Chapter I - KeeGun!
The soft light of the morning Coruscant sun filled the gaps of the draped curtains of the nursery, where 10 crèche beds were along both sides of the room. One by one, initiates stirred as the glow of the light became stronger disrupting their peaceful sleep. One human boy did not stir, but instead he slowly opened his eyelids and revealed a pair of beautiful ice-blue eyes. The boy yawned and stretched his little mighty arms above his head and was immediately greeted by a friendly face.
"Good morning Obi-Wan, did you sleep well?" Master Kess sat on the boy's bed and gently brushed his hair away from his forehead. The boy looked at his care-taker and gave her a slow nod. Kess, simply smiled at the boy hiding her growing worry. "Obi-Wan still won't talk." She thought to herself. "You have to get up now, young one. Come on now." The crèche master gently pulled away Obi-Wan's blanket and the boy rolled to his side and got up. Kess helped the young initiate go down his bed and he immediately joined his clan to line up for breakfast. Obi-Wan tripped on his own foot and slid across the floor. "Obi!" Master Kess jogged to where Obi-Wan were and he helped him stand up. "Are you all right, young one?" Master Kess straightened out the boy's clothing and hair, using a little Force to search if he was hurt. Obi-Wan nodded and looked down, clearly disappointed with himself for being clumsy, and he absent-mindedly rubbed his right elbow. "Does it hurt?" the creche master asked again in the hopes of hearing the young boy say no. Instead, the youngling shook his head and looked at the rest of his clan. "Go on, Obi-Wan. Be careful." The young initiate turned around with a small pout on his lips as he made his way towards his fellow initiates.
Breaking out of his reverie, a lone Jedi Master slowly opened his tired eyes and let out a sigh. He has been out on a mission and he admitted within the confines of his cabin his fatigue and stress. All went well on his mission, but right at that very moment he simply wanted to reach Coruscant and retire on his bed. He got up from his meditation spot inside the ship and dejectedly made his way towards a cushioned seat. "I can't even meditate properly." All the Jedi Master wanted, was the comfort of the Jedi Temple. He looked around his cabin—almost untouched, and he let his green eyes rest on an empty bed. He slumped back on his chair and crossed his arms as he surveyed it. The voice of his friends, Tahl and Mace, and of his old master, Yoda rang inside his head.
"Take a padawan soon, you must."
"Yes, Qui—it is about time."
"…and your missions are a tad adventurous these past few days. You really should take on an apprentice to help you out."
The words swirled inside his head over and over again, and this made the tall Jedi Master stand from his seat. He paced the room a couple of times until he stopped beside the ship's window examining the colors of the stars and planets that crossed as they travelled in hyperspace. He was already considering taking on Xanatos—a black haired human boy from Telos. The young padawan-to-be had so much potential, but upon sharing this information with Tahl, she sort of…disapproved. A beeping sound was heard and the pilot's voice came. "We are coming out of hyperspace, Jedi Master sir. Please take your seat." Qui-Gon needs not to be told twice, and he obediently followed the pilot's instruction.
He was finally coming home.
Ten bright young eyes were filled with wonder as they stepped into one of the meditation gardens of the temple. As Force-sensitive children, they all felt warmer and safer in the garden. It was designed to calm the Jedi's mind or to simply escape the busy, sometimes chaotic Temple halls. "Younglings, gather around please." Master Kess told his charges and they immediately surrounded her. As what Grand Master Yoda has instructed, Master Kess will introduce meditation to the younglings that morning. He believed that it was essential and important to start the habit at a very, very young age. Any other master would be skeptical about the idea, but Yoda has foreseen something good in it and he insisted it to be taught to a particular clan. And today, it was going to be Obi-Wan's clan.
As the ship's ramp descended, Qui-Gon turned to the pilot and respectfully bowed to him giving his gratitude for the safe trip. The pilot tipped his hat and together they descended the platform and parted ways. As the tall Jedi Master made his way to the safety of the Jedi' Temple's interiors, he noticed a bald man with a dark skin color wait for him at the entrance. He quickened his pace and gave his old friend a warm smile. "I thought you would never have the time to welcome your friend home." Qui-Gon opened his long arms and he embraced his friend—Mace Windu. "You have been out there for far too long my friend. The council was getting worried." Master Mace Windu clapped the back of Qui-Gon and gestured him to go inside the temple. "I heard that the planet Ukio is now finally in harmony, thanks to you." Qui-Gon simply nodded at his friend and grinned. "It was supposed to be an easy task…" he started as they paused at the fork. Padawans and Initiates started to look at them, clearly at awe with the Force presence of the two known Jedi Masters. Most of them, if not all would stop and bow out of respect and intimidation—particularly to Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. He never understood it, but he would often blame it on his towering height and built. "…but they were stubborn about the taxes. So I had to stay and help the authorities think of a way to pacify the arguing sectors." He continued as he returned the bows he was given. Qui-Gon took a deep breath and exhaled slowly as he felt the Force pulsing to and from the Force-sensitive beings around him. "And your proposal to the authorities was a win-win situation. Really impressive, Qui." Mace nodded his head slowly and placed his hands on his waist as he looked at the floor smiling. The dark-skinned Jedi shook his head in disbelief because most of them forgot to solve problems with the easiest solutions. "Very well, my friend—I suppose you would like to rest now after that long trip. I— " Qui-Gon placed his hand on Mace's shoulder causing the other Jedi to cut his sentence short. "As much as I want to go to my quarters and sleep, I'd very much like to meditate first. Something is at the top of my head lately…it's an elusive one and I'd like to clear it out. I hope I'm not asking too much if you will accompany me. Besides…" Qui-Gon leaned closer to Mace to continue his words. "…I heard some Temple gossips that needs straightening out." Mace chuckled and clapped Qui-Gon's back. "You were light years away from Coruscant and you heard about it?" Qui-Gon simply shrugged and lead the way towards the Meditation Garden with Mace on his heels.
