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star wars tpm h/c gen fic. my first.

For four days Qui Gon Jinn's apprentice had been meditating, stopping only to eat when his master prompted him, and to sleep when his body demanded it of him. Qui Gon knew that the last undercover mission had been tough on Obi Wan. He'd had to take a life to save others, and Qui Gon had felt his apprentice purge those negative experiences and emotions with a small amount of pride. That pride, however, was mitigated by his concern. He still did not know the full story on the emotional side for Obi Wan. He knew the facts, he had helped write the report for the council. What he didn't know was what had brought the blank grey cast to his apprentice's changeable eyes.

They ate their meal in somewhat companiable silence, though Qui Gon could still see the shadows in Obi Wans eyes, the way he pushed his food around his plate, finishing the meal only to appease Qui Gons worry. He understood Obi Wans motivation. He wanted to deal with his demons himself, more to prove to himself that he could rather than to anyone else. He had decided, however, that if Obi Wans meditations continued to a fifth day, then he would intervene.

At the conclusion of their meal, Obi Wan asked in a soft voice if there was anything that he could do for his master, to which Qui Gon shook his head. "With your permission, Master, I shall go meditate and then retire". Qui Gon nodded and watched his padawan excecute a small, formal bown and then retreat behind the closed door of his room. Qui Gon sighed. He longed to see the changeable blue-green eyes again, that spark of mischief, the intensity with which he did everything. He shook his head as if to clear his thoughts and set himself up for his own meditations and then to retire himself.

Qui Gon had finally fallen into a restless sleep, and when he woke for the fifth time, he felt Obi Wans presence in the doorway.

"Did I wake you master?" He asked, a hesitance to his voice. Qui Gon rubbed the dregs of sleep from his eyes.
"No, Padawan, I was already awake. My sleep tonight has been restless."
"Oh.. Master..... I...."
"What is it Padawan?" he asked, his voice calm and soft.
"I... I need to talk to you Master, if it pleases you?" Obi Wan said softly, unable to keep his tone rising at the end to form a question.

Qui Gon sat up against the pillows and patted the mattress beside him. "Come here, Obi Wan." With a small sign of reluctance, Obi Wan sat beside him, his fingers restless and playing with the hem of his sleep tunic. "Tell me, Obi Wan. Tell me what troubles you."

Obi Wan sighed. Qui Gon could see the overbright eyes. "I have tried so hard Master, I've been meditating on everything that happened on the last mission but there is something that I cannot let go of. It.... it wasn't that I took a life master...it's just... he was my friend. I knew he was misguided, and when I tried to... tried to talk him down, he told me I was naive, that one day I would learn.. I just wish I didnt have to learn from his death." Obi Wan put his head in his hands and Qui Gon shifted closer, putting his arm on his padawans shoulders. "I tried to release it master, I really did. But when he had the detonator in his hand, I had to act, and he saw what I was going to do, and he said to me "But you're my friend Obi, why would you do this to me, why can't you understand?" Obi Wan took a shuddering breath. "The look of betrayal in his eyes as he died... I can't stop seeing it master. I don't regret killing him. He would have killed so many... but I feel like I betrayed him. I cannot let go of that... and I don't know what to do..." at that obi Wan sagged, curling in on himself.

Qui Gon closed his eyes. "Oh, my padawan. Come here.." and with that Qui Gon drew a reluctant Obi Wan into his embrace. Wrapping his arms firmly around him, he spoke low into Obi Wans ear. "It is always hard to betray a friend, particularly when they betray the principles of justice. You did what you had to do, and you know that. And yes, you have released your emotions into the force with the expertise of a Knight, my Obi Wan. What you are feeling now, it is compassion. It is not a weakness. Compassion is one of your greatest strengths, and a Knight without compassion is useless to the order. You have a brilliant, light soul. And you will come to find that light tested, but I know, as your master, that you will always stand in the light. You, because of your compassion, and your light, and who you are, is the greatest gift that the force has ever granted me. You will be one of the strongest of us all, because of your compassion. You are strong and pure, and I am so proud of you."

Obi Wan looked to his master, saw the depth of feeling in those eyes, and for the first time in days, a small, sad smile graced his lips, which warmed Qui Gon to his soul. He saw Obi Wan fighting his exhaustion. "come now, Obi Wan. Rest here with me. I am your Master, but I am also your friend. Stay with me and let me guard your dreams, as is my duty, but also my wish." He felt Obi Wan relax under him, and he gently pulled him down beside him, Qui Gon pulled the coverlet over them both, and held him in a lose embrace. He felt Obi Wan exhale against his chest. "Thank you master... and I am your friend too.. always..." he said softly, his voice slightly slurred with sleep.

As Obi wan drifted to sleep, Qui Gon held his padawan tighter, and dropped a kiss into the soft, dark red hair.

/I will always be here for you. I will always protect you, my beautiful force of light/ Qui gon thought to himself, as he felt himself drift off into a more peaceful sleep, the warm, reassuring weight of his padawan in his arms.

And at last, Obi Wan did not see the eyes of his friend staring back at him as the spirit left his body, he did not see the betrayal and recrimination in those eyes. At last, he could truly rest, at peace.

Fin.