Those Things We Cannot Change By Robinyj

Hello. I never meant for this to be two chapters, it just worked out that way. Anyway, I don't want anyone to think this is an entire re-write of Phantom Menace. I'm only changing the one scene, the fight on Tatooine. Sorry if anyone misunderstood that. Anyway, thanks for reviewing, all of you.

Haha, I took your advice, cause it was good, and changed around chapter one a bit, hopefully to your liking. I think it's better now. PadawanJess Kenobi, I also like when my fave characters get hurt. ALL of my stories have that happening. It must be some weird psychological thing, cause a lot of writers do it. Hope you like the chapter.

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Qui-Gon and Anakin had been walking back to the ship when the Jedi Master felt a strange shudder throughout the Force, as if disturbed from a long slumber. There was someone nearby calling upon the Force, thought Qui-Gon. Concentrating harder he realized it was not one, but two beings. This was not right at all, for Obi-Wan should have been the only other person on the planet capable of calling upon the Force directly. Suddenly worried, Qui- Gon knew he had to return to the ship quickly.

Anakin had been running ahead of Qui-Gon, eager to reach the ship and fly into space. He was a good distance ahead of the Jedi now but he wasn't worried. He knew the direction the ship was waiting and wanted to be able to get a good look at his transportation. Now that he was decided to leave the planet he was kind of excited about it. Qui-Gon appeared to be lost in thought anyway, and hardly noticing him, he was just looking around the desert, even though all you could see was sand.

Running even further ahead he reached the top of a sand dune and got his first glimpse of the Nubian ship. It was beautiful, sleek and sparkling, but that only held his attention for a whole of two seconds. What he was really concentrated on were the two figures battling near the ramp of the ship. The great mixture of blue and red as they collided at lightning speed was amazing. He grimaced when he saw the smaller of the two take several hard hits to the head, then fall to one knee. It looked like he had been injured already. Knowing this couldn't be good he turned back around and ran towards Qui-Gon, even though the Jedi was already catching up.

"Qui-Gon sir, someone's fighting down there. With lightsabers I think." He reported, pointing towards the ship.

The briefest look of concern passed across the Master's face, before he regained his calm composure. He had felt a disturbance in the Force, but hearing of what it may be from Anakin did nothing to ease his tension. Worry and concern for his padawan and the Queen caused him to quicken his leisurely walk into a run. At the same time he reached out across the Master/Padawan bond, but found Obi-Wan had tight shielding up, like he did when deep in meditation or training. This caused the Jedi to quicken his step even more.

He felt his heart skip a beat when he reached the top of the dune. He looked across the sand just in time to see Obi-Wan brutally thrown against the hard rock formation, then land limply on the ground. Reaching out he touched his padawan's mind, checking his life force and sending healing waves and thoughts to his apprentice. He then focussed on his assailant. A horrid creature covered in red tattoos, and clothed in black. A creature that would not live to see the day's sunset, if Qui-Gon had any say.

The bright green of his lightsaber suddenly sprang to life at his side as he made his way to the ship, not in any way attempting stealth. He in fact wished to draw attention to himself and away from his clearly injured padawan. It worked well. Darth Maul saw him, smiled, and started his way. But couldn't resist adding insult to injury and delivering a swift kick to Obi-Wan's temple, one he knew the Jedi master had seen.

But Qui-Gon would not be tempted to fight with anger, only calm, as he had been taught, and had taught others. Locking eyes with the Sith he accepted the unspoken challenge, stepping forward. He cast a quick glance towards his apprentice's still body, pleased Darth Maul was walking away. For his part the Sith was amused by Qui-Gon's sentiment and sneered, he then locked his gaze on young Anakin Skywalker, sensing the great power within the boy trailing behind Qui-Gon.

The Jedi remembered his companion then, and knelt to speak to him, never letting his gaze wander from the dark form, "Ani, don't go near him. Stay behind me unless you're sure you can get to the ship safely. Tell them to take off immediately if you do." Anakin nodded then backed away as Qui-Gon had instructed.