"What in the Force is going on?" Mace said as he saw a group of initiates running around the meditation garden. "You tell me." Qui-Gon sighed and this time, followed Mace towards the chaos. As soon as the both of them stepped inside the meditation garden, Qui-Gon stood rooted to the ground and watched the ruckus that was happening before him. "I'll go talk to Kess." Mace told his friend without looking at him and made his way towards the crèche master. "Go easy, Mace. I have a feeling that Master Yoda's got something to do with this." The tall Jedi sighed and rubbed his temple with his index and middle finger trying with all his might to flush down the irritation that was now about to escape. "Calm down, Jinn. They are just younglings." He said to himself mentally and closed his eyes to drown out the noise. "..and this is exactly why I don't want to take a padawan." His thoughts were disrupted when he felt something…or rather someone moved his Jedi robe. He was about to look when all of a sudden three younglings, two humans and one Mon Calamari stopped in front of him and looked around. "Where did he go?" the blonde girl asked out loud. Shortly, the Mon Calamari tugged on her friend's tunic and pointed directly at Qui-Gon with a huge awe on her face. "What is it Bant?" the human girl said and followed Bant's hand. The blonde girl looked up and took a step back. "Let's run for it Siri." The human boy said in an audible whisper and the three of them ran towards the rest of the clan without looking behind. "As usual." Qui-Gon thought as the three younglings ran for their lives away from the intimidating Jedi Master. The tall master then now had an idea as to what…or who was under his Jedi robe. He slowly parted his dark brown robe and saw a little human boy whose height reached up to Qui-Gon's knee, clutching his boot like a tree trunk. Qui-Gon raised his eyebrow at the sight and waited for the boy to acknowledge him. Bright ice-blue eyes shot up at him and the Jedi master instantly felt warmth. "Are you hiding from someone, my young friend?" Qui-Gon asked in his most friendly voice as to not scare him away. The young auburn-haired boy, perfectly aware that he was busted looked up at him still clutching his leg. "You can come out now." Qui-Gon reached for the boy, but the initiate immediately let go of his leg and stumbled backwards. The Jedi Master wouldn't feel anything if it was another initiate, but surprisingly Qui-Gon felt a tinge of hurt in his heart. Qui-Gon simply blinked at what he felt and turned around to face the young initiate who was about to cry. The Jedi master stepped back to give the boy space to run away if he wants, but Qui-Gon was surprised that he didn't. Obi-Wan simply looked back at him studying the man in front of him whether or not he could trust him. As if reading the boy's thoughts, "You can trust me young one. I'm not going to hurt you." Qui-Gon felt the sincerity in his words as well, surprising himself the second time.
"You own't?" Obi-Wan tried with all his might not to cry this time. He was genuinely scared and alone as he sat there on the grass defenseless and without Master Kess to protect him. He can't even see her with the big Jedi in front of him!
