred, his wide green eyes carefully surveying the young red haired child in front of him, features still round, making him appear younger then he is.
"To help you accept your future, I believe, these dreams are."
"But Master Yoda, they-"
"Accept things you must, young Obi-Wan. Jedi seek not happiness."
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan replied with a sigh, knowing that even that disappointment was a failing as a Jedi. "I will meditate, and release my feelings."
"Good, good young Obi-Wan. Have faith, you must."
"Yes Master." Obi-Wan replied bowing as he took his leave, not at all satisfied with the answer Master Yoda gave him, as the image of Anakin, his little brother and he knew as of last night, his padawan, burning flashed across his mind.
Obi-Wan became more and more distracted, as the dreams continued night after night. Death and destruction, war, slowly strangling the Jedi as a fatal disease. He hardly spoke to any one anymore, lost in his own thoughts, spending all of his free time in meditation, trying to make the images clearer, trying to understand, to piece things together. His agemates dismissing his strange behavior as nervousness at his approaching birthday. In fact Obi-Wan hardly cared about the date that marked his thirteenth year, when Bant his best friend, had brought it up at dinner the night before the padawan tournament, he had almost forgotten about it. He already knew that someone would choose him at Bandomeer, and had put it out of him mind. His mind was long gone, thinking about the clones that had yet to come into existence, wondering why no one had looked more closely into their origins. When exactly had the order for them been placed?
"I'm sorry Bant, but what did you say?"
"I said, Obi, that there is another Master coming home today, Master Qui-Gon Jinn, he's going to watch the tournament tomorrow." She finished with a slight scowl at him.
Something jumped in Obi-Wan at the name. Thinking of the man in his dreams he turned to Bant,
"What does this man look like Bant?"
"I don't know Obi, you'll just have to wait until tomorrow."
"Right, right, the tournament." He muttered his mind already running back to the clones.
Bant managed to roll her eyes at him and give him a worried glance all in one look, before turning to someone who would actually respond to her.
That night Obi-Wan dreamed about the temple burning. This dream was clearer then the rest. They were all dead, every single one. The children splayed across the beautiful temple floors as if broken. He tried to run, to find his friends, but his legs, longer and thick would not let him, and he was peripherally aware of Master Yoda clomping along beside him. Slowly the images began to blur, until it was just the dead swarming across his vision. The final death rattle of the disease that had been killing the Jedi. Some faces he knew, some he didn't, but there were so many, so many. Please he begged, to the force, to someone, to anyone, please make it stop, and then with terror, although he didn't know why,
He awoke with a start, sobbing, shaking, and clutching at his pillow. The chrono told him it was several hours before he had to get up, but he did not think he could sleep after such a sight. After watching the star ships hanging on his ceiling drift for a few moments the shaking stopped, and he slipped on his boots, heading for the door.
Except that everything reminded him of the vision, there had been bodies in that corner, blood spread there, the younglings…
Suddenly Obi-Wan couldn't stand it anymore, this was what the force had been trying to show him for months now, the conclusion of his visions. He broke into a run, this was what would happen if he continued on the path. His home destroyed, his people murdered in their beds, genocide. How was he just supposed to accept this, meditate on the fact that he would be the last Jedi. What if Anakin was among those bodies, no, Anakin burned, he knew that, Anakin burned.
Finally Obi-Wan's feet slowed, and he found himself in front of the vaulted openings of The Room of a Thousand Fountains. The carpeted stairs giving way, to a carpet of living grass. Pulling off his boots, he ran towards his and Bant's favorite pool. He stopped short of jumping in, settling next to the edge, and running his fingers through the cool still water. A scent of prescience threatened to burble up, something about Bant drowning, but he forced it back down, and settled down himself, crossing his legs, to meditate.
"What are you doing here initiate?" A deep stern baritone asked.
"I'm trying to meditate." Obi-Wan replied, snapping, half already lost back in the vision, before realizing he had heard that voice before, almost nightly for the last two months in fact, and the fact that he had just been unfailingly rude to it.
Eyes snapping open, Obi-Wan came face to face with the man who had been his master in his visions. Deep blue eyes, neatly trimmed beard, and long brown hair just beginning to go grey, in a neat half tale. A man whose name he thought was Qui-Gon Jinn.
Obi-Wan said nothing, just propped his hand on his chin and stared. So he was real then, the visions were real. Although he knew he had come to love this man in his visions, he did not yet, and so was not as forgiving of the many times Qui-Gon Jinn had pushed him aside. In fact after tonight's vision he was not even sure he wanted this man as his Master. So Obi-Wan continued to stare, his mind slowly drifting away to possible futures.
Qui-Gon Jinn for his part was quite disturbed by the quiet grey-eyed boy in front of him, whose eyes had yet to leave his face. He was in a rather bad mood due to the fact that Yoda had called him back to the temple most likely to coerce him into taking a padawan he did not want. His mood had gotten worse when he had suddenly been disturbed by something and dragged out of bed by the living force to the empty Room of a Thousand Fountains. All set to ream the boy for being out of bed late, especially after that rude reply, Qui-Gon's response had been derailed the moment the boy had set eyes on him. There was something unidentifiable in the almost clear gaze, perhaps a speculating acceptance. Then they had faded to somewhere very far away, farther away then any twelve year old should be. Clearly forgetting that Qui-Gon even existed. There was something almost creepy about the boy, but desperately sad as well, sort of lost. Still with an urge from the force, Qui-Gon plowed on, his tone much softer this time.
