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DISCLAIMER: The following story is a non-profit, amateur effort not intended to infringe on the rights of George Lucas, Lucasfilm, Twentieth Century Fox, Industrial Light and Hocus-Pocus, Skywalker Sound, Guybrush Threepwood, Haggis MacMutton or anyone else affiliated with George Lucas and other assorted copyright holders. I make no claims to these copyrights, this story was merely the will of the Force.

Old Friends
by The Brat Queen

Rated: PG
Spoilers: TPM
Pairing: Q/O (implied)
Series: The Mace Series (look, I told you I was bad with titles)
Feedback: As much as you wanna give me. It feeds the plot bunnies and soothes the voices in my head. And after writing this one, believe me, a little bunny prozac would be useful ;)
Archive: WWOMB, SWAL and my own page
Summary: With Anakin's future decided, our protagonists react to the fallout.

Author's Notes: Story Three in the newly dubbed Mace Series. Once again I'm going to avoid your boredom by not requoting the movie. It takes place after the scene in which the Council tells Qui-Gon that Anakin isn't to be trained.

For all those who asked and were promised that this one would deal with Obi-Wan and Mace - the plot bunnies lied. I'll see if I can't make them behave for part 4.

Thanks to: Steph who helped me brainstorm and The Black Rose who will appreciate the one extremely hidden joke in the middle of this.


Denial showed itself to be the best option, at least in Obi-Wan's opinion.

Denial was pure and clean and gave him clarity of purpose.

If he didn't deny it, he would have to deal with it. And he was far too angry for that.

"This is insanity!" Qui-Gon's voice came from the other room of their small suite. Obi-Wan had closed his door for privacy while he packed but Qui-Gon was speaking loudly enough now that he could still be heard.

"Qui-Gon, this is what is necessary," Mace Windu's voice, by contrast, was much calmer. Mace had arrived at their quarters not long after the Council meeting had disbanded. Obi-Wan was glad for it. Perhaps the other Jedi would do Qui-Gon some good.

"It is a decision of politics and no more than that," Qui-Gon replied. Obi-Wan did not need to see his Master to know that his jaw was set in an expression of anger and frustration.

"It is a decision based upon what we saw of the boy and upon more important priorities," Mace said.

"More important priorities," Qui-Gon scoffed. "Like Anakin's needs?"

"The boy needs - "

"The boy needs to be trained! You must see that. No good comes to him if he is left to stagnate and suffer like this."

"There is no promise that training him will be the good that you want for him."

"So he is better off untrained and lost?" There was the sound of thumping as Qui-Gon apparently threw his travel bag down in his frustration. "Anakin is special, Mace. I saw it myself. If you could have seen him on Tatooine… it was like he lived in the Force, like he was one with it. How can the Council not see that?'

"The Council sees his anger, Qui-Gon."

"What does Anakin know of anger?"

"Enough," Mace said. His voice never raised, but Obi-Wan could hear the strength behind the honey-smooth tones. "He is afraid, Qui-Gon."

"Afraid? Of course he is afraid. He has never been through anything like this before. How can you blame a nine year old child for having fear?"

"His fear leads him to -"

"I know very well what the Council believes about that, my friend, do not doubt it," Qui-Gon spoke in sharp, clipped tones. "But the Council is wrong. And it would not be the first time for it either. You remember their handling of Obi-Wan."

There was another thump, this time from Obi-Wan's own travel bag as he threw it to the floor. Then, just as quickly, he scooped it up, slung it over his shoulder and left the room.

Denial was possible with a lot of things, but listening to his Master use him as an argument for his feelings about the boy was not one of them.

"Master, I'm leaving," he said, giving Mace only the barest of cursory nods. "I will be on the ship."

"Obi-Wan - " Qui-Gon started to say, but Obi-Wan refused to listen. Without breaking stride he left the room, enjoying the satisfactory hiss of the door as it closed behind him.

What had Qui-Gon thought? To stop him? To talk to him? To explain things to him?

Obi-Wan smirked, increasing his stride. Perhaps that was it. Or perhaps Qui-Gon hadn't even thought of any of those things and instead was oblivious enough that Obi-Wan's thoughts and feelings didn't even occur to him.

"Obi-Wan."

It would not be the first time. Qui-Gon Jinn was notorious for his poor memory once he set his sight on a project. And what a project this was! Only the Chosen One. Only the culmination of a prophecy as old as Jedis themselves!

"Obi-Wan."

One of many such prophecies, true, but of course this one was true because Master Qui-Gon said -

"Obi-Wan!"

The voice that had been calling to him suddenly penetrated his thoughts as a pair of strong hands wrapped around his arms and held him still.

"Obi-Wan, are you alright?"

Obi-Wan frowned. Of all the things he had expected, this was the last of them.

"Master Windu?"

-to be cont'd-

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