Instead of reprimanding Master Kess about the chaos, Mace Windu ended up teaching the Clan the basics on how to prepare for meditation. As he sat up in front, Master Kess stood at the back of the group to observe the younglings. Shortly, she observed that Obi-Wan was missing. Again. "Oh Force…where did he go this time?" Obi-Wan was known to wander the temple halls most of the time, and now Master Kess was more worried that he's out in a new environment. The crèche master turned around as he felt an immense Force power behind her. "Master Yoda!" She quickly made her way towards the wizened Jedi. "Master Yoda, Obi—" Yoda placed his three-fingered hand in front of him to gesture the crèche master to stop her worry. "Worry you should not, Master Kess. Taken care of, Obi-Wan is." Yoda's ear twitched and a delighted smile was on his face. "By who, Master?" Master Kess did not even bother looking at the old Jedi, instead she searched the garden for Obi-Wan. "With Qui-Gon?" the crèche master asked surprised as she spotted Qui-Gon trying to have a conversation with her charge. "But Master Yoda. Qui-Gon isn't very patient with younglings...and besides, they are scared of him." The young master sat on one of the boulders together with the wizened Jedi. "Patient, my old padawan is not. This lesson, teach him Obi-Wan will." Yoda rested his hands on his gimmer stick and gently closed his eyes. He inhaled the air deeply and exhaled contentedly. "Meditation lesson now, Obi-Wan doesn't need. How to trust, he must learn first. Hmm?" Yoda said as he opened his eyes and looked at the crèche master. "Master…I think…I think Obi-Wan is talking!" Master Kess placed his hand on her mouth as she smiled proudly at her charge. "HmmHmmHmm!" Yoda chuckled and got off the boulder he was sitting on. "Coincidence this is not. Waited for the right Jedi, Obi-Wan did." Yoda turned to look at the initiate and the crouched Jedi Master. "And wait further, he will." Yoda has foreseen things, but getting there won't be easy for both Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. If the both of them learn their lessons today, then getting to what he has foreseen will be less painful.
"What makes you think I will, young one?" Qui-Gon asked now sitting on the grass in front of the frightened initiate. Qui-Gon felt something grow in his heart, and it made him crack a smile at the fragile looking boy. Obi-Wan was silent as he cast his eyes down on the grass feeling ashamed. Didn't Master Kess tell him that it wasn't wrong to talk to others? Or even to make friends? Qui-Gon sensed that the boy was exceptionally lonely, and he badly wants to make the young initiate happy. "I believe I didn't get your name…" he said as he absentmindedly stretched out his arm and stroked the boy's soft uncut auburn hair. Obi-Wan surprisingly did not protest as he felt soothing waves wash over him. Qui-Gon noted how the youngling relaxed. He can also sense how strong the Force was coming from such small form. "M'name ith Obi-Wan Kenobi." He replied as he slowly looked up at the huge Jedi. "What'th yow name?" Obi-Wan's piercing eyes connected instantly with Qui-Gon's and the Jedi master saw a blinding white light. The next second, he saw a handsome knight—probably in his early twenties with a long apprentice braid. The vision went really fast, and he was brought back to the present. This time, Obi Wan was standing in front of him, gazing at his eyes curiously. "You dun haf a name?" Obi-wan asked almost in a whisper since his face was now just a few inches away from his. Qui-Gon blinked breaking the connection and stared at two twinkling ice-blue eyes. He could see his startled expression on the boy's eyes. "A little impatient you are, my friend." He finally said smiling. "Tho…whath yow name?" Obi-Wan asked as he pulled away and brought his stubby hands on his hips. Qui-Gon chuckled at the sight and responded. "He will make a fine, charming negotiator one day." "I'm Qui-Gon Jinn. Jedi Master of the Jedi Order." Obi-Wan, not daunted with who this big guy was stayed on his spot looking back. "I hope, I didn't intimidate the young one…" Obi-Wan scratched his head and made a face. "Can I caw you KeeGun? You can caw me Obi if you wike!" he said as he dropped his arm on his side and gave his best, sparkly smile at the Jedi. As soon as the boy smiled, the Force around them started to grow stronger and lighter. Qui-Gon caught his breath as he felt the shift and smiled back to his new found friend. "Of course, Obi-Wan." he responded, chuckling at the growing ball of energy he felt inside the boy. "We be fwends?" Obi-Wan suddenly dropped on his knees and stared at the big Jedi friend he made. Qui-Gon's eyes twinkled with joy as he spent more and more time with the little initiate. "Yes, we are friends now."
From afar, both Master Yoda and Master Kess smiled at what they were seeing. That day, marked so many firsts. It was the first time in so many years that they heard Qui-Gon laugh…or even smile. In that moment, they saw a more human Jedi...overflowing with emotion. Obi-Wan, on the other hand displayed his first smile, and burst of energy. Yoda closed his eyes momentarily as if recording the scene and storing it in his huge memory bank. "Stronger in the Force, Obi-Wan is becoming. A steady, growing light, I sense in him. Helped the young Obi-Wan open up to the Force, Qui-Gon has." "And Obi-Wan trusts Qui-Gon…Master Yoda.." Before she could even ask what it meant, Mace already stood up from his spot and placed a hand on Master Kess' shoulder. The crèche master understood what it meant and she immediately got up from her seat and bowed to the council men. Mace then turned to where Qui-Gon was and was surprised to see him actually talking and laughing…with an initiate. "Jinn?" Mace wondered aloud and started to go towards his friend when suddenly, Master Yoda hit Mace's shin with his gimmer stick. "Interrupt them, you will not. Alone, we should leave them." Mace cringed at the shot of pain he felt and looked down at the wizened Master. "HmmHmmHmm!" Yoda giggled as he sensed the council man's cringe. "Come now, Master Windu. More work, we have." Without another word, the two Masters left the Garden with Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Initiate Obi-Wan Kenobi.