rhoddlet: (sw - heat of fire heart of fire)
[personal profile] rhoddlet

On Rekton IV, as an incidental piece of work to their primary objective, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan saved a village from raiders. Short, simple work for Jedi, but at the festivities celebrating this, a little girl from that village presented them with dolls she had made of her heroes -- both were dressed in rough brown cloth. One was substantially larger than the other, and there was this stiff material that the villagers used to make rope, and one of the dolls had a great abundance of it poking down around into shoulders.

The other one had a little brown halo of it and a braid. When Obi-Wan received his, the girl showed him how the braid would stick straight up from the doll's head at a ninety degree angle. It looked more like him that way, she said, because his braid would always do that when he was running, and look, she had used a little bit of charcoal to draw his chin and didn't those little rectangles look just like his eyes? She was trying to match the funny expression that she saw on his face when he had waded into the river to save her from the mounted raider who was trying to ride her down and then realized that, ah, once again, he had forgotten to turn his lightsaber off before getting into the water.

"It is a very noble expression," Qui-Gon had said, smiling down at the doll, then looking up at Obi-Wan with the smile now in his eyes, too. "Perhaps Obi-Wan will remember, in the future, now that he has such a handsome reminder."

The little girl giggled with laughter. She began to imitate, for Qui-Gon's benefit, the sputtering noises that Obi-Wan's lightsaber had made when he tried to turn it on, and then Qui-Gon began repeating them back to her to make sure that he had them right, and really, Obi-Wan remembered being so embarrassed that he was calling on the Force to take him on the spot. When finally clear of the planet, he made a point of sort of accidentally on purpose leaving his doll somewhere.

He had no idea, in fact, of where it was until a day five or six years later where he came into his quarters on the Temple, and Anakin was peering at a little pack of brown wrapping paper. When they unwrapped it together, it turned out to contain not only the Qui-Gon doll but also, a very mangled thing that was once the Obi-Wan doll, rescued from being left in the dry trash compactor cubicle of the transport and kept in the brown wrapping paper all these years.

It was fairly amazing that they were even wrapped up at all. Qui-Gon had not, after all, been a terribly tidy housekeeper. They were rarely back at their quarters on Corsucant, and over the course of thirty years of service in the Jedi Order, Qui-Gon had picked up an enormous collection of knicknacks donated by grateful people. Ostensibly, they should have been turned over to the Archives, but what would the Archives want with a Calamari gel stone etched with Qui-Gon's name? An enormous, Qui-Gon sized knitted cap in the style of the K'rotan natives? A pair of dolls made from sackcloth, with rope fiber for hair because that was how poor the Trade Federation kept primitive planets where they had a monopoly?

Obi-Wan and Anakin had moved into Qui-Gon's old quarters on their return from Naboo. They were still finding things stashed away into the corners, tucked into the closets, and Obi-Wan looked at the two dolls for a while -- the pristine Qui-Gon one. The mangled, dirty Obi-Wan one with what had once been an expression of bravery and determination and nobility, mixed with overpowering worry, not to mention dread what his master would say when he found out that Obi-Wan had forgotten again and.

The expression had only been drawn on with charcoal. It had smeared completely; the expression now existed only in Obi-Wan's memory, and even if it had still been there, Obi-Wan rather knew that he wouldn't have been embarrassed by it. It had been petty of him to be embarrassed by it even then, and he had now grown past it.

Nevertheless, after a moment of looking down at them, Obi-Wan told Anakin to wrap them back up and put them away.

Dolls were for children, after all, and Obi-Wan was no longer an apprentice in need of reminding. Anakin no longer had the time to be a child.
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December 2010

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