The forces of good and evil appraised each other, both deducing the best way of attack. It was Qui-Gon this time who engaged the battle, surprisingly. His moves were graceful and elegant, and his fighting level slightly higher than his padawan's. The Sith kept up with him, was in fact setting the pace of the fight. He smiled, pleased with his work thus far and content to be fighting a true Jedi. He didn't even realize that Qui-Gon was leading him away.

And he was leading him away, as the two battled they slowly moved further and further from the ship and the limp form in the sand. Anakin took the opportunity to run, he made a wide circle around the combatants and went unnoticed. Reaching the ship he knelt beside the wounded Obi-Wan and shook his shoulder roughly.

"Wake up. Come on, wake up." After several more attempts it was clear the padawan would not be rousing. Anakin wished to get him out of danger, or maybe wake him to help Qui-Gon if he was well enough, but knew he could do neither. So instead he ran up to the ship, hit a quick code into the panel to open the hatch and ran inside.

Qui-Gon was beyond impressed with the Sith's skills. He had never fought such an opponent, except for his rare sparring matches with Yoda, and sometimes Mace Windu. The focus, strength, and confidence behind every move was exceptional and he was beginning to find it hard to keep up. Idly he wondered how long his padawan had lasted against such a foe. Their lightsabers became locked, it was a favorite move of Darth Maul's to set up a new attack. Qui-Gon's strength proved surprising though and he forced their weapons around, locked on the ground and burning into the sand.

Their eyes locked and both combatants pulled away, studying, watching, waiting.

Obi-Wan blinked, groaned, then rolled over to shield his eyes from the blinding sun. Everything hurt, but he knew something was still happening, the Force was tense around him, as if waiting in suspense. Slowly pushing himself up with his left arm he looked around, searching for the source of the disturbance within the Force. He wasn't as much surprised as he was disheartened when he saw his Master battling the dark foe that had bested him. Qui-Gon was obviously doing better than he had and was so focussed on the battle he didn't even notice his apprentice's awakening, or if he had he didn't acknowledge it, which was smart as well.

Qui-Gon fought defensively, his first duty was to protect the Queen and if the Sith was kept busy until she took off his duty would be fulfilled. But he had another duty, one he had taken on many years ago, to teach and protect his padawan; it was this duty he kept near his heart. He continued to exchange blows with Darth Maul, this was not a battle of strength, but of skill and cunning. The Sith fought amazingly well, but Qui-Gon fought for a greater purpose, a greater good, and this kept his mind calm.

He could see Qui-Gon faltering, though only slightly. This opponent was so strong, but together they could defeat him. Obi-Wan knew this, but he could hardly stand now, let alone fight. Releasing his pain to the Force he stood, shakily and without the use of his right arm. The only good thing about lightsaber wounds was they never bled, which was only fortunate if the wound was not fatal to begin with. Eager to help in any way possible Obi-Wan searched his surroundings for anything that may be of use.

Anakin ran inside, past the startled guards, who saw him as no threat, and into the main chamber. He saw Padme immediately and smiled, then remembered why he had come, "Qui-Gon's in trouble, but he said you should take off right away." He reported reluctantly.

"He wishes us to leave him behind?" Padme asked, astonished. Anakin only shrugged, knowing no more than what he had been told. It was enough for Panaka.

"Start the engines were getting out of here." He ordered the pilot, his mind still focussed only on protecting her majesty.

"Fly low until we clear the settlement, keep the hangar doors open." Padme added. She would listen to the Jedi and her captain, and trust their judgment, but she had a feeling the keepers of peace would not be left behind.

In his peripheral vision Qui-Gon could see his apprentice rise to his feet slowly. That was all he saw though, he was determined to keep all his concentration on the fight and his opponent. He took comfort that Obi-Wan was well enough to at least stand, and hoped he would do the smart thing and head directly to the ship and safety.

Darth Maul didn't notice the Jedi Master's eyes wander for the brief seconds, he only saw his opponent's moves. This fight was great indeed, every move was blocked, every counter being countered once more, and every blow strong, yet elegant. A dance really as red and green collided in the hot sun, surrounded by a sea of sand dunes. The Jedi's sword came very close to connecting as he left a small opening his defenses; he would have to be more careful.

