by llamajoy

form i

It is not so much that the boy is impatient, Obi-wan thinks, but that he is eager to begin in the middle and rush headlong towards the end without thought for the proper order of things. But then, the old adage of the exception making the rule, and what nine-year-old youngling has never before held a lightsaber?

Obi-wan holds his tongue before telling the boy to be careful; he can see in the set of those small shoulders that he is careful, that he is reverent and curious and if he planted his legs more firmly, he might take root and flower like a zilada tree. Still, it is not just the child who holds his breath as the lightsaber thrums to life for the first time, held two-handed in his own wondering fingers.

When the saber ignites, Anakin's eyes flash brightly, matching light for light. He holds his arms tightly locked, rigid, perhaps uncertain. The first parry is textbook, if a little wooden, the backstep fumbled slightly as he can't keep his eyes off the arc of the brilliant blue blade before him.

But the first attack-- he holds his center of balance easily, arms over his head, looking not at the weapon but at the invisible target presented. The air makes a surrendering sound, parting before the clean slice of the blade, and Anakin smiles.

The first step is taken.

Obi-wan exhales.

form ii

"Men with longer legs than yours have executed this maneuver, padawan," he says, unsmiling, but his eyes reflect his amusement. His own lightsaber is held elegantly, effortlessly, cradled in a one-handed grip; his feet parted shoulder-width and his gaze steady. He lets the silence stretch a minute longer-- and though his student might expect a deft parry, still it cuts through his defenses. "Mine, for example."

A short laugh, nothing so boisterous that it might earn his master's disapproval. "There goes my argument," his apprentice says, dragging the back of his hand over his mouth and straightening his spine, re-finding his balance. "Let me try again, then."

"Do not succumb to your discomfort." He punctuates the words with tiny gestures, carefully intricate flicks of the wrist that make his lightsaber shimmer and dance between them. This time, his apprentice matches him saber to saber, and though the second stage footwork still gives him pause, he fumbles little and improvises an effective parry. "The day is soon that you will grow accustomed to your height, and when you will use it to your advantage."

Despite his errors, his padawan's focus is impeccable, and his timing cleverly compensates for his weakness. There is pride in the master's dark eyes, though it is not something he will speak aloud. "You do well."

The boy tempers his satisfaction that it might not color his voice; he emulates his master: serene always, neutral. "Yes, Master Dooku."


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