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What Is My Heritage? by Marnie, qui-gon & yoda, 7.7k
    Qui-Gon, age 13, tries to find a place to belong.
    [Note: This fic will be followed up by "Coming Home" which will further explain why this is not an AU.] I didn't expect to read Qui-Gon fic today, I was actually looking for Dooku fic, but stumbled over this author's work (and I've enjoyed their writing in Tolkien fandom a lot!) and was immediately sucked in to their take on a young Padwan Qui-Gon, especially because there was something just so difficult and off about him trying to fit in with traditional Jedi ways. The interaction with Yoda was fascinating (if heartbreaking at the same time) and the backstory the author creates for the character is so interesting, it feels like this really could work for him, and then the ending bit was absolutely perfect.

Coming Home by Marnie, qui-gon & yoda & dooku, 18.1k
    A story telling how Qui-Gon comes to be Dooku's apprentice.
    [Note: This fic should be read after "What Is My Heritage?" for best understanding, though, it can stand alone if you wish.] When I first started "What Is My Heritage?" I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this universe, especially since Qui-Gon was Yoda's Padawan first, but by the time I was even just a third of the way through this fic, I was pretty in love and I found that it really worked for me as a backstory for Dooku and Qui-Gon. The author does some neat world-building here, both for Qui-Gon and for the greater SW universe, but what I love is that it made sure to include two things: Qui-Gon really isn't a typical Jedi, so you can see the beginnings of the man we see later in TPM, while still a young 13 year old struggling to figure out how to fit in here. It's heartbreaking in all the right places, only somewhat smoothed by knowing that eventually he'll find himself, of course.

The second is that this fic gives great Dooku, I loved the frustration and elegance of the character, you can also see the beginnings of someone who is not happy with the Jedi Order but is trying so hard to find his way still, you see the future Sith Lord, who isn't just evil, but you get how he eventually falls. Wrap all of this up in some beautifully written scenes between Qui-Gon and Dooku meeting each other, where the author does a great job at showing how they fit together and why they make a great team, as well as some id-satisfying "Qui-Gon decides to leave the Jedi Order and, oh, shit is he going to be in trouble if he gets caught" and build-up to the eventual climax of the fic that's super satisfying. If you want background fic for either of these characters at all, this is absolutely recommended!

Whispers of the Future by cywsaphyre, obi-wan & qui-gon & bant & garen & reeft & cast, 40.6k wip
    A step to the right and the future shifts. A decision made and another future is created. A hundred terrible endings and all the roads that lead to them; and Obi-Wan has always been able to see them all.
    It's rare to find a pre-TPM fic that goes over the JA novels' ground and yet still manages to make it fresh and interesting and engrossing to me, but this one managed to do it really well! I got sucked in because I'm easy for the concept of Obi-Wan with special powers and his ability to see different possibilities even from a young age, not just visions but the actual possible timelines, and how that isn't always easy for him, but he's doing his best, how it makes him both entirely self-assured and yet far older than his years, while still being so young at this point in time, it's all balanced really well and drew me in very easily. It also appealed to my id because... whenever I think of who the greatest Jedi was--not the strongest, but the one who best emobied all the good things of the Jedi, what they should have been--there's no question to my mind that it's Obi-Wan Kenobi, so a fic that shows why he would be nearly sent to the AgriCorps while still keeping true to how good he is, that was worth the fic alone!

But the fic also knew how to keep my interest, because Obi-Wan knew so many things and was just a little different here (while still being so very much the same), little things changed along the way, until bigger things started changing, and I do wish that the fic had gotten up through to Anakin, that it had covered more of the timeline, rather than just through Bandomeer, because I would love to know where this was going to go, where the galaxy would ultimately end up. And yet what was here was totally worth reading and it ends in a place of emotional resolution that left me really rather satisfied!

When the world gets too heavy put it on my back by nematoda, qui-gon & obi-wan + obi-wan & anakin + references to to obi-wan/anakin, 25k wip
    Studies of platonic love in the life of Obi-Wan Kenobi, exploring the master/padawan relationship with Qui-Gon and eventually with Anakin.
    This was an interesting look at Obi-Wan's character, where he comes across as younger/less insightful than in canon, but I absolutely get where the author is coming from with the fic, that he just doesn't get the sexual drive other people have, that he wants physical contact but doesn't see how it comes across to others. Each of the chapters is basically its own story, each set at a different point in his life, but all doing a really great job of showing what it could be like for an ace character trying to navigate relationships when he doesn't want sex. And I can still put this together with canon, because aro and ace are not the same thing (while the fic doesn't touch on this, I can put it together in my head) and the fic does a great job at not trying to shoehorn in our modern language or try to push it into ways the characters wouldn't talk about it, but instead actually shows it and doesn't make it define the characters.

