Character: Xani-oriented 3rd person P.O.V (Say that very fast, many times)
Timeline: Pre-Padme, Post-Ani (Followup on "Kitchen Duty")
Warnings: Pissed!Mature!Xanatos, Quivering!Lip!Obi, Stick!Up!The!Ass!Ani and Damn!I!Suck!Qui. On a serious note: a serious fight.
Xanatos allowed himself a brief, quiet glance into Obi-Wan's room the moment they returned from dinner. Dark. It was 2100, Obi had nowhere else to go, and the room was dark and empty. Xanatos didn't comment, merely palming the door shut quietly and moving into the kitchen. Pristine, but he could still smell the faint traces of the spices which Obi-Wan used. Qui-Gon's favourites. Obi-Wan was there, slumped over the fresher. Xanatos did not disturb him. He wandered into the living room. The P.L.Fs and Pathetic Potted Plants (P3s. Qui-Gon liked to think that it mirrored his state of Mastership) were in perfect order. Watered, pruned, their nutrient dispensers refilled and recalibrated.
Xanatos leaned his forehead against their blacked out windows and sighed quietly to himself. He padded into the kitchen unit, picked Obi-Wan up and gently put him to bed. He exited and moved to the living room to mull in the darkness for a while. Behind him, the main door swished open with a particularly rude thump as Qui-Gon palmed the door with a bit more vigor than strictly necessary. Anakin's piercing, pre-pubescent laughter split the silence of the room.
'Xan?' Qui-Gon asked, peering into the darkness. 'Why are the lights off?'
'Shut up,' Xanatos growled, stripping off his casual outer robe and turning angry eyes on his Master. 'I'm sorry, Master, but just shut up
Anakin knew something was wrong. The boy was mischievious, not stupid. He edged away from Xanatos and curled himself closer to Qui-Gon. His Master stood stock still, eyes suddenly losing all of their usual mirth and candor. Xani motioned at Obi-Wan's door. 'He's asleep. You're making a rucus.'
'Asleep?' Qui-Gon scoffed, patting Anakin on the head to reassure the youngest of them that he was not mad at him. 'Who sleeps at 2100?'
Xanatos curled his lip in disgust. 'Ani?' he asked, causing his junior to look up at him with the confused eyes of a child who didn't know why everyone was mad at each other. Xanatos couldn't help but feel less charitable to his puppy-dog looks of play-oblivion than he normally would have. 'Go to your room. Meditate.'
'Xani, you can't make
m--' Ani started to protest, tugging on Qui's robe. Xanatos shot him a look so sharp that Ani cringed.
'Go,' Xanatos growled threateningly. Tonight, he was in no mood for negotiation. Especially negotiation of the Qui-Gon nature. Ani looked up at Qui, who gave him a brief nod and nothing more, the Master's eyes being fixed on Xanatos'. Ani went, and Xan heard the sounds of him powering up the silencer a few seconds later.
It was just the two of them, then. The room was quiet. Obi-Wan hadn't stirred, even though Xan knew that he was most likely still awake. It didn't matter. He stood in front of Qui-Gon, senior padawan and almost-Knight, irritated at his own Master's seeming lack of self reflection. His eyes smouldered with a protective urgency he normally kept concealed beneath layers of flippancy and blatant humour. Qui-Gon looked back at him with the steady serenity which he was renown. But Xan could see anger there. It was in the lines of Qui-Gon's face, the particularly upright brace of his shoulders, the set of his lips. Small things which only he could detect. He and Obi-Wan, but of course Qui-Gon wouldn't know that
. Qui-Gon only understood himself, nowadays. The breakdown of regulation in the Jedi Council, Code and Order in general, especially after the uprise of Count Dooku, that had given Qui-Gon more leeway than he had ever been allowed previously. His maverick status, which Xani recalled with faint memories of the Council being eternally at odds with his Master, was no longer granted to him. There were no checks to Qui-Gon living his life, and leading his Padawans' with him, the way he wanted to.
Enough, Xanatos realised, was enough. If his Master had become too blind to realise what was blatantly in front of him, if Qui-Gon thought that he could continue on hosting a living circus in his apartments when he was meant to be training apprentices, Qui-Gon was wrong.
But Qui-Gon was angry, Xanatos knew. Qui-Gon felt his rights as Master violated.
'Xanatos,' Qui-Gon said levelly. 'You do not speak to me that way ever
'I do beg your pardon, Master,' Xanatos returned immediately with crude sarcasm in his voice. 'But I felt you deserved it, and if I continue to feel that way then I think neither of us will benefit from me keeping my silence
. Not the two of us, not the three of us and, in case you have neglected to remember, not the four
Qui-Gon did not start. Did not react. Only continued to look. There is no Emotion, there is Peace. Anger leads to Hate, and Qui-Gon Jinn did not Hate. 'If,' he asked, voice still even, 'you have issues with what you perceive is a lack of my competency in teaching --'
'Master,' Xanatos said flatly. 'I no longer perceive
that lack of competency. It has become obvious enough that even the Masters around us are noticing.'
'In case you haven't realised,' Qui-Gon said icily, 'our situation is rather different from theirs.'
'And in case you
haven't realised,' Xanatos growled back, not breaking eye contact, 'you have been treating our differentiated status with what can be said as a little too much vigor and a little too little restraint
'I will not be spoken to that way!' Qui-Gon finally erupted. Xanatos went right with him.
'And I will not sit back and pretend to not notice what has be going on in this household! Qui-Gon Jinn, you have been my Master for so many years that I could never imagine life without you by my side, pushing me along. You have given me ethics when I previously had none, showed me courage when I thought the world was made up by nothing but Bantha-assed self-serving shiteheads
, and you, you, Qui-Gon Jinn, you were my Master, showing me the ways of the Code and teaching me, actually teaching
me. I stand before you reprimanding you
as your Padawan
, not as your insolent teenager. Yes, Master, that is
what we are: Padawans. Not,' Xanatos ended, voice frigid, 'teenagers. Not teenagers, not children. Not people for you to play favourites, or to shield, or to hold hands with. Padawans.'
Xanatos heard something move in Obi-Wan's room, and stopped. Qui-Gon was trembling with silent fury as the lights in Obi's room powered up. Xani knew it was just Obi wanting them to stop. His quiet way of saying, it's all right, I can take our Master's shit
. Qui-Gon glared at his eldest padawan, pride hurt. Xanatos snorted in disgust. Pride. The Qui-Gon Jinn he had known did not possess pride
Xanatos moved to Obi-Wan's room. Qui-Gon, standing stock-still in the middle of the living room, overheard a few words.
'You want to go to Bant's?'
'Come on. I'll get you your stuff tomorrow.'
Xanatos grabbed his robe as he ushered Obi-Wan out. He threw Qui one last frosty look. 'Good night, Master. I will be at Master Vos' if you need me.'