Title: Kuro-n

Author: Siri

Timeframe: JA (Obi-Wan is sixteen)

Genre: Drama/Action

Rating: PG-13 (Violence/Death)

Summery: Qui-Gon and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi are sent to a planet to discover the truth behind some current murders that are being blamed on the Emprincess of the planet, as there mission unfolds Qui-Gon begins to discovers there is more to this mystery than meets the eye.

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters are not mine but the property of George Lucas, Jude Watson, Dave Wolverton or Scholastic. All others are mine. I don't have any special permission write this, but I'm not getting paid, it's just for fun! :)

Author's Note: I really like the way this one turned out, but you'll only really appreciate the story if you stick around for the kinda surprise ending. :)

//Thoughts// and *Italics*

Kuro-N

Chapter 1

Donté hurled himself down the corridor of his brother's old house. He hated the Jedi. The filthy murderers! And what was worse: they had ruined his brother's reputation *before* they murdered him, and in his proud family, that was unacceptable.

Donté had a pale face that was flushed with rage, his eyes were steely and his dark black hair was pulled back into a loose pony tail. He whipped around corners, smashing anything that came in his path. "Qui-Gon Jinn!" He screamed as he dashed a vase to the floor. His rage consumed him and he flung out a hand, sending a nearby chair flying across the room as if pushed by some unseen force. "I'll kill you Jinn!" He screamed. "You killed my father, you murderer." He seethed. "And now you've killed my brother!" He whirled again and smashed in a mirror cutting his fist and causing it to bleed.

His brother had been born by Donté's father's second wife, but the two had always been close. When Qui-Gon had taken his brother to the Temple, Donté had been happy for him and was grateful to the Jedi Knight. Now he wanted to kill him. Wanted it more than he had ever wanted anything in his self-serving and darkened life. His eyes flared at the very thought...

His twisted mind worked quickly in it's red haze: trying to construct the most painful way imaginable to kill the Jedi. Even as he discarded one plan after another as not nearly painful enough, he turned into the last room of his brother's house. It appeared empty, but he knew better. He and his brother, when they were young, had worked on their plans for a transparent steel door that could be touched to make it disappear and could only be unlocked and opened with the Force that they possessed, but didn't understand, so that only they could open it. Donté put his hands against the wall and it flickered, the man probed for the lock, he found it and unlocked it swiftly. The door slid open and Donté walked in, instantly seeing something that made him start, and upon impulse he backed up a step. He stared at what was sitting across from him, and then a smile spread across his face.

//Yes, of course, his brother had left him exactly what he needed to seek revenge on Qui-Gon Jinn.//

***

Another bomb exploded a ways off, Qui-Gon Jinn whirled to make sure his apprentice was still just behind him. "Padawan?" Obi-Wan jerked his attention quickly to his Master. Qui-Gon had been very impressed and pleased with his apprentice's control against fear. Truthfully, Obi-Wan had every reason to be afraid; the constant bombings of the Quontine's were shaking the ancient buildings of Quirtary loose and debris could fall at any moment. Two weeks ago they had been sent to rescue the royal family from the invading armies of the old capitol, Quont, but the Quontines had arrived early and attacked the people of Quirtary. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had managed to help the royal family escape on the Jedi's own transport, but Qui-Gon couldn't get Obi-Wan to go with them, the faithful apprentice insisted on staying with his Master. The Quintarians were not warriors, but they were putting up a great fight. None would leave the planet and their only thought was to get the Jedi to the only transport left on the planet.

"Master!" Obi-Wan called bringing Qui-Gon's mind instantly back to the present. Qui-Gon turned in time to see a Quontine running up to him. Qui-Gon dodged the man but the Quontine threw down a gas bomb blowing dioxis across the surface. Obi-Wan fell back, Qui-Gon fell the other way, and, in the midst of this distraction, the Quontines attacked. The Quintarians around them immediately went on defense, rising to meet the surge, but several had already fallen from the toxic gas.

"Obi-Wan!" Qui-Gon called, he could hear the boy calling frantically, his fear finally spreading loose.

"Master!" He screamed, and Qui-Gon spun towards the sound... Then he saw the boy running towards him, but ranks of the Quontines surrounded him.

"No!" Qui-Gon pushed through, trying to reach his apprentice.

"Qui-Gon!" He heard the scream again and his heart lurched painfully, the boy was crying out in pain. Then he felt it, the feeling he had always dreaded.

