Title: A Model Padawan
Author: Jedirita@yahoo.com
Rating: G
Archive: if you want to
Disclaimer: Master George owns them. I'm just doing this because I can't resist.
Author's Note: This little story was written in response to a writing challenge (www.livejournal.com/community/contrelamontre) in which you had to write a story conveying a sense of longing without using words like need, want, crave, desire, etc, etc. Time limit was 30 min.
Feedback: So, was I successful? on or off list, good, bad, or ugly

Anakin dashed through the halls after his last class, earning more than one rebuke from a passing knight or master, but Anakin paid them no mind. He had news he was eager to share.

At the door to Obi-Wan's quarters, he paused to straighten out his tunic and catch his breath. He probably wouldn't manage to fool his master, but he wanted to look like a model pupil. Perhaps given his news, Obi-Wan might *look* at him as if he were a model pupil. That would be very nice indeed.

When he had calmed his pulse with a touch of the Force, Anakin placidly palmed the door opened. His master was seated at his desk. He looked up as Anakin entered, favoring him with a slight smile that almost caused the boy's pulse to quicken again. "Good afternoon, padawan," Obi-Wan greeted before returning his attention to the screen in front of him.

*He called me 'padawan.'* Obi-Wan usually did, but Anakin treasured hearing it. He bowed formally and answered, "Good afternoon, Master." He removed his cloak and hung it on up on a hook next to the door before approaching Obi-Wan's desk. Glancing at the computer screen, Anakin guessed, "Lesson plans?"

Obi-Wan ran a hand through his hair. Over the past three years it had grown out enough to cover his ears. "Actually, I'm grading assignments."

Anakin grimaced. Obi-Wan hated grading. He noted the empty mug next to Obi-Wan's elbow. "May I make you some fresh tea, master?" he offered.

Obi-Wan looked up at him, flashing him a warm grin, one that melted Anakin's insides. "That would be a blessing, padawan."

Hastily suppressing an answering smile, Anakin headed toward the kitchenette. He did not want to betray his joy. Model pupils did not leap in ecstasy whenever their masters were pleased with them. He was supposed to be calm and dignified at all times. But with his back turned toward Obi-Wan, he could smile all he wanted.

Anakin paced his breathing as he set the kettle to boil and measured out the tea. Obi-Wan's quarters were tiny, one room with a kitchenette, workspace, and a narrow sleep couch. It was spare and spartan, possessing little more than the necessities. Obi-Wan wasn't much for decoration or momentos.

It reminded Anakin of the home he had shared with his mother on Tatooine. Their space had been far more cluttered and homey, but it reminded him of this place because it was where he came at the end of the day. On Tatooine, he and his mother would return home from Watto's to prepare their evening meal. They would tell each other about their day, tease one another, laugh together. They were a family.

Of course Obi-Wan was nowhere near as warm and openly affectionate as Shmi had been. But he occupied her place now in Anakin's life. He was the center of Anakin's existence. This spartan room bore no other resemblance to Anakin's home on Tatooine, except for the fact it was occupied by the most important person in his life. Obi-Wan was Anakin's family now. He had to work hard to earn those moments of affection from his master, but they were all the more precious for being so rare.

The water came to a boil. Anakin added the tea leaves and brought the kettle and two cups to the low table in front of the small couch. "I have something to tell you, Master," he said as he poured out the two cups. He knelt expectantly on the floor next to the table.

Obi-Wan turned in his chair, stretching a bit and yawning. *Please, let him come over here,* Anakin silently begged, his eyes closed.

He heard the chair legs scraping lightly across the floor and opened his eyes to see Obi-Wan approach him and settle on the couch. Anakin cast his gaze downward so as not to betray his happiness. He picked up one of the mugs and extended it to Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan took it, his fingers lightly brushing Anakin's. "What is it, padawan?"

Three 'padawans' so far. It was a good day.

Keeping his eyes lowered, focusing on his own cup, Anakin said, "I passed my philosophy exam. Master Friat said she was very impressed."

His announcement was greeted with silence. He looked up to see Obi- Wan take a sip of tea, then lower his cup. "I know you were struggling with that class," he said.

"Yes, Master," Anakin replied.

"You studied hard. You earned those marks, Anakin. I'm proud of you."

Anakin dropped his gaze once more, struggling not to smile, not to jump up and kiss Obi-Wan. He savored Obi-Wan's approval, storing it up in his heart to remember during the times of frustration and anger. If only Obi-Wan would laugh. If only he would seize Anakin in a hug and ruffle his hair.

But he did none of those things. Obi-Wan was a model Jedi Master. And in this moment, Anakin was a model padawan.

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