I picked the fic up for platonic interactions in Obi-Wan's life, because I'm a sucker for that, and I especially loved the Obi-Wan & Anakin scenes, because they really felt solidly spot on to the characters, from when Anakin was a cuddly little kid to when he's a sullen and moody teenager that Obi-Wan struggles with to when he's an older teenager with hormones who has a complicated relationship with his master. Each of these is something I wanted, because I love bb!Anakin! And I love that teenage Anakin swings back and forth from being sullen to desperate for Obi-Wan not to leave him, just a complete and total emotional mess that was so satisfying to read about! And I love teenage Anakin who really kind of desperately wants his Master to fuck him, but Obi-Wan's just not interested in sex, and it's complicated because Anakin can't help feeling that if Obi-Wan loved him he would fuck him, even when they manage to get around that, it hit so many of the things I wanted from their interaction.

What started as just wanting some gen fluffy interactions turned into, oh, no, now I'm having feelings about Obi-Wan and his complicated relationships with people, especially with Anakin and the fic's writing is absolutely lovely and knows exactly how to hit some of those emotional beats that we all come to fic for.

Threads of the Past by Magier74, obi-wan & anakin & qui-gon & xanatos, 37.8k
    Obi-Wan and Anakin make an unexpected detour returning home from a mission.
    Another fic that I found myself getting sucked into before I knew it! It's Obi-Wan and Anakin traveling back to just before Obi-Wan became Qui-Gon's Padawan and of course things do not go smoothly, but in a way that ultimately winds up being really satisfying to read. I do wish there had been a bit more filling in of details (the revelation scene was sadly missed) but ultimately I don't mind because it still gave me so many things I was here for: Anakin getting a better understanding of Obi-Wan for having seen him as a less controlled child, being kind of freaked out because if Obi-Wan dies then he won't be there for Anakin, the getting to actually see Qui-Gon instead of placing him on an idealized pedestal, as well as Obi-Wan seeing Qui-Gon again and learning how to really work through that grief. But also beyond that the timeline changes and that means plot changes happen! Xanatos becomes more important to the grand scheme, it means Obi-Wan and Anakin are closer when Anakin's life goes to hell, it means the events of the galaxy shift into a better gear bit by bit. It's not a terribly long fic, but it was suitably epic in scope and utterly satisfying by the end, it balanced the bigger plot stuff with the smaller human moments (Obi-Wan helping Anakin through his mother's death is a scene that really stuck with me) in a way that really made me happy. Another example of why I read time travel fic, god bless.

Masters and Padawans: Three Generations by GirlwithCurls98, qui-gon & obi-wan + obi-wan & anakin + anakin & ahsoka, 24.6k
    Three generations of incredible bonds.
    Oh, I never wanted this fic to end because it was such a perfect thing for what I was looking for and was so many great moments and was paced so well! Each chapter has three scenes, set around a common theme, with each generation of Master and Padawan pairings, showing all the comparisons and contrasts between all of them, showing all the care between these characters. It had such charm and sparkle and was so very, very easy to see these moments, some big and huge, some small and like little slices of daily life, some happy and some sad, all of them filling in even more of the detail of these characters' lives in the way I crave. It was so solid and satisfying a read, I just couldn't put the fic down, I had to keep turning the page, all the more so because I wanted to see the reflections between one generation and the next, because the fic was so good at keeping just the right length for the scenes!

They're short scenes, but I never felt like they were too clipped or brief, the fic was great about choosing moments that only needed to be little snippets, about making them complete on their own but feeling much bigger because they were part of a set of three scenes, in a fic that had 30 chapters of this. That's 90 different moments in the various points of the timeline and yet none of it felt repetive of pointless, all of it was about the connections between Master and Padawan, so it was just one of the most emotionally satisfying things I've read lately!

Lost Reflections by esama, obi-wan & ben, 30.k wip
    Obi-Wan didn't become Qui-Gon Jinn's apprentice, and Ben didn't exile himself to Tatooine. On Bandomeer the two meet.
    Holy shit, I got sucked into this fic hard, despite that I really did not expect to. I was wary because my heart hurt at the idea of Obi-Wan never becoming a Jedi Knight, that Qui-Gon passed him over and never changed his mind, and the lack of other characters around them. But I've always enjoyed this author's work whenever they write something and the fic quickly engrossed me and eventually I realized why it's perfectly set up--it's not about the big, epic events of the greater storyline, but it's about Obi-Wan Kenobi. It's set from the younger one's POV, as a strange possible Jedi named Ben Kenobi shows up on the farming world he's been assigned to, so you can guess at so much of what Ben's been through, but you don't know the specifics and it works so well for that, especially because you can feel that bone deep weariness of soul and heart, even as he still has such care in him. It's perfectly set up because it's interesting, the ways that they use the Force in the AgriCorps that's different from how a Jedi Knight uses it, it's genuinely impressive what they do and it strengths their abilities in different ways.

