TITLE: HIDING MASTER SARIEL
TIME: 7 years pre-TPM, Obi-Wan is 18
CATEGORY: Humor (I hope)
SUMMARY: Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon attempt to keep Obi's pet a secret from the Council.
ARCHIVE: Please ask first.
DISCLAIMER: Star Wars, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Mace, and Yoda are the property of Lucasfilm Limited. All other characters belong to me.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is a humor sequel to 'Trembling in the Balance'. It is not necessary that you read it first, but it might explain things a little better. Anything between / / are Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon talking through their bond. Anything between * * are personal thoughts.
Yap! Yap.... Yap! Yap! Yap... Yap...Yap! Yap.... Yap!
Yap! Yap! Yap!
"Obi-Wan!" Qui-Gon yelled.
"Yes, Master?" the young man said lazily.
"Keep that pup quiet. Do you hear me?" Qui-Gon said sternly.
Yap... Yap...Yap! Yap!
"Obi-Wan! Do you hear me?" Qui-Gon's voice strained.
"That's nice, Master," came the calm reply.
Qui-Gon sprung from the kitchen table he was seated at and flew through the door to the living area. Obi-Wan was seated on the sofa, his eyes glued to a data reader that was in his hand, obviously engrossed in its contents - and completely oblivious to everything going on around him.
The Jedi master walked to stand in front of the young Jedi and grabbed the data reader from his hand.
"Hey! I'm reading that," Obi-Wan said, sounding more than a little miffed.
"Correction, padawan. You WERE reading it," Qui-Gon said. "Now, I think that I was talking to you." He paused to see if Obi-Wan was finally listening to him. When the padawan turned his eyes on him, he continued. "You need to keep Master Sariel quiet. If anyone hears her, then you will have to give her away."
"But I've had her for a week and no one knows about her," Obi-Wan whined.
"Are you so sure, padawan? I think not. Just this morning, Mace told me that someone has complained to him about a yapping sound they've been hearing for several days."
Obi-Wan seemed to consider what Qui-Gon said. "But having a pet is not wrong for us, is it, Master?"
"I suppose not, padawan, but it's the way we got her that would not sit well with the Council. As you yourself said, Jedi are not to accept gifts from people like ambassadors. And we can not lie about it if they ask. I want you to keep her quiet. Do you understand me, Obi-Wan?"
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan stood and picked up the drangmul pup. "I think I'll take her to my quarters and feed her. She's usually quiet when she's eating."
"You always feed her when I tell you to keep her quiet. Obi-Wan, she's getting fat," Qui-Gon pointed out.
"Fat? You think she's fat, Master?" the young Jedi asked, frowning.
"Just look at her, padawan," Qui-Gon answered. "She's definitely not starving."
Obi-Wan stared down at the small, light brown, furry pup in his arms. "Well, I guess she's put on a little weight."
"A little weight? Padawan, she's-" He was interrupted by the door chime.
Both men froze, eyes wide, staring at one another.
The chime rang again.
"P-padawan," the elder Jedi stuttered. "Take Master Sariel in my bedroom and keep her quiet. That's an order, padawan."
"Yes, Master," Obi-Wan rushed the small pup away to his master's bedroom, closing the door behind him.
Qui-Gon took a moment to calm himself before he went to open the door.
The door opened to reveal Mace Windu. "Qui-Gon," he said.
"Mace," Qui-Gon said hurriedly, "What brings you here?"
Mace's eyes looked past Qui-Gon and seemed to scan the living room behind the tall Jedi.
"Is something wrong, Mace?" Qui-Gon masked his worry with a smile.
"No" he said still looking beyond Qui-Gon. "Just seeing how you're doing." Then he finally focused on the tall Jedi still blocking the doorway. "Just... how ARE you doing, Qui-Gon? You seem to be on edge since you got back from Cardans. Didn't everything go fine there?"
"Yes, everything was fine."
"And Obi-Wan?" Mace asked, concerned. "Has he completely recovered? He didn't answer next door," he explained.
"Yes, Mace. He's fine. Now, if you'll excuse me," he reached to the door release switch to close the door, "I'm a little busy now. We can talk to later."
"Sure," Mace said right as the door swished shut in his face. He turned to walked down the hallway. "Strange man," Mace muttered to himself. "He gets stranger all the time."
"Padawan," Qui-Gon said, turning back to the living area. "Padawan! Answer me."
Obi-Wan's face peered into the living area from his master's bedroom. Seeing the door closed and Qui-Gon alone, he came into the room. "Who was it, Master," he asked cautiously.
"It was Mace, padawan. He suspects."
