Summary: Vignette - a new baby arrives at the Jedi Temple.
Category: Old Republic
Disclaimer: Not mine. Not any of them. *Heavy sigh*
"Ah, Master, there you are," Xanatos said upon spying Qui-Gon. The Jedi Master was standing outside the Temple hangar bay, his arms full what appeared to be small, crumpled blankets. "Did you forget that you were supposed to meet me...." Xanatos paused, his brow furrowing. There was something alive in those blankets. It squirmed and cooed. Qui-Gon smiled down at it and clucked his tongue soothingly. Obviously his master was holding a baby. Xanatos flashed a smile and started towards him.
Qui-Gon looked up at his young apprentice. "We've a new arrival at the Temple today, Padawan," he began to explain.
Xanatos was unimpressed. "And what are you doing with it?"
"Not an 'it' Xanatos. Him. It's a baby boy," Qui-Gon corrected.
Xanatos waved his hand in dismissal. "Yes. Whatever."
The Jedi Master fixed his gaze back on the baby. "Master Cura brought him. He had just gotten here when I happened by. He asked if I wouldn't mind holding him for a moment as he had forgotten something and had to run back to the ship for it. Of course, I didn't mind."
Xanatos sighed. "Of course." Xanatos knew this wasn't the first time his master's good nature had been taken advantage of. And it wouldn't be the last.
Qui-Gon smiled as the baby took hold of a strand of his long hair in his tiny hand and tugged on it. "He's a good baby. He's strong and smart," the Jedi Master continued. "And I'm one of the first to welcome him to his new home. A brand new Jedi."
Xanatos could never understand what it was about babies that turned most normal, rational adults into pure sap. "Master, you don't know if he'll actually become a Jedi. He might not make it." He sighed heavily, impatiently, and looked around hopefully for the child's wayward guardian.
Qui-Gon laughed. "You wouldn't be so cynical, Padawan, if you were the one who was looking at this child's face. He's the embodiment of all our possibilities and hope. He'll be a Jedi. I'm sure of it."
Intrigued, Xanatos leaned closer and pulled the blanket back to get a better view of the baby. Two enormous blue eyes peered curiously up at him. The boy's rosy lips were parted and he smiled and gurgled a friendly greeting.
Xanatos couldn't help but smile back. "He is a beautiful child," the padawan admitted.
Qui-Gon held the baby out towards him. "Would you like to hold him, Xanatos?"
Xanatos immediately backed away. "No, I couldn't, really. I don't know how."
"Nonsense," Qui-Gon chided. "Here, hold out your arms."
Rising to the challenge, Xanatos stepped forward and extended his arms. Qui-Gon carefully placed the baby in his arms and smiled.
"There. Not so terrible, is it?"
Xanatos clutched the baby to his chest and grinned broadly. "No. Not so terrible." He gazed down at the boy and sighed. Qui-Gon watched, warmed by the sight of his usually stolid apprentice falling under the infant's spell.
Xanatos lowered his face and nuzzled the baby's velvety cheek, whispering softly to him. He tenderly brushed at the baby's downy hair with his fingertips and traced the curve of his fair brow. The child grasped one of Xanatos' fingers in his small chubby hand and began gnawing on his knuckle. Xanatos laughed and kissed the boy's warm forehead, hugging the baby affectionately.
Qui-Gon cleared his throat. "I think you've made a new friend, Padawan."
Xanatos glanced up at Qui-Gon, slightly embarrassed. "Babies don't have any concept of friendship, Master," he countered. "He's merely reacting to physical sensations."
Qui-Gon shook his head. "Surely you can feel it in him," he stated. "He's Force-sensitive, Xanatos. Otherwise, he wouldn't be here. If you open yourself to his feelings, you'll sense his projections. Peace. Contentment. Happiness. Even trust."
Xanatos turned his attention back to the boy in his arms. He could feel the Force moving in the child. It was all around him in an aura of positive energy and he was very strong with it. It was as if the boy was feeding off the Force for reassurance through knowledge of his new surroundings and the new people with him. He was already tuned into the serene atmosphere of the Temple and the Jedi and was calmed by it. Xanatos found this fascinating. The embodiment of our hope, Qui-Gon had said. The future with all its possibilities. Here in his arms was the Force in its purest, perhaps most powerful form. Holding this child was like holding his own lost opportunities, innocence, and hope. And not just his, but Qui-Gon's too. Xanatos suddenly realized that somehow, in some unforeseeable way, this child would be everything he never would. The hope of the Jedi.
Xanatos was so focused on the baby that he did not realize Master Cura had returned until he spoke.
"Precious, isn't he?" he said with an easy smile.
Xanatos looked up. "Oh, yes." He quickly handed the baby to him and stepped back. "A remarkable child."
Master Cura gathered the baby close to him, tucking in the corners of the blankets. "Thank you both for watching him for me. I'm sorry it took so long. I hope you weren't detained from anything important."
Qui-Gon placed his hand on Xanatos shoulder. "Not at all. We were happy to help. Good day to you, Master Cura." He bowed slightly and led Xanatos back up the hall away from the hangar.
Xanatos turned for one last look at the baby before disappearing around the corner. Master Cura was heading down the corridor in the opposite direction towards the Temple's nursery. He was talking to the baby in a soothing and cheerful voice.
"Come along, Obi-Wan. Let's go get you settled in, shall we? That's a good boy...."