Obi-Wan was frustrated when he saw nothing around him to assist his Master, there was only sand, sand, and - guess what? - more sand. This did not stop Obi-Wan from jogging closer to the two locked in combat though, but he knew with no weapon he would only get in the way so did not come too close. He didn't even know where the Sith had disposed of his lightsaber. It was when his Master's foot kicked up a small cloud of dust that an idea came to him. Qui-Gon had always told him to use his surroundings to his advantage, and this seemed a perfect time to apply that lesson.

It had been so fast he could hardly believe it had been done by human hands, Force sped or not. One moment they were battling the next, time seemed to stand still. Darth Maul moved to strike to his left, but it was a fake. Instead the Sith parried around and slammed the handle of his lightsaber into the back of the Jedi's elbow. His other arm was ready and blocked when Qui-Gon tried to lash out with his other arm. Sneering cruelly the Sith then struck once more, this time targetting the most painful pressure point on the arm. Suddenly losing all control of his nerve endings, Qui-Gon dropped his lightsaber. It was then that time seemed to stop.

The Jedi knew he could dive for it, but his opponent would expect that and be ready, and he would be finished. Qui-Gon debated fighting him hand-to- hand, but knew the reality of such a fight would also be his downfall. Hope may have seemed lost to most, but Qui-Gon had a strong sense of faith in the will of the Force, and it did not wish him to die on this day. He lifted his eyes to meet the deep yellow pupils of his opponent, it was then hope flourished. At the same time he saw, and felt the assistance offered to him, and his muscles tensed in preparation for it.

The Force was flowing, and the Sith knew it was not coming from the Jedi before him. That meant only one thing, and Darth Maul could have kicked himself for not ridding the world of this nuisance when he had the chance. He turned around, expecting a physical attack, so it was a great surprise when he saw that the young padawan, the injured, bleeding padawan, was a good twenty feet away. Not in any way close enough to attack. But he was doing something.

Obi-Wan's focus was unwavering as he concentrated on his surroundings, using them to his advantage. He could see the fight, see Qui-Gon lose his weapon, see the Sith sneer with delight, but still his mind remained fixed to his task. For the Force was sometimes difficult to control, and this situation was a time when control would be necessary. When Darth Maul turned to him he released his controlled burden through a quick flick of his wrist, pushing through the Force, and hoped it would be enough.

When he felt the Force move toward him he expected to be pushed weakly back, instead the Sith Apprentice received a surprising and powerful gust of sand thrown into his face and open eyes. He had no way to block it in time and felt the grain bury into his eyes, making vision impossible. After being blown up, the cloud then swirled through the air, engulfing the Sith for several moments, then deposited itself back to the earth. Cursing the Jedi, Darth Maul desperately tried to clean the sand away and regain his sight.

Qui-Gon knew he would not have long, so moved quickly. With a sudden tuck and roll he recaptured his lost saber and ignited it, then gracefully lifted to his feet and saw everything clearly. His opponent could see partially, and feel all through the Force, his apprentice was still a safe distance away and close to the ship, and the ship was taking off slowly, hangar doors still open.

He could see an opportunity when it arose and took it. He ran past his opponent, who saw him clearly enough to attempt a strike to stop him. Qui- Gon blocked it, continued to run then turned and slashed deftly at the back of the Sith, managing to burn a painful gash across the shoulderblades that Darth Maul barely acknowledged. Still running, the Jedi raced to the ship, quickly covering the twenty feet to his padawan. Obi-Wan was already turned around and nearly to the rising hangar doors. They reached them together and, through the help of the Force, jumped safely onto platform.

The ship quickly passed the lone figure in the sand, glaring angrily and reluctantly de-activating his lightsaber. The Sith knew better than to try to pursue them. He also knew he would have another chance to defeat them, and he hoped it would be soon.

The Jedi duo watched as the dark stranger became nothing more than a dot along the horizon; another grain of sand. It had happened quickly, the chaos, the pain, the fighting. Or perhaps it only seemed that way at the time. They could almost tell themselves that it had never happened, almost. The mental impact of the assault would stay with them, not to mention the physical repercussions. Qui-Gon could see Obi-Wan begin to sway and instantly moved closer, should he need his support. It was not needed though, at the moment. When Darth Maul had vanished from sight the padawan turned and entered the ship on his own power, followed by Qui-Gon.

