Tenmonths' End

By Jenny

Qui-Gon was walking through the halls of the Jedi compound on Coruscant, heading for his quarters to meditate before retiring for the night. He stopped, cocked his head slightly and just --- felt.

There. There it was again... a slight ripple in the Force. It felt like....fear?

Qui-Gon moved toward the source of the riples, and as he did, the sensation became clearer, easier to identify.

It was fear, all right --- but not the kind of soul-deep, inborne anxiety that was of the Dark Side. It was not the kind of nameless dread that snuck up on young students and woke them from nightmarish sleep.

No -- this was a ... a GOOD fear, if there was such a thing. This was the sort of all-over tingling that was associated with knowing one was perfectly safe, that nothing would or could cause harm, and thus one could allow oneself to be frightened. It was the kind of shivers associated with....

Qui-Gon stpped, his hand on the panel to key the private quarters. His eyes closed in amusement as the feeling washed over him again.

Someone in that room was telling ghost stories. And if he'd been a betting man, Qui-Gon would have laid odds the storyteller was his new Padawan.

Qui-Gon waited till the shivers began again, then he keyed the door.

He was greeted with a series of shrieks and a singular cry of "It's the Were-Wookie!"

Ten young students were sitting on the floor, holding each other. Sure enough, Obi-Wan sat at the head of the room, a young woman standing beside him. They wore identical expressions of guilt warring with extreme amusement.

Qui-Gon keyed the lights. He folded his arms across his chest and fixed Obi-Wan with a stern look. "Were-Wookie, Padawan?"

Obi-Wan tried twice to speak before he could without laughing. "W---Were-Wookie, Master."

A young girl student pulled on his robe. Qui-Gon looked down at her. She stomped her foot and jabbed a finger directly at his face. "You SCARED us!" she snapped, totally unafraid of the imposing Jedi.

"I scared you?"

She nodded, her red braid bouncing. "Bustin' in here like that, you so tall and your hair all down -- we thought you were a Were-Wookie!" She swatted him --- actually SWATTED him! -- on the arm. "DON'T do it again!" She spun on her hell and marched back to her place, where she sat in a huff.

Qui-Gon looked at Obi-Wan and let his amusement show in the gentle smile and tease in his voice. "I suppose I have been told."

"I suppose you have," giggled Obi-Wan.

The young woman with him shooed the children to bed. The redhead swatted Qui-Gon again as she left. Chuckling, the tall man rubbed his arms. "It would seem I've made an enemy this night!" he chuckled. "What's been happening, Padawan?"

"Rison and I were telling the students ghost stories," Obi-Wan said, nodding at the young woman.

"Rison," Qui-Gon repeated, looking her over and finding himself on the receiving end of an appraising stare as well. "I didn't catch where you're from, Rison."

"I didn't throw it," she smiled. "I'm Corellian."

"Corellian..." He nodded. Indeed, she did have the angular features and thick, dark hair typical of Corellians. "What is your other name?"

He was rewarded with a charming, if somewhat lopsided, smile. "For now, it's Diurn. Once I return to Corellia, it'll change."

Obi-Wan spoke up. "She's going to marry into a prominent family."

Qui-Gon nodded. "And yet you're on Coruscant."

Again, the crooked smile. She tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear. "Obi-Wan and I are old friends. I came to see him before I went home to face my destiny."

"And got roped into telling ghost stories for Tenmonths' End," Obi-Wan chuckled.

"Oh, I don't mind. I love kids. And it was all worth it to see that little spitfire swat your master!"

"Rison Diurn!" Obi-Wan gasped through the sound of all three of them chuckling.

"It was a pleasure to meet you," Qui-Gon said, bowing his head respectfully. Then he turned to his Padawan. "Ghost stories, Padawan?"

Recognising the tease, Obi-Wan grinned unrepentantly. "Well it IS Tenmonths' End!"

"That it is." He nodded at Obi-Wan. "Until tomorrow, Padawan."

"Until tomorrow, Master."

"Nice to meet you," Rison said, smiling.

With a nod to them both, Qui-Gon departed.

* * *

Obi-Wan sighed and turned back to Rison. "When does your transport leave?"

"In half an hour." She smiled at him.

"May I walk you there?"

Rison smiled and hugged him. "Thanks --- but you need to rest. I can MORE than take care of myself."

Obi-Wan broke the embrace, smiling. "That you can, Rison. That you can. Orn Solo is a very lucky man to be gaining you as a wife."

Rison shook her head. "I'm the lucky one. Orn is full of life, full of adventure and fire." She shot him a cocky crooked smile. "And he's fully aware of what I am."

Obi-Wan's smile grew. "I'll always love you, you know."

"And I'll always love you." One final hug. "Watch your back, Padawan."

"You do the same, Corellian." He released her and waved as she walked away.

Rison walked into the loft. As she was carried to the transports, she closed her eyes and threw a mental switch.

It was a female Wookie that exited the lift and boarded the transport for Corellia.


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