"That is not an answer little one." He replied settling down beside the boy, crossing his legs to match.
The boy sighed. "Dreams, bad ones. Are you Qui-Gon Jinn?" The abrupt question again threw Qui-Gon for a loop.
"Yes, I am, although I fail to see what that has to do with dreams-" he paused waiting for the initiates name.
"Hmm? Oh Obi-Wan, Kenobi. In this case, Master Jinn, it does." His voice trailing off to wherever he had been before. Although Qui-Gon desperately wanted to know what that meant, he set it aside for now.
"Dreams pass in time, Initiate Kenobi. It is best to focus on the here and now." Obi-Wan just stared at him again, this time clearly in the present. An appraising gaze, his head tilted to the side, clearly taking in all of him. Although what he concluded when he turned away was indecipherable to Qui-Gon.
"Master Yoda told me much the same Master Jinn." There was nothing in the boys voice, yet suddenly Qui-Gon had the vague notion that there had been a test and he had just failed it. Still he went on bravely.
"You should listen to him then, he is usually right about such things." The boy, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon's mind corrected, just nodded, his gaze turning away. "If you like, I could help you meditate." The cool grey gaze turned to him again.
"I would appreciate that, Master Jinn." The boy nodded solemnly, accepting the man's hand, and falling into the familiar breathing pattern.
They emerged hours later. To a lighted room, meant to mimic the morning sky outside. They sat quietly for several moments, letting the noise, both within and without the force slowly invade their senses. It was Obi-Wan who spoke first.
"Thank you Master Jinn. I hope you find what you're looking for. I need to go, the lightsaber tournament is in a few hours."
"Of course Initiate Kenobi. I wish you luck." At that Obi-Wan smiled at him, the first smile he had seen on the boy's face. It transformed it, turning it back into the face of a young boy again, not that of some ancient old man, some oracle. Yet it was still sad, as he turned away, picking up his boots on the way out. Qui-Gon turned back to the pool, to sink into a deeper meditation of his own, before the boys voice pulled him back again.
"Oh and Master Jinn, I am sorry."
"What for, little one?"
"What happened to you, what will happen I suppose." And with that the boy was gone, too quick for Qui-Gon to shout after him, to call him back.
Obi-Wan managed to pull himself together enough to fight Bruck in the tournament. The last several weeks, lightsabers had been one of the few things that had kept his mind away from the visions, and so what would have once been a tense fight for his very lively hood became a respite. Bruck's taunts didn't even register, as he flipped and dodged, letting the force slid through him, the physical and the intangible combining perfectly. If he were older he perhaps would have described it as the feel of the taught muscles pulling, and how everything worked in perfect tandem, giving him that bubbling joy. But Obi-Wan was twelve years old, and so he only knew exercise was fun.
Later when he emerged from the showers he found Qui-Gon Jinn waiting for him. Sitting across the table in the lounge, his hands folded under his chin. Obi-Wan again smiled at him.
"If you feel it's not right Master Jinn, then it's not right. I'll wait. May the force be with you." And with that he was gone, skipping out to celebrate with his friends, bright smile, even brighter, calling out, laughing.
Later when the order for Bandomeer came, Obi-Wan was once again far away. He slowly packed, contemplating what it meant. In his visions he supposed it was the beginning. Before he had thought it meant the end. Now it was just a turning point, another choice to contemplate. Could he really just let what he had seen come to pass, the genocide. Weren't Jedi sworn to prevent such a thing? Why was it any different when it was his own people. Could the force, as his elders said, really just be preparing him for a hard life?
His hands moved of their own accord, and when he finally looked down, he realized this was not at all what he had planned to pack. Sitting on the top were clothes meant to keep the cold out, his one set of civilian clothes, a tool kit, and the small model fighter Bant had given him. It wasn't much at all, in fact it was down right pitiful, so pitiful that he moved it to a smaller bag. Light he though absently to himself, as he sat it at the end of the bed, 'I'm travelling light."
The next morning when Bant had come to see him off, it was he who had comforted her. Reassuring her that where ever he went all would be well, even if he never saw her again. Finally he had stood before the ship he was meant to board. The Monument, perhaps a monument to the past of space travel, he though absently, rubbing his hand behind his head where a padawan braid would be. The visions once again swam into his mind, scrolling by, next to the words of his teachers.
"'Dreams pass in time' yes I know Master, that's what I'm afraid of" Obi-Wan muttered absently to himself. His fingers moving to clasp the model star ship from Bant. Anakin had loved to fly, loved it more then anything else in the world. The burning he had been seeing for the last several weeks was suddenly in his throat.
Perhaps if Obi-Wan had been older, perhaps if Obi-Wan had had a Master to guide him, or even a parent to watch out for him, or really anyone to remind him that making life decisions is a bad idea in a very emotional state he would have made a different decision, insisted that people listen, asked the force what to do. But Obi-Wan Kenobi was twelve years old and all who had watched out for him had not listened, had told him to forget, would not give him a straight answer. Perhaps with the way the Jedi were it would have made no difference if he had made a different decision.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was frustrated, and young and alone, and half convinced he was going crazy, and all he could see was his little brother burning, his little brother who he was supposed to watch out for, to take care of, because he had promised, was burning. It was all too much, and so Obi-Wan made the only decision that was logical in his mind. Obi-Wan Kenobi turned away from the Monument and did not look back.