Too Many Cocktails
A Qui-Gon/ Obi-Wan story
Qui-Gon was startled out of his sleep by a sound in the living room. He threw a quick look at the clock - it was three in the morning. Now everything was completely silent again. Was it possible that he had dreamt the disturbance?
He reached over through the bond he shared with his Padawan and was surprised that Obi-Wan was obviously awake, and unshielded. And feeling sick and confused. Qui-Gon jumped out of his bed and ran to his Padawan‘s door. His knock elicited no reaction. „Padawan?“ he called and knocked again. No response. Really starting to worry, he pushed the door open and saw Obi-Wan curled up in his bed, his blanket drawn up to his nose, pretending unsuccessfully to be asleep. Qui-Gon frowned.
He walked over to the bed and shook his Padawan‘s shoulder.
„Obi-Wan? Come on, I know you‘re not asleep. What is it? Are you sick?“
Obi-Wan grunted and turned away from his Master.
„No, I‘m fa-fine,“ he answered in a slurred voice. „Just lemme go to sleep ‘gain.“
Qui-Gon‘s frown deepened. This was not at all like his Padawan. Obi-Wan was nearly sixteen now, and his shields were usually perfect. And he had never before rejected him when he had been ill.
He switched the bedside lamp on and ordered: „Padawan, look at me!“
Obi-Wan groaned. „Master, please ... switch da l-l-light off and lemme sssleep, ‘kay?“
“Padawan, you heard me. That was not an optional request.“
Qui-Gon had no clue as to why his Padawan chose to be so stubborn right now, but he wasn‘t going to have any of this. Not when Obi-Wan was so obviously in a bad state.
Obi-Wan rolled around reluctantly and blinked at his Master. Qui-Gon could smell the alcohol instantly.
„You‘ve been drinking!“ he stated, completely taken aback.
Instead of answering, Obi-Wan suddenly retched and bolted towards the bathroom. Qui-Gon could hear him being violently sick.
He dropped onto his apprentice‘s bed and put his forehead in his hands. What was going on here? Qui-Gon had been home when Obi-Wan had gone to bed, and he was positive that Obi-Wan hadn‘t had a drop of alcohol at that time. Which meant that Obi-Wan either was in the habit of drinking alcohol alone in his bed room at night, or that he had been out drinking after Qui-Gon had gone to bed and had tried to slip back into their quarters unheard. Of course the second option was far more likely. Maybe Obi-Wan had crashed into something when he‘d come home, and that was what had woken his master up.
Qui-Gon couldn‘t hear any more noises from the bathroom and decided to look after his apprentice. Obi-Wan was slumped on the floor, crying noiselessly. He was still dead drunk, and wearing his street clothes, which supported assumption number two. Qui-Gon sighed and pulled him up.
Obi-Wan instantly started sobbing out incoherent apologies and berating himself, clutching at his Master‘s gown. Qui-Gon somehow managed to get his clothes off him, made him pull on his pajamas and put him to bed, where Obi-Wan started snoring immediately.
Qui-Gon went back to bed, feeling more exasperated than outright angry. He supposed that Obi-Wan would be in no state to attend his classes today. It would be better to let him sleep in and then discuss the matter with him. His Padawan would just have to make up for his missed classes in his spare time.
Qui-Gon sighed. He only hoped Obi-Wan hadn‘t been stupid enough to actually BUY the alcohol he had been drinking - at a little less than sixteen, he would have had to resort to illegal tricks to get anybody to sell him alcohol, or go to a part of Coruscant he definitely didn‘t have permission to go to. Well, there was no use in missing any more sleep. Qui-Gon pulled his blanket up, closed his eyes and, with many years of practice at finding calm in the most impossible situations, went back to sleep.
