Obi-Wan hesitated, but Bertha nudged him in the back, urging him to go. She liked him too much to see him fall back into the hands of the Sith, but he was not to forget her, and maybe one day they could sit down with a nice cup of tea and chat again....

"I won't forget you," Obi-Wan said, sniffing back un-Padawan-like tears. "I will come back and free you, Bertha. I promise."

She lowed at him sadly as he wriggled through the hole in the fence. He gave her one last wave, then sprinted for freedom. Although he expected to be stopped at any moment by the Senator or his guards, he reached the public transit stop with no hindrance and was soon back at the Temple.

Qui-Gon looked up from his book, startled, as Obi-Wan burst in the door of their quarters. "Obi-Wan? What's wrong? Where have you been?"

Obi-Wan threw himself to his knees next to Qui-Gon and buried his face in his master's side, arms locking in a death-grip around Qui-Gon's waist. "I love you, Master."

"I love you, too, Padawan." Qui-Gon patted Obi-Wan's head bemusedly. Obi-Wan only clutched him harder.

"You wouldn't believe what I've been through," he said and shuddered. "I'm never leaving the Temple, not ever again."

"That could present some problems in your career as a Jedi," Qui-Gon noted.

"Except to rescue Bertha," Obi-Wan continued as if Qui-Gon had not spoken.

"Bertha?"

"Tell you about her later," he muttered sleepily, beginning to give in to his exhaustion. "You'll like Bertha. We'll have tea...."

And then he fell into a deep sleep, slumped against his still-befuddled master's knees.

The End

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