He felt their bond break off.

"Obi-Wan!" Qui-Gon ran forward, but he felt the bond empty as he stretched out to grasp Obi-Wan's mind. The attackers turned on Qui-Gon and the Jedi Master ignited his lightsaber, but he had completely lost sight of the boy.

"Sóntidra kay?" One taunted, Qui-Gon heard the words, and knew what they meant.

*Do you want the boy?*

Qui-Gon's eyes flared he slashed his lightsaber at the alien taking him down in one blow. He pushed further forward, he felt Obi-Wan just barely only as a presence in the living Force, but without their bond he couldn't find him easily.

"Obi-Wan, please tell me where you are." Qui-Gon begged. Suddenly he noticed a barricade of Quintarians standing in a protective circle warding off the enemy. Dodging the few aliens he was engaged with, Qui-Gon darted quickly to the group and stared to slip his way through; they parted for him and Qui-Gon knelt down next to the limp form of his apprentice. "Obi-Wan," The boy's face was constricted in pain.

"My leg." He whispered, Qui-Gon winced when he saw that the boy's leg was badly injured, maybe even shattered. He carefully scooped the boy up into his arms.

"Cóncoda kay?"

"He's injured." Qui-Gon nodded at the Quintary warrior's question.

"Gónseedo chóss." The man said quietly. Qui-Gon nodded.

"Yes, we will leave immediately." Qui-Gon turned from the battle, the Quintarians protecting him as he carried his apprentice across the ancient streets of Quintary. "Just hold on Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon whispered. Obi-Wan's eyes were dilated slightly with pain and his hand was lightly touching his thigh above his injury.

"It hurts." He murmured. Qui-Gon nodded.

"I know it does." Qui-Gon felt relief course through him when the ship finally came into view.

Inside he settled Obi-Wan in the med sleep couch, and patched the leg as well as he could. It was indeed serious, but knowing Obi-Wan, it would heal quickly and with the help of the healers on Coruscant, he should be able to walk easily again in time.

Obi-Wan fell asleep from exhaustion and Qui-Gon quietly watched his apprentice sleep. His mind was instantly drawn back to the battle. The way the Quontines had surrounded him had made them seem intent on killing Obi-Wan. But Quontines were mercenaries, so they wouldn't kill without purpose... It brought a nagging and horrific question to Qui-Gon's mind.

//Was someone purposefully trying to kill Obi-Wan?//

He shook his head.

//Why would someone want to kill Obi-Wan so much that they would hire mercenaries to do it for them?//

He tried to shake the thought away, but it still remained. Qui-Gon also wondered about their bond: it had been severed in two. Maybe it was because of Obi-Wan's close scrape with death, but he had been closer to death before. Still, he couldn't make himself think that someone had actually severed their bond on purpose.

***

Qui-Gon paced anxiously in front of the Healer's Wing, he had agreed to stay out of An-Paj's way as the healer insisted it wouldn't take as long without Qui-Gon hovering around. Still the Jedi Master's mind was on something else. He couldn't quite get the thought out of his mind that someone was trying to kill his Padawan. If it was true he would have to keep an extra protective eye on Obi-Wan; he wouldn't allow it to be that easy for anyone to kill Obi-Wan especially if he could prevent it. An-Paj appeared at the door way; he must have noticed Qui-Gon's anxious face. Either that or he was just used to having to reassure Obi-Wan's Master.

"He'll be fine Qui-Gon."

Qui-Gon nodded. "Yes, thank you An-Paj."

"You can go in and see him if you want," Qui-Gon moved past the Jedi Healer, walked across the room to sit down next to Obi-Wan, the boy was smiling sheepishly.

"I sure know how to cause trouble." He mumbled. Qui-Gon smiled and ruffled his apprentice's hair.

"No, you never cause trouble, but you are giving me gray hair."

Obi-Wan laughed. "I was wondering what was doing that."

Qui-Gon ran a hand across Obi-Wan's cheek. "You know what I'm going to say." Obi-Wan looked a confused a moment, and Qui-Gon laughed. "Get some sleep." Obi-Wan sighed.

"Oh, *that*." In the door way Qui-Gon suddenly turned.

"Obi-Wan, do you know what happened to our bond?" The boy shook his head, as if suddenly remembering, his smile faded away.

"No, it was just there and then it wasn't. And I was afraid that..." He trailed off, the last of his words so quiet Qui-Gon couldn't hear them. He walked back over to Obi-Wan and knelt next to him.