Obi-Wan woke up with
a murderous head-ache. He had a horrible taste in his mouth, and his limbs ached
with every move. With an effort, he opened his swollen eyes and jumped. It was
eleven o‘clock! Why hadn‘t Qui-Gon woken him up? Was there something
wrong? He reached for his Master and found him in the living room. Relieved
for a moment, he sunk back into his pillows, when suddenly a blurred memory
from the past night came up. Could it be that Qui-Gon had been in his bed room
and had found him drunk? The memory stubbornly refused to become clearer, but
Qui-Gon‘s failure to wake him up could only mean that he knew. Obi-Wan
„Sith“, he croaked, burying his head in his hands.
Half an hour later, he padded into the living room, showered and dressed, and feeling absolutely miserable. Qui-Gon was lying on the couch and writing. He looked up when Obi-Wan entered, and a slight smile curled his mouth.
„Good morning, Padawan,“ he said mildly. „I‘ve left some breakfast on the table for you. A cup of hot tea should do you good.“
Obi-Wan gaped at his Master. /What is going on here? Does he make fun of me?/
„Even if I did, I suggest you follow my recommendation, drink some tea and work on your shields in the meantime,“ Qui-Gon answered levelly. „Getting drunk really affects them, as you can see.“
„Yes, Master,“ Obi-Wan said resignedly. He slumped on a chair, sipped some tea, ate a piece of dry bread and tried to get himself under control. His headache didn‘t help.
When he had finished his scant breakfast, Qui-Gon rose from the couch and took the chair opposite his apprentice.
„Now,“ Qui-Gon began calmly, „what really interests me right now is how it is possible that my Padawan goes to bed in his normal, sober state, and at three o‘clock in the night, I find him drunk as a skunk. Do you happen to have an explanation for that?“
„Well, it‘s obvious. I drank alcohol,“ Obi-Wan replied sulkily.
Qui-Gon glared at him. //Padawan, that was not a smart move. Try that again.//
Obi-Wan sighed deeply. „Sorry,Master. I... I was at a party. And someone brought drinks. I didn‘t really plan on drinking alcohol, but somebody made cocktails, and I kind of tasted one, and it tasted good, and I thought one or two couldn‘t hurt, and then... I don‘t really know what happened after that, to be honest. I‘m sorry, Master. I didn‘t mean to get drunk.“
/Yeah, right, Obi, as if ‚I didn‘t mean to do it‘ had ever made a difference!/
„I‘m not sure if I understand this correctly,“ Qui-Gon said, frowning. „You pretended to go to bed, and as soon as I was asleep, you went to a party?“
/Great. He did have to ask that, didn‘t he?/
„Ummm... yes, Master.“
„So what kind of party was that? I‘m not aware of any parties that take place in the temple, in the middle of the night, on weekdays - at least not the kind of parties to which padawans are admitted.“
„Oh, I didn‘t leave the temple,“ Obi-Wan assured hurriedly. „It was on the temple grounds alright. Just a private party at... someone‘s place.“
„I see,“ said Qui-Gon, thinking: /Whew. At least he didn‘t spend the night in some bar down in the city!/
Aloud, he asked: „And what kind of person would hold a party where alcohol is served to padawans - I have to repeat myself: on the temple grounds, in the middle of the night, on a weekday?“
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. /Does he think he has to know EVERYTHING?/
„Master, the person who held the party wasn‘t the one who brought the alcohol. And it had to be on a weekday because it was a surprise party for someone. I‘d rather not say who it was.“
Qui-Gon shook his head. „I‘m afraid I won‘t be satisfied with less than the whole story. And I wouldn‘t be too worried about snitching on anyone, if I were you. At least three of your friends are just as hung over as you are, and their masters are having the same discussion with them that I‘m having with you right now.“
Obi-Wan‘s head felt like someone pounded it repeatedly with a sledgehammer. He didn‘t feel up to this.
„Master, can‘t we have this conversation later? I feel really bad.“
„Padawan, you are hung over. Of course you feel bad. And I think I already did you a favor when I didn‘t wake you up and send you to class this morning.“
Obi-Wan rubbed his temples. Yes, he *was* thankful for that, but still ...