This isn't a time travel fic about fixing the timeline, it's about Ben Kenobi finding healing because he needs to find himself. It's about slice of life moments, it's about nothing being hurried or frantic, but about Ben doing something wholly good again and lessening the hurt of those he's lost (especially Anakin's fall). And, oh, it's a fic with gorgeous characterization, I love how different these two characters are, yet they are both Obi-Wan Kenobi, that deep well of caring and strength of personality and rightness of heart, even as there are absolutely feelings of anger and bitterness that young Obi-Wan works through. And Ben is perfect, even as the fic slowly reveals the wounded parts of his character, he still the absolute epitome of a perfect Jedi, he's always composed and refined and graceful. He's such an incredible teacher (of course, it helps that he knows exactly what he needs), always patient and yet not without humor and finding amusement in frustrating his apprentice at times, that he is so good for younger Obi-Wan, who grows so much with this guidance. It's not about big reveals, it's not about greater plot machinations, but instead about the slice of life moments that build (or fix) the foundations of both of the characters. It's a WIP, but it doesn't really matter because everything you're getting out of this fic is present in the chapters that have already been posted and, honestly, while I would read 100k more of this (or at least like to know the ultimate ending), it's also entirely satisfying the way it is. I got sucked into this and read it all in one sitting just about because it's exactly the balm my soul needed, too.

Lineage by ruth baulding, obi-wan & qui-gon & xanatos & cast, 35.9k
    AU!Jedi Apprentice. Book I: In which master and apprentice meet for the first time, enjoy a disastrous adventure courtesy of Xanatos DuCrion, and reap the fruits of patience and fortitude. A fanciful retelling of the original.
    I finally settled down to start in on this series and I was wary that I would enjoy it because it might feel like too much of a retread of ground that's been covered many times before, but then the fic instantly got me with the initial hook: Mace and Yoda basically tell Qui-Gon "Plz don't take another Padawan Learner, we don't need you teaching another young one to be a rebel like you." and Qui-Gon's response is a very immediate FINE THEN I'LL JUST GO FIND A PADAWAN LEARNER RIGHT NOW, like I am still laughing at how delightful that whole thing was and how well played Qui-Gon was. It sounds a bit silly, but it actually really, really worked for me and I 100% believe that Qui-Gon would react that way, cranky grouch that he is at that time, and the whole fic is lovely and has some great characterization. I loved the early scenes with ten year old Obi-Wan, who was darling when he was a wee thing, already almost too smart for his own good, already having such a way with words, already having a terrible spark of terrible humor, I could have read about moppet!Obi-Wan for at least another 50k like this.

But time rolls on and things happen at similar times (Obi-Wan is 13 when he becomes a Padawan) but it's different this time, that their initial encounter changes the dynamic just a bit, where Qui-Gon wants to train him, while Obi-Wan is the reluctant one because he feels responsible for another Master's death and that he should leave the Order because he can't let go of it. It's such a refreshing change to not have to brace my heart against Obi-Wan not being wanted (because that makes no sense to my fragile fannish heart! XD) and while it goes a little darker than I'd like when Xanatos shows up, once Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are back together, it's such a great, easily engrossing read. It's got a great supporting cast, it has lovely characterization (already you can see Obi-Wan being kind of a dick, I love him so much) and a great Master/Padawan friendship in its early days.

Lineage II by ruth baulding, obi-wan & qui-gon & cast, 40.9k
    A year or so has elapsed since the last time we saw our heroes. BOOK 2: In which master and apprentice investigate an evil brainwashing plot, attend a boisterous wedding, and battle the enemy within.
    I admit, the fic does overuse the epithets (especially for Qui-Gon) and it probably helps to be at least familiar with the original Jedi Apprentice novels, though, the fic really stands well on its own! And it's another solid fic that does a great job of not just feeling like the characters exist in a bubble, that it gets another culture in there (the Phindians) and has a plot (dealing with the aftermath of the Syndicat and Obi-Wan having implanted suggestions in his mind), to go along with the character stuff! It also does a lovely job of bringing in various others, like Dooku has an interesting role here, and it always, always makes sure to blend Obi-Wan's apprecation for structure with that he knows when to leave those behind (at least according to his own views of things) with that he's a snarky fucker who is amazing to watch but, goddamn, I would not want to be responsible for him or in the direct line of his growing way with words.

It's one of those fics that I read and barely seemed to notice that the story was passing because it's truly structured in the way of a professional novel, that it's about both telling a self-contained story (as much as it can with being about the aftermath of one of the JA novels) and gaining characterization ground. It flew by for me because it was just so easy to keep reading and it was entire engaging and thus was over before I knew it, in the way that really good writing does for me!

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