"Why do you say that, Master? What did he say?" Obi-Wan said, frowning.
"He asked what I was doing, and said that I've been on edge since we came back from Cardans," Qui-Gon said in frustration.
"But you have been... edgy, Master." Obi-Wan quietly admitted, his eyes downcast. He was unsure of how his master would handle a comment like that from his apprentice, especially as uptight as his master was.
Qui-Gon sighed. "Do you really think so, padawan?" He was more calm now.
Obi-Wan glanced up at Qui-Gon, before his eyes returned to the floor. "Yes, Master."
Qui-Gon's eyes suddenly widened. "What did you do with Master Sariel, Obi-Wan. She's quiet."
"I gave her something to eat, Master. It always works. See how quiet she is," he smirked.
"Where did you get the food?" the master asked, his eyebrows raised. "You took her to my bedroom."
"Yes, I did, Master. I keep some food in there for her in case she gets hungry," his smile widened, obviously proud of his problem-solving genius.
"In MY bedroom?"
"Yes, Master. It comes in handy... in situations like this." His eyes fluttered to the floor.
Qui-Gon stared, "Obi-Wan, if you would keep her quiet, then we wouldn't have situations like this."
"But what am I supposed to do. She has to talk sometimes," the young Jedi inquired, searching Qui-Gon's eyes for any solution.
"Get it out of here, padawan," Qui-Gon said brusquely.
"'She' not 'it', Master," Obi-Wan corrected. "Don't talk about her like that, Master. You talk like she's not real."
"Alright then, get 'her' out of here. And I wish she wasn't real," Qui-Gon added sarcastically.
Obi-Wan gasped. "Master... don't say that. She can hear you."
"I really don't care, padawan. Get her out of my quarters, and get that food out of my room."
"Yes, Master," he sighed.
Later in the day, Obi-Wan, who was in his quarters, heard his door chime. He quickly hid Master Sariel in his bedroom. Then he opened the door.
It was Qui-Gon. "Obi-Wan, we've been summoned to the council."
"Alright, Master," he said. "Let me make sure Master Sariel has enough food before we go."
"I wish you hadn't named her that, padawan. My accepting the pup was bad enough, but naming her after one of the masters is...."
"Is what, Master?"
"I don't know. But it's not good. If Master Sariel ever finds out... you'll be in trouble too, Obi-Wan."
"But she does look like Master Sariel... light brown fluffy hair and all... even her little pug face," Obi-Wan laughed.
"Obi-Wan. Don't say that! We are to respect all lifeforms... including vordrenians," Qui-Gon added sternly.
"Yes, Master. I'll go make sure she has enough to eat." He turned towards his bedroom.
Just then, the drangmul pup darted from her hiding place, passed the two Jedi, and flew out through the still-open door, leaving two Jedi with mouths hanging open wide in disbelief.
It took them a few seconds to recover.
"Obi-Wan, don't stand there. Go get that pup," Qui-Gon ordered.
The young Jedi ran from his quarters and down the hallway where the pup had fled. Minutes later Qui-Gon found Obi-Wan near the training rooms. However, the young Jedi did not have the lost pup with him.
"Master, I can't find her," he whined. "Where could she have gone?"
"I don't know, padawan. But we have to go to the council now. We're already late." He grabbed Obi-Wan and gently pulled him towards the lift - Obi-Wan still searching with his eyes.
The padawan went with the tall Jedi master to the Council chambers, but he never stopped looking for the pup. He was constantly peering down halls they passed and glancing in rooms with open doors.
"Stop it, Obi-Wan. You'll make someone suspicious."
"But I've got to find Master Sariel... before anybody else does."
They entered the Council chamber, bowing as they usually did. But Obi-Wan's mind was not where he was. The Council members began explaining something to them, but Obi-Wan kept thinking about his lost pup.
Just then, the chamber doors swished open for a small initiate to enter. Obi-Wan glanced towards the opened doors and saw the small pup trotting by in the hallway just before the doors closed again. He held his breath, and his eyes grew wide with horror.
Qui-Gon picked up on Obi-Wan's rising anxiety. /Padawan, what's wrong?/
/Master. I just saw Master Sariel in the hallway./
Even through their bond Qui-Gon could hear Obi-Wan's desperation. /Calm down, padawan. The Council will pick up on your fear./ The initiate, who was busy making a report to the Council, distracted them - or so Qui-Gon had hoped.
"Padawan, trouble is there?" Master Yoda's voice broke their private conversation, just as the initiate left through the doors again.
/You see, padawan. They already have./
"No... no, Master. I... just... need to go to the 'fresher," Obi-Wan ended with a smile.