Qui-Gon sighed, got up and got a package of pills out of the medicine cabinet. He dropped two on the table.
„Take them and drink some more tea. Then go and meditate for half an hour. Perhaps that will get rid of your headache and enable you to give me a clearer and more complete account of what happened last night.“
Obi-Wan nodded glumly. „Yes, Master. Thanks.“ He gulped the pills, drank some more tea and went to his room to meditate and wait for his head to stop feeling as if it was about to explode.
//Padawan? Are you better now?//
//Yes, Master. Thank you. I‘m coming.//
He felt a _lot_ better. Unfortunately, that meant that he now had to face his master in earnest. During his meditation, he had come to the conclusion that it would be the best strategy to tell Qui-Gon everything, including names. They would be relatively easy for Qui-Gon to find out anyway, and besides, Stint had already left and couldn‘t really be harmed any more. And the others had all agreed beforehand that holding the party for Stint would be worth the risk of getting into major trouble.
Actually, he was surprised that Qui-Gon hadn‘t absolutely hit the roof. He would have thought that his master would be royally pissed. Well, Obi-Wan certainly was thankful to fortune for small favors, but he still reckoned that his chances to get away without a spanking were microscopic.
When Obi-Wan entered the living room, Qui-Gon was sitting on the couch. He motioned for Obi-Wan to sit down on an armchair. Obi-Wan thought that his master looked distinctly amused.
„That must have been one hell of a party,“ Qui-Gon remarked. „I‘m dying to hear all about it. Fire away!“
Obi-Wan eyed him nervously. He definitely would have thought that the situation qualified for Qui-Gon‘s famous „You‘re bantha fodder“ look. Instead, Qui-Gon was distinctly making fun of him. Was that a new tactic called „Confuse your padawan“? Well, if it was, it was working!
„Ummm,“ Obi-Wan started sheepishly, „well, the thing is that we, umm ... you know Stint?“
Qui-Gon nodded with a slight smile, his blue eyes never leaving his padawan‘s face.
/Damn, if I don‘t get this over with quickly, I‘m gonna forget my own name!/
So Obi-Wan blurted out„Well, Stint is, no, WAS leaving this morning on a mission with his master for at least four months or so. He wanted to throw a goodbye party yesterday evening, like, before curfew, and we all wanted to come, but then he did something stupid - I don‘t know what exactly. Anyway, he was grounded for the rest of his time here, and his goodbye party was cancelled. We were all really angry about that, ‘cause we won‘t be seeing him for ages, so we decided to throw a party for him anyway. Tadanga‘s master is away for the week, so she offered her place. Each of us was to bring some snacks or drinks. We all tried to get out of our quarters unheard after our masters went to sleep. Some of us couldn‘t make it, but most came. Oh, I forgot - we hadn‘t told Stint anything about our plan beforehand. Bant and me... errr... well, we, umm, borrowed a speeder, flew to his window and got him out. And then we all went to the party. I hadn‘t known there would be alcohol. I‘m not sure who brought it. The news had somehow gotten around, and we ended up having loads of guests, at least thirty-five or so. Some of them were old enough to buy that kind of stuff. I honestly didn‘t mean to get drunk, but ... err ... well, somehow it happened. Anyway, Stint was really thrilled, and he left this morning, and I won‘t see him for ages, so I‘m kind of glad that we did it.“
Qui-Gon closed his eyes. Oh, he could understand his padawan. Very much so. This was exactly the kind of thing that he would have done himself at that age. Unfortunately, that didn‘t change anything about the fact that Qui-Gon had broken at least half a dozen rules. Well, at least his padawan had been honest with him. One point in favour. On the other hand, his stupidity to get drunk to such an obvious degree was enough to warrant a punishment. Qui-Gon couldn‘t remember ever having been drunk enough to bump into furniture on his way back to his room, let alone being sick in front of his master. Suddenly, a disturbing thought occurred to him.