"I was worried about you too, Obi-Wan." Obi-Wan bit his lip. "But we will reestablish our bond as soon as you're better." Obi-Wan brightened.

"Thank you Master." Qui-Gon decided not to tell Obi-Wan about his fears for the boy's safety, and instead just dimmed the lights and walked towards his room.

***

Qui-Gon knelt across from Obi-Wan, his eyes closed. He could feel Obi-Wan and gently probed around in his apprentice's mind, he felt Obi-Wan probing around in his mind as well, they locked together as if the strong hand of Qui-Gon was actually holding the smaller hand of Obi-Wan. The Force flowed between them and reconnected itself in their strong Master/Padawan bond, and Obi-Wan opened his eyes. Qui-Gon's met his. After a long moment, Qui-Gon spoke.

"We should report our mission to the Council now so that they can make the Chancellor aware of the details of the royal family's arrival." Obi-Wan nodded and got up to follow. Qui-Gon was ahead of him, but before Obi-Wan followed him out he took one look around the room and nodded, then followed after.

***

Siri smiled when she saw Obi-Wan. "Hey there," She called. He grinned at her.

"Siri!"

She nodded with a laugh. "Obi-Wan! Have you seen Bant yet?"

"Bant," Obi-Wan repeated, as if confirming it, and smiled.

"Yeah, she's been worried." Siri turned back to the ship she was repairing.

"Oh, why has she?"

"Well," Siri leaned over the connector bar and nearly did a flip over top of it, but balanced herself and reached for the hydrospanner. "She heard that the royal family came back, and when you guys didn't get back for a full day, she was really worried." Obi-Wan nodded.

"I'll go talk to her."

"Mmmhmm good idea," Obi-Wan turned away, Siri watched him go. She bit her lip, Obi-Wan had seemed distracted. He wasn't quite as concentrated as she had known him to be... He'd been disturbed about things before, but he seemed especially distracted now. Siri shook her head, it didn't really matter to her anyway.

***

Bant jumped up and hugged Obi-Wan before he had even finished entering the room.

"Bant!" Obi-Wan smiled and Bant was laughing.

"You're *alive*!" She exclaimed.

"Yeah," Obi-Wan grinned. "All in one piece."

"No visit to the healers?" Bant looked shocked.

"Well An-Paj had to fix up my leg but nothing really major."

"I'm certainly relieved, we were afraid you had...that you had...died." She said softly. Obi-Wan squeezed her shoulder.

"Me?"

She laughed. "I guess that's true, nothing can kill you."

"I hope not," Obi-Wan smiled. "I sincerely hope not."

***

"Very relieved we are that safe your apprentice is." Yoda gave something like a smile, but it was always so hard to tell with the small green master.

"Yes Master Yoda, I too am very relieved."

"But strange it is what you tell about your severed bond."

Qui-Gon nodded. "I don't know what it means Master, but I will add to my report that I think there was more to the attack on Obi-Wan than meets the eye." Mace turned his gaze from Yoda back to Qui-Gon. "You see Masters," Qui-Gon continued. "The Quontines were surrounding Obi-Wan as if for the purpose of getting him away from me, but the Quintarians kept them from getting a hold on him," The Jedi Master paused. "I think it's possible that someone hired the Quontine mercenaries to kill Obi-Wan. I don't know why, of course, but for some reason or another they were trying to separate us, and kill him." Mace sighed.

"Then I guess this wouldn't be the best time to mention that we have another mission for you." Qui-Gon's heart sank, it *wasn't* a good time. He wasn't sure he wanted to just leave when he was so unsure about his apprentice's safety. "Master Jinn, look," Mace tried to rephrase the statement. "It's possible any confusion caused by loosing your bond and the Quontines thronging around Obi-Wan just worried you and really they had not intention of killing him in particular." Qui-Gon nodded, he didn't really believe it, but he knew he wouldn't get far arguing with the Masters on this matter. He simply nodded. "The mission is to the planet, Kioyto. The Emperor there, Ken-Jun, has been murdered, and they are accusing his eighteen-year-old daughter, Kadiri, of the murder. The temporary Emperor of Kioyto, and brother of Ken-Jun, Masao, wants the murderer to be found. If Kadiri is proved innocent she is to take her father's place and become Empress." Qui-Gon nodded through the explanation, he didn't have a good feeling about it at all.