/Padawan! You're lying!/
/It wouldn't be the first time, Master./ Obi-Wan sent. Mischievousness floated through their bond.
/Padawan, this is the Council. You can't lie to the Council./ Qui-Gon lost his calm center.
/Actually, Master, I do have to go to the 'fresher. So it's not really lying./
/You will spend all of your free time tonight in meditation, padawan. Do you understand?/
/Yes, Master. But right now, I have to find Master Sariel./
"Excused, are you, padawan," Yoda said.
"Thank you, Master," Obi-Wan bowed. He glanced at Qui-Gon before he disappeared behind the chamber doors.
The young Jedi crept down halls, searching for the missing pup. "Master Sariel," he quietly called. "Master Sariel. Where are you?"
Arriving at the meditation gardens, the thought occurred to him where a small, lost animal might flee to. *Of course. The gardens. Now why didn't I think of that?* he thought.
He entered the gardens, reaching out with the Force, trying to locate any lifeforms. He sensed one on the other side of a large tree, but he could not see who it was. He jogged around the tree, and sure enough, there was the drangmul pup, sniffing at a root protruding from the ground.
"Master Sariel," he whispered, relieved.
As he started towards the pup, it looked up at him, and then darted through the trees running away. He dashed after it, stopping at a large xala bush where it had taken refuge.
"Master Sariel," he whispered. "Master Sariel, come out here... please." He dropped to his knees, peaking in the bush, trying to see the pup. "I'm not mad at you. I like you very much, Master Sariel. Really I do."
A shadow fell over the padawan. He looked up, his eyes growing wide. "M-M-Master," he cleared his throat, nearly unable to speak. "Master Sariel. W-what are you doing here?"
The short, furry vordrenian stared at the frozen padawan a moment before replying. "I was meditating... before you called me." The Jedi master just stood there looking at him.
Obi-Wan was unable to meet her gaze now, blushing terribly under her scrutiny. "I... well I..." he fell silent, wishing he were someplace else, far away from the Jedi master staring at him.
"Well, padawan. It seems that you are confused at the moment. Perhaps you should meditate. It might clear your head, and then you can think more clearly." With that, Master Sariel - the real Master Sariel - turned and disappeared behind a flowering hedja bush.
It took Obi-Wan a few seconds to recover. When he did, he discovered that he was holding his breath. He forced himself to breathe. There was no way he was going to tell Qui-Gon about this. It was too embarrassing. *And what about Master Sariel, the real one? What must she think of me now? I don't even want to think about that,* he thought, miserably.
The small drangmul pup leaped from the xala bush, landing in the padawan's lap. "Master-" he stopped himself. "Pup, let's go home," he whispered.
When Obi-Wan arrived at his quarters, he set the pup down on the floor and went to the 'fresher. Then the door chime sounded. It was Qui-Gon.
"Master?" he stepped aside to let the tall Jedi in.
"Padawan, did you find...?"
"Yes, Master. She's here. I found her in the meditation gardens."
"Padawan... I need to tell you something," Qui-Gon paused, as if not knowing how to say it.
"What is it, Master?" Obi-Wan saw Qui-Gon's uncertainty.
Qui-Gon walked further in Obi-Wan's quarters and sat on a sofa. The Jedi master watched as Obi-Wan did the same.
"Obi-Wan," he began. "The Council knows about Master Sariel. I told them after you left, butů they already knew."
"It seems that Ambassador Corrunem contacted the Council before he gave you the pup - to ask permission to give it to you." Qui-Gon paused. Obi-Wan continued staring at him, listening in shock. "The council gave permission," the Jedi master explained, "on the condition that the Temple pay for the pup."
"You mean they know. They've known all along?"
"Yes, padawan. They didn't say anything because they were waiting for us to mention it."
"What about Master Mace? He seemed suspicious, and even said someone heard yapping." Obi-Wan inquired.
"He was just trying to get me to bring it up to him," Qui-Gon smiled. "So, you see... there was no reason to get upset about it. I should have been forthcoming from the start. I felt led by the Force to accept the pup, but I just didn't know why. And then I let my worry over what to do afterward, control my actions." Qui-Gon paused, "we never stop learning. It's when we think we've learned everything that we fail." Qui-Gon stood and walked to the door. He paused, turning back to the padawan. "Oh, and one other thing, Obi-Wan," he chuckled. "Master Sariel wanted me to ask if you wanted to have dinner with her tonight."
"Master!" the padawan huffed.
Qui-Gon ducked a thrown cushion and dashed in the hallway seeking the safety of his quarters.