„Tell me, padawan,“ he said sharply, „how did Stint make it back to his quarters? Please don‘t tell me you dared fly a speeder in the state you were in!“
“Master, of course I didn‘t!“ Obi-Wan exclaimed. Blushing, he added: „I probably wouldn‘t have found the steering wheel anyway. To be honest, I don‘t really know how Stint got back, because I don‘t remember much of what happened at that time of the night, but I suppose he just crept back into his room the normal way. Like I did... well, unsuccessfully, in my case.“ /And the cocktails be damned for it!/
„Very well. I will spare both of us the ordeal of having you go through all of your transgressions. You violated your curfew. You helped organize an event that made others violate their curfew, too - especially Stint, who was grounded for a reason. You took a speeder without permission. You drank alcohol, and not only that, but you allowed yourself to get dead drunk. You were so hung over this morning that you were in no state to go to your classes. And I daresay the lot of you probably managed to devastate your friend Tadanga‘s quarters completely. Do you have anything to add to that list?“
„No, Master. I‘m sorry I got drunk.“ /And I‘m not particularly sorry for the rest of it, but this is definitely not the moment to say so./
Qui-Gon actually grinned at that. „You‘re only sorry you got drunk? That‘s a good one.“
Obi-Wan blushed, but didn‘t say anything. /WHAT is it with him? I don‘t get it!/
Qui-Gon‘s face became more serious now. „Alright, Padawan. You‘re grounded for the next two weeks, with the exception of this afternoon that will be spent helping Tadanga to clean her quarters. If you‘re lucky, you‘ll meet some more of your friends there. Your bedtime will be an hour early during the time of your grounding. You will apologize to your teachers for missing this morning‘s lessons and ask them for additional assignments to make up for it. You will also write an essay about the dangers of excessive consumption of alcohol, to be finished one week from now. No less than ten pages.“
Qui-Gon raised his eyebrows. „Excuse me, Padawan?“
„Err... nothing,“ Obi-Wan hurriedly assured. „Ten pages. No problem.“
Qui-Gon‘s mouth quirked slightly. „That‘s good. Then I guess it‘s time for your spanking. Come over here.“
„Sith,“ Obi-Wan grumbled without thinking, „why did I even go to the trouble of telling the complete truth, if that‘s the reward?“ He slapped his hand to his forehead in shock when he realized what he had just blurted out. /Did I really say that out aloud? Oh no... The „Most stupid Padawan of the year Award“ goes to Obi-Wan Kenobi!/
He blushed fiercely. „Sorry, Master. I didn‘t mean to say that. I‘m really sorry.“
Qui-Gon gave him a piercing look. „Padawan, had you even remotely considered lying to me about this, you would have made the acquaintance of my belt. I hope the knowledge of having avoided that makes you happy. Now come here. You know the drill.“
Obi-Wan complied, feeling deeply humiliated. He pulled his trousers and underpants down and got over his master‘s lap, trying unsuccessfully to maintain a minimum of dignity.
Qui-Gon put his hand on his apprentice‘s upturned bottom and said: „Padawan, this spanking is for drinking alcohol, for which you haven‘t reached the legal age, and even more so, it is for being careless enough to get drunk to such a disgraceful extent. I will spare you the shame of recounting to you the way you behaved last night.“
Obi-Wan cringed. He hadn‘t thought of that. Well, to be exact, he had avoided thinking about it. But he couldn‘t ponder that for more than two seconds, because Qui-Gon‘s large hand started distracting him. A lot.
He tried to keep his composure, but that didn‘t last until about the tenth spank, which had him yelping with pain. He tried to keep himself from kicking his legs, but couldn‘t prevent his feet from drumming on the floor. While the spanks kept coming down, he started howling in pain, and finally broke down sobbing. Qui-Gon gave him a dozen more spanks and then stopped mercifully, giving him some time to calm down.
