Title: The Knight
Part Twelve:His breath clouded before him, in dissipating crystalline puffs, like so many snowflakes caught in a whirlwind. The air hurt his lungs, yet, as always, he found the chill air invigorating, and alive, contrary to so many things, it seemed. He looked down into the valley below, the light green of the grass contrasting the darker shades of the trees. He heard a voice that broke his reverie, and he turned to look ahead, at the looming shape coming out of the mist. With it's thundering waterfalls and majestic architecture, this giant before them seemed truly of another time; a time long forgotten.
"There it is," Qui-Gon's voice echoed in the silence. He stood cross armed at the side of his padawan. Obi-Wan just watched the shifting mist of early morning. The skies were still gray. The Jedi rested a few moments longer before continuing on their mission of stealth.
The plan was for the Jedi and a small group of soldiers to get into the palace first and cause a distraction so that the viceroy and his guards would believe that they were being attacked on the left wing, fanning out their military forces so that conflict would be minimal. Then Amidala and her security forces would enter the palace from the secret entrances by the waterfalls and penetrate the few guards of the viceroy that hadn't been sent to the left wing. However, Qui-Gon insisted that the Jedi go alone. He did not wish to endanger the lives of any more of her majesty's guards, and he knew that just he and Obi-Wan would be much more efficient alone than with a group. Thus the pair had ventured through the woods and climbed the surrounding mountains of the castle, like two wolves trotting in companionship through the forest, their paces matched.
With one last look at the forest below, Obi-Wan breathed in deep. "Let's go." Qui-Gon shrugged off his cloak, Obi-Wan's having already been left behind many days ago when he and the queen were fleeing the city. Without his cloak Qui-Gon felt much more exposed, yet more mobile. There was something about that illusionary feeling of hindrance presented by his cloak that made him feel free once he left it behind. Nothing wrapping around him. Nothing pulling or holding him back, nothing to keep him from what he sensed may come. Nothing to heed passage, to wherever he may be required to go.
He followed his beloved padawan, for a moment remembering all of the years they had spent together, all of the years of life they had shared. There was a deep bond of camaraderie they now shared, one that could never be broken. He smiled slightly as he watched his padawan slip a little while walking along the shale mountainside. Obi-Wan was in love, in love with Padme, and Qui-Gon didn't know if he was more happy or sad because of it. Padme's status in the galactic government would prove to be trying for the two, and most likely would lead to the downfall of their relationship. The Jedi Master did not want that, like always he wanted his padawan to be as happy as possible. Yet he was overwhelmed with joy knowing that his padawan had experienced the warm face of love. That was a gift that made life worth living, that made life bearable or unbearable, that made life alive.
"Obi-Wan," his padawan slowed, sensing the sensitivity in his master's voice. "She cares for you, I can see it in her eyes."
Obi-Wan turned and smiled almost sadly, only the slightest bit surprised that his master had picked up on his feelings and decided to speak of them. His smile inadvertently turned into a frown as he tried to choke back the sudden wave of pain, restlessness, sorrow and passion that flooded over him. He swallowed hard and looked to the ground. Qui-Gon stepped up to him and put his hand on his shoulder. "It's all right," he comforted.
"I know," Obi-Wan nodded, confusedly, beginning to cry. "I- I don't know why I'm upset, I just-"
"It's okay," Qui-Gon hugged his crying padawan.
"I'm scared," Obi-Wan whispered, knowing his master would understand that his fears were not for the task ahead, but from a much stronger, more meaningful source of worry.
Qui-Gon rubbed Obi-Wan's back, "I know. When one is given something as powerful as love it is frightening."
Obi-Wan winced and pulled away, wiping his tears with his sleeve. Qui-Gon understood that Obi-Wan hated to be ruled by anything, especially something from within. A lot of emotionally and physically-stressing events had happened on the last few days. He kept his arm on his padawan's shoulder.
After a few more minutes of sniffing and Qui-Gon's reassuring, protective strength, Obi-Wan had almost completely regained his composure.
"Are you ready?" Qui-Gon's face showed that he was only ready when Obi-Wan was.
Obi-Wan looked to the ground, took a deep breath and nodded his head. Then he met his master's gaze, knowing that Qui-Gon needed to be reassured. "Yes," his voice was strong and his eyes as blue as the cold around them.
"Then let's go," Qui-Gon nodded.
A/N: Sorry this one is so short and long-coming! More soon!
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