"I lost my lightsaber." Obi-Wan sighed, leaning against a far wall and looking out the open hatch as if searching for the lost weapon.

"We'll arrive on Coruscant shortly, don't worry." Qui-Gon assured him, not at all concerned about the lost saber, but very interested in Obi-Wan's health. The hangar doors finally closed and in the calm of the deck Qui-Gon inspected his apprentice. The two gashes across his forehead looked worse than they were due to the profuse bleeding, his arm had been singed, hopefully not too deeply, by the Sith's lightsaber, and he seemed to be favoring his right side, not just the arm. Qui-Gon quickly took stock of his own injuries; practically none other than a painful sting through his arm that could be ignored if necessary.

"I had gotten quite attached to that one." If Qui-Gon didn't know him better he would have sworn his padawan was whining, but he knew better. A lightsaber was a very personal thing to a Jedi, to lose a long held one was a great disappointment to most.

"You can get a new one. After a few hours in a bacta tank of course." Qui- Gon added subtly.

"That won't be necessary Master," Obi-Wan said, immediately straightening, "A few patches and I'll be fine."

Qui-Gon nodded, not in agreement but in momentary acceptance. They would discuss this further in the Medical bay, when he knew the extent of Obi- Wan's injuries. The two made their way to the doors leading out of the hangar, which suddenly burst open. They were unceremoniously attacked by a relieved, yet terribly excited, Anakin Skywalker, who inadvertantly ran straight into Obi-Wan, joustling his injured ribs and arm.

"Oh, sorry. Qui-Gon, are you okay? Who was that guy? Do you think he's gonna follow us?" Anakin asked, oblivious to his actions. Obi-Wan clenched his eyes shut and bit his lip while attempting to release his pain to the Force. It only helped a little, but after a few moments the agony died down once more anyway.

"I'm fine, and I don't know who attacked us, but I'll do my best to find out." Qui-Gon told the boy calmly, the motioned slightly for him to move, "But right now we need to get to the Medical Bay."

Anakin seemed to truly notice Obi-Wan's injuries for the first time and immediately stepped back, clearing his path and looking chagrined, "Right, sorry. I'm Anakin Skywalker by the way." He knew it was not the most appropriate time for introductions but he might not get a chance later.

Obi-Wan nodded, almost smiling, "Obi-Wan Kenobi." He replied, not offering his hand due to the pain it would involve. Anakin smiled back and watched them disappear down the hall. From their stance and movement no one would guess that either of them were injured.

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Finally reaching the Medical bay Qui-Gon motioned Obi-Wan towards the nearest examination table. He hadn't been to this area of the ship yet so took a moment to take stock of its inventory. There was no bacta tank, that was obvious. There were plenty of bacta patches, bone knitters, and almost any medical device one could desire. In the corner sat a Medical droid, unactivated. A quick glance told Qui-Gon it was an older model, and he knew his student hated the machines anyway, so decided to treat him himself. It would not be the first time afterall. Qui-Gon grabbed a few essentials then moved to Obi-Wan's side.

"Unfortunately there's no bacta tank here." He reported.

"Actually, that's a fortunate thing, master. Really, a few bacta patches and I'll be fine." Obi-Wan tried once more to play down his injuries but Qui-Gon could feel his padawan's pain through the Force and would not be fooled.

"We'll see." He replied, deciding which injury to treat first. The arm wound seemed to call for the most immediate attention. Qui-Gon picked a local anestethic from his pile of equipment and injected it into his padawan's arm.

"Master I can take care of myself. You should go report to the Queen, and to the council as well to inform them of what's happened." Obi-Wan said, almost pleadingly. He hated his master seeing him injured in any way, and hated even worse when he insisted on taking care of him.

"The Queen and the council can wait for awhile. Here, try to clean out those cuts." Qui-Gon handed Obi-Wan a cloth and indicated the gashes on his forehead. Accepting defeat Obi-Wan began to wipe away the blood, indicating to his master that he wouldn't make anymore fuss.

