Watching the Wheels
A Happy Birthday! Vignette for dianethx by LuvEwan
Master and apprentice on a rainy day.
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me
Main Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn; Obi-Wan Kenobi
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels
Go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go. –John Lennon
The wind rapped softly at the window, drawing the covers tighter around the Master’s form, as though the chill had trespassed the very walls. He burrowed deep in downy warmth and waited for the heaviness of sleep to claim him again. Thoughts tried to clamp on, of the day’s endless schedule and when the latest mission report would need to be completed and which kata level would be the focus of the next lesson, but he sank deeper in the ether, and allowed himself to be lulled by nature’s mild rhythm.
He lay in that twilight while morning swelled around him. Blissfully, the sun had been swallowed by the clouds, and its customary glare was replaced by a quiet gray ambience. It was a dim dawn setting lazily in his bones.
Qui-Gon sighed. He had reserved a section of the Temple arena for an offense-intense spar between he and Obi-Wan. They would need to begin in an hour. An hour-or sooner. Yes. He would have to prepare breakfast, wake Obi-Wan…and worst of all, he would have to crawl out of bed. The Temple was always colder in the morning.
And it was warmer here, knowing the rain poured a cool mist outside.
Warm, and quiet and….
His eyes slid open. The shadows on the walls were unchanged, but he knew time had passed—mostly due to the ache creeping up his neck and back. He was lingering too long. ‘Delaying the inevitable’, as they said.
But why did it have to be inevitable? Who decided that he should wake at this unnatural hour and be forced into the bracing winds? Forget the winds…why should he be forced out of this bed?
Qui-Gon sighed and threw his forearm over his eyes. A terrible conflict spiked in his mind.
He really should get up. What use would he get out of a few more minutes of sleep? The rational thing to do was to abandon fantasy and refocus, throw the covers aside and slap his feet down on the floor…
There was a sound.
He drifted up and heard remnants of faraway murmuring. A scowl creased his face.
“Mmph.” He cried out, hoping it would be heard, and understood that he wanted silence.
The noise persisted, so he turned his face against the pillow, back against the annoyance.
Another jolt through the quiet waters of his mind. He groaned, but still resisted defeat. He was a renegade among the Jedi-- he needed to uphold his reputation somehow.
A rasping cacophony of curses swarmed his head. It was the one weakness that could worm its way through the most stubborn shields. The call he couldn’t ignore. Qui-Gon battled the dark pull of sleep, and eventually, was successful in opening one eye.
Obi-Wan’s face was smeared, but recognizable.
“What is it?” He asked in a clumsy, breathless voice. “What…what’s wrong?”
There was a slight hesitation. “Nothing’s wrong, it’s just…”
“What?” Qui-Gon pushed, although it was heard more as ‘Wha?’
“We were supposed to start the spar ten minutes ago.”
“But…it’s raining, Obi-Wan.”
“I know, Master. But the arena’s inside.”
“Yes, but it’s cold.”
“And that’s why the arena has heaters.”
Qui-Gon blinked, and peeled his other eye open. Obi-Wan was standing beside the bed, fully dressed, hands behind his back. A piece of glaring evidence, that perhaps the Master would not be allowed to spend the remainder of the day under the thick, warm comforter.
Unless… “Padawan, come here,” He beckoned in a strengthened, commanding tone. When the young man was closer, he peered into the face and frowned. “You don’t look so good.”
“What do you mean? I feel fine.”
Qui-Gon reached up and flattened his palm against Obi-Wan’s forehead. The skin there was perfectly cool, yet “You’re running a fever.”
“You’re feverish and growing paler by the minute. Sparring is out of the question.”
“Master, I don’t-“
“However,” Qui-Gon intervened, “If you promise to take it easy, I won’t send you to the healers.” Inwardly, he smirked, aware he just nicked a well-known bane of his student, and thus secured beloved victory.
“Thank you, Master,” Obi-Wan replied quickly, as though he were afraid the older Jedi would have a sudden change of heart, “I won’t leave the apartment.”
“Good, good,” Qui-Gon drummed his fingers, “Better still, fetch your pillow and those ridiculous vids you like. I want to keep an eye on you, in case you worsen.”
With a grave nod, Obi-Wan obeyed.
“And Obi-Wan, why don’t you grab the package of cookies sitting on the counter while you’re up?”
Several hours later, the rain was still clinging to the windows, but a patch of clear sky was visible through the clouds.
Qui-Gon watched the breeze ruffle the world outside his quarters, a small smile playing on his lips. He wondered faintly if growing up under the strict limitations of the Order gave its members a specific handicap. He was certain a normal teenager would have caught on to such a ruse almost immediately, but Obi-Wan never showed an instance of doubt in his belief of his Master’s diagnosis.
He was asleep, the soft din of a favorite film faded in the background.
The gentle beat of his breaths weighed down Qui-Gon’s eyelids once more, and before he could reach for another sugar-packed cookie…
It was thickly dark, but when he opened his eyes, he was met with a bright cast of blue.
Obi-Wan smiled loosely. “I think I’m cured.” He whispered with more than a vein of sarcasm.
Well, Sith. Qui-Gon wanted to laugh out loud. “I suppose I underestimated you.”
The apprentice shrugged. “Not really. It wasn’t until I was finished marveling at how lucky I was to escape the Healers that I realized cookies wouldn’t be a very effective prescription for a fever. And that it would be difficult to ‘keep an eye’ on me when both of yours were closed half of the day.”
This time, Qui-Gon did laugh. “I fear I’ve trained you too well.”
“Mmm. Well, you saw your opportunity and you took it. Just like I did.”
A devilish mischief sparked in Obi-Wan’s gaze. “To eat the rest of the cookies while you were snoring away.”
Qui-Gon sighed, rolling on his back. “I think you’ve just handed me another win, Padawan. Chances are you will be sick tomorrow.”
Obi-Wan couldn’t hold back his grin. “It’s not scheduled to rain tomorrow.”
Qui-Gon chuckled and swept the covers around his shoulders. Sleep wasn’t far away, an unsurprising observation. After all, it had been a hard day.