He'd rather risk running into his Master.

"Dining hall, I suppose," he said with a shrug. The look Bant gave him, told him that she knew what had driven his decision.

"I would have made you cook, Obi." She grinned, but headed with him towards the dining hall.

He rolled his eyes at her. "Thanks."

"Don't mention it. Of course, this means you only have about ten minutes to tell me what's bothering you. Unless you want to walk even slower."

Obi-Wan sighed, but said nothing. He wasn't sure where to begin. In some ways this was harder than talking to Master Yoda. "I... I'm trying to come to terms with feelings I have," he finally managed, knowing it sounded vague and unenlightening.

"Feelings about what?"

Suddenly blushing furiously, he corrected, "Um, whom."

"OK. Feelings for whom?" Bant sounded unperturbed.

"Qui-Gon." He waited for the embarrassment to fade, now that he'd actually said it.

There was silence from Bant for a moment. Obi-Wan risked a glance her way. Delicately, she asked, "Is there a problem with your feelings?"

Obi-Wan half-grinned. "Not exactly. Just that I haven't told him, can't tell him, don't know what to do in the meantime."

"Why can't you tell him?"

Obi-Wan froze in his tracks. As if against his own will, he turned and looked at his Master. The one who'd asked the question. The one who was now looking at him with a calm curiosity.

"I think I'll go on ahead to dinner," Bant said hurriedly, then quickly slipped past the Jedi Master and disappeared down the hallway.

Obi-Wan tried to think of an intelligent response to his Master's question. "Um." That wasn't it. He tried again.

He found himself looking at Qui-Gon, watching the other man's face as he waited. His Master took a step forward, and Obi-Wan had to tilt his head slightly to maintain his gaze. He tried to remember his reasons for saying nothing, and hiding his emotions.

It was difficult, when he was staring at his Master's face so closely. What he really wanted to do was touch that face, caress it gently, and watch Qui-Gon smile.

"Why can't you?"

"I don't know." It was an honest answer, pulled out unthinkingly. He must have had reasons, good ones, or he would have done this already. Touched his face thus, tracing the line of his smile with a finger brushing across his lips.

Qui-Gon placed a kiss on his finger before he could move it away. Obi-Wan froze, again, realising what he had done.

But that smile prevented him from turning. It -- or perhaps there were arms around him -- drew him closer, and he wrapped himself in an embrace with his Master. Heat, and something else, pressed against him.

"Qui-Gon...." he whispered.

Then his head was tilted up again by a finger beneath his chin and he saw, for a moment before his eyes closed, his Master's face flushed with love. Then he was being kissed, and his eyes were shut, and all he could see what was he felt -- and everything that he felt was beyond his ability to form into words.

There was the sound of someone clearing his throat, then, from behind and far below them, amused words. "Hallway this is. Best place for that, it is not. Much traffic are you blocking."

Obi-Wan took advantage of his Master's embrace to hide his face in the folds of Qui-Gon's cloak.

the end

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