Satisfied, Qui-Gon inspected the arm fully now that it was numb and painless. The cut was clean down the forearm, nasty, but not too deep. Unfortunately some of the fabric of Obi-Wan's robe had been singed to the skin and the two had to be seperated, that was the reason for the anestethic. Qui-Gon began to tear the fabric away, revealing his padawan's injury, he was thankful there was no blood. Obi-Wan continued to clean blood from his forehead, not at all interested in seeing the damage done to his arm.

When the fabric was all pulled away he instructed Obi-Wan to remove the robe entirely; it would make the entire process easier. No sooner had Qui- Gon placed a large bacta patch over the length of the burn did the doors to the Medical bay open, admitting Padme, still dressed in her handmaiden's outfit and playing the part.

"The Queen wished to know of your well being. Are you both all right?" She asked, obviously curious herself. The two Jedi smiled inwardly, not at all fooled by her so called disguise.

"We'll be fine, just a few scratches to patch up." Qui-Gon replied as he watched Obi-Wan place a small bandage over each of the cuts on his forehead. The padawan smiled, as if that was all there was to it. He then jumped down from the table and shrugged back into his cloak; he did not wish everyone on board to know of his injuries, and the best way to do that was by pretending they didn't exist.

Padme seemed to accept this for the moment, having no authority to object while disguised, and replied, "Good, the Queen will be pleased to hear so. I'm sure she will also be eager to hear what you have to say about this assailant when you get the opportunity." At Qui-Gon's nod she made her leave, the doors swooshing behind her.

Obi-Wan made a move to follow her but was stopped by Qui-Gon loudly clearing his throat, "Get back here padawan, we're not done."

Sighing, he made no immediate move to respond, "I'll be fine Master, I don't even think my ribs are broken." He realized his mistake too late as Qui-Gon quirked an eyebrow at this last statement. Without needing to be told he removed his robe once more and repositioned himself on the examination table.

Conflicting emotions swelled inside him. On one hand the padawan hated to be dependent, to be cared for, or seen injured, for he thought of it as a weakness, so made a point not to complain about injuries. But on the other, sometimes it was good to know that someone cared greatly enough to look after you, even when you insist it isn't necessary. It filled him with a warm sense knowing that his Master cared so deeply for him.

The same feeling he had now, as Qui-Gon tended to his injured ribs while at the same time sending healing waves and energy through the Force. Through that same connection he sent back emotions, of appreciation and gratitude. Appreciation for the care his master took with his injuries, and gratitude for him being there to watch out for him, even as he drew near Knighthood. The duo had been through a great deal together and Obi-Wan was saddened to know that that time would soon draw to an end, and for this reason only he was reluctant to test for the level of Jedi Knight.

But deep down he knew, that even if he was no longer Qui-Gon's padawan the older man would always be his friend. He was so lost in thought he didn't notice that Qui-Gon had finished until his Master passed him back his robe. Looking at it thoughtfully he realized he would need a new one of these as well, this one was now singed and bloody.

"That was fast thinking down there. I'm glad you've finally learned that it is possible to fight even without a weapon." Qui-Gon said, his lips quirking up slightly.

"A forced lesson I assure you, but effective. We really should try to contact the council now that we're back in the air, we were due back several days ago." Obi-Wan noted as he headed for the door with his master, already removing the bacta patches from his forehead. He was always amazed at how quickly the medicine worked, already he could feel his arm healing and the cuts were gone completely.

"You're right, I wish to get the council's input on our mysterious attacker. I would hate for us to face him again and be unprepared." Qui-Gon said.

If we do face him again, we'll do it together. And that's all that matters. Obi-Wan thought. He continued on his way to the Queen's chambers, striding contently beside his Master. And as the ship sailed silently through the void of space he couldn't help but wonder what the future might hold for them.

The End

Yeah, I know, bad ending. I don't know what it is but there's something I didn't like about this story, even though I wrote it. There's something about it that doesn't settle well, and I don't know what it is. Maybe the story doesn't flow enough or something, I don't know.

I hope you might have enjoyed anyway. Diana ^_^