Obi-Wan struggled up from the depths of unconsciousness just long enough to see a dark, leering face bending over him. He squinted at it, then fell down into the blackness again.

When he woke again, a hand was caressing his face. Remembering the leering face, he shouted and cringed away, but a familiar voice soothed him. "Easy now, my Padawan. You're safe at home now."

Blinking, he sat up and felt arms come around his back to support him. He leaned into the embrace, relieved. "Master."

"I was worried about you, Padawan." Qui-Gon's voice was low and comforting, and his hand stroked Obi-Wan's hair. "You were unconscious when I found you, and we didn't know what happened."

"I'm okay now," Obi-Wan replied, blissful to be in his master's arms.

"Yes, you are, my sweetest." Obi-Wan's noise of surprise at the endearment was muffled by Qui-Gon's mouth closing over his.

They kissed for a long time, and it was everything Obi-Wan had ever imagined it would be, and more. When they finally broke apart, Obi-Wan laughed. "I never thought that would happen. I must be dreaming--or dead."

"Well, of course you are," Qui-Gon replied in the reasonable Master-voice that had always driven Obi-Wan mad with frustration. "Quite dead, in fact."

Obi-Wan stared at him, stunned. "Wha-? What are you talking about?"

"Well, you didn't think you could survive an encounter with a Sith all by yourself, did you?"

"Oh," Obi-Wan said faintly. "So that's who he was."

"Indeed," Qui-Gon agreed. "But we don't need to worry about that now. It's someone else's problem to deal with."

Something niggled at the corner of his brain, trying to work its way through his shock. "But...then how can you be here?"

Qui-Gon looked a little sheepish. "I couldn't survive an encounter with a Sith all by myself, either, as it turned out. Not that it mattered, since I had already lost you."

Obi-Wan leaned back into Qui-Gon's arms and sat quietly for a moment. Then he pulled back and experimentally tasted Qui-Gon's lips again. Still just as good as they had been before. He strongly suspected that anything this perfect had to be a figment of his imagination, and that somewhere, the Force was having a joke at his expense. But he would take what he could get.

He lay back and pulled Qui-Gon on top of him, and didn't think about it again for a very long time.

And somewhere, a soft chuckle rippled through the universe.

The End

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