Finally, he stood his Padawan up, pulled him between his legs and handed him a handkerchief. Obi-Wan blew his nose and wiped his tears away, still sniffling a little.
„Have you learned a lesson?“ Qui-Gon asked with a smile.
Obi-Wan stared at him. There was this amused expression AGAIN! „WHAT is so darn funny?“ he asked in exasperation. „If you have to punish me, can‘t you at least take me seriously?“
Qui-Gon laughed loudly. „If you want to be taken seriously, my Padawan, then I suggest that you try not to get drunk the next time. It doesn‘t enhance your dignity.“
He could sense that Obi-Wan was upset and confused and said in a more serious voice: „Padawan, I‘m not really blaming you for wanting to throw your friend a farewell party, though I can‘t approve of the fact that you broke lots of rules for it. But one thing a Jedi HAS to learn is being in control of oneself, and keeping that control. Being drunk is not only disgraceful, it‘s also dangerous. You‘ve seen for yourself that you haven‘t been in control of your Force any more, and you are very lucky that your Force hasn‘t slipped you. I‘ve always expected you to make your own experiences with alcohol sooner or later, but I really had hoped they wouldn‘t be quite as devastating as they were tonight. You WILL show more common sense the next time, or I will really have to get out my belt. Am I making myself clear?“
Obi-Wan looked at the ground. „Yes, Master,“ he said quietly. „I‘m sorry I made such a fool out of myself.“
„Well, I have to say this about you,“ said Qui-Gon, grinning, „what you do, you do properly. You made a great show.“
He got up and looked at his watch. „Okay, let‘s have lunch in the dining hall. It‘s too late for preparing something, and you didn‘t have much of a breakfast. After that, you can go and help your friend Tadanga. Don‘t dawdle, and meet me in the gym when you‘ve finished. I‘ll be there practicing.“
Obi-Wan sighed and rubbed his smarting bottom. „Yes, Master.“
He winced when he saw the mess they had made out of Tadanga‘s place. His friend had only gotten up an hour ago, and she was nearly crying with relief when he arrived. They hadn‘t even started, though, when two more of their friends showed up - one of them sent by his master, like Obi-Wan, while the other one, an eighteen-year-old, had managed to avoid arousing suspicions and was just using his lunch break to help. Then Bant joined them. When she hadn‘t seen Obi-Wan and two others at class, she had figured that the whole thing had blown up and that it would be better to confess everything to her master; but as she wisely avoided drinking more than one cocktail, her punishment had been lighter than Obi-Wans, though her master hadn‘t been exactly enthusiastic about the matter of „borrowing“ a speeder.
In the end, their cleaning job only took about an hour and a half, because they ended up being so many that they were continuously treading on each others‘ feet.
Bant, who was cleaning the kitchen, suddenly arrived in the living room, holding up a half-empty bottle of Alzurian Rum. „Look what I‘ve found!“ she cried. The second part of her sentence was drowned in howls of disgust.
„I don‘t think I‘ll ever touch another drop of alcohol,“ Obi-Wan said fervently. „I don‘t know which is worse: The hangover - the spanking - the stupid essay I have to write - or the fact that I made a complete fool out of myself in front of Qui-Gon. Bant, if you don‘t throw that bottle away right now, I‘m never going to talk to you again!“
Bant grinned. „I know. Just teasing.“
„It was a lot of fun, though“, said Tadanga. Grinning, she added: „Especially for those of us who were still able to think coherently.“
„Hah hah,“ said Obi-Wan. „Well, Stint enjoyed it, didn‘t he?“
„Yep, he definitely did,“ Bant agreed. „You don‘t regret it that we did it, then?“
Obi-Wan shook his head. „No.“ He grimaced. „But if I could do it again, I‘d skip the cocktails.“