Backing away from the white area, Obi-Wan turned his attention to the red sphere. It seemed to call out to him. With more certainty that he was in the right place, he touched it gently. All of a sudden he was filled with a sense of peace, and a feeling of love from his Master.

Obi-Wan retreated back into his own mind, but kept a link to the red sphere. Opening his eyes, he saw that he had placed a hand on the side of Qui-Gon's face. Qui-Gon was staring at him intently, and Obi-Wan smiled. Connected to that place inside Qui-Gon, and looking in his eyes, Obi-Wan's questions were suddenly answered.

*

Qui-Gon felt himself let go of a long breath at seeing Obi-Wan's smile. Reaching up, he covered Obi-Wan's hand with his own. "Obi-Wan?"

His Padawan nodded, his eyes bright. "I know, Master. I saw it, feel it."

Qui-Gon smiled hesitantly. "Then you know why I couldn't speak of it to you."

"It is good to know that even you follow the rules on occasion, Master." Any sting the words might have held faded, when matched with the devious look on Obi-Wan's face.

*

Obi-Wan traced a faint scar that ran along Qui-Gon's temple with a fingertip, taking a deep breath before he spoke again. When he found his voice, it was a mere whisper. "I love you, Qui-Gon." He paused. "I was worried it was wrong. Sought council elsewhere . . ."

Obi-Wan shook his head, trying to organize his thoughts. Finally, he smiled and held Qui-Gon's hand in his own. "You've been my home for as long as I care to think about. Why should it be strange, that you be my heart as well?"

"Obi-Wan . . ."

The young Jedi silenced him, placing a finger over his lips. "You needn't say it back, my Master. I felt what is inside you. And I thank you for that gift."

*

Qui-Gon softly kissed the fingertip that rested against his lips. "To know that you share my feelings, is a greater gift than I could possibly bestow."

Freeing his hand from Obi-Wan's, he wrapped an arm around his Padawan's waist. Tugging forward gently, he wasn't disappointed when Obi-Wan settled onto his lap. He left his free arm around Obi-Wan's waist, and brought their joined hands up to his lips. He kissed the fingers he held, before meeting Obi-Wan's gaze.

"I love you, my Obi-Wan. If I am your heart, then you must certainly be my soul."

Qui-Gon smiled seeing Obi-Wan's eyes soften. "I never dreamed . . ." Obi-Wan's whispered comment drifted off, unfinished.

"Nor did I." He paused, laughing quietly. "Luckily, we were both wrong."

*

Obi-Wan's laughter joined Qui-Gon's. "Luckily." Feeling emboldened by the revelation he'd been given, he leaned forward. Qui-Gon met him halfway, and their lips touched.

The spark of feeling he'd discovered upon linking to that red sphere flew, then, with the barest contact. Surprised, Obi-Wan drew away without meaning to.

Qui-Gon looked at him, slight concern on his face. "Obi-Wan...?"

"I'm all right. I just... never felt that before." He blushed as he realised how his words might be misconstrued, but as he opened his mouth to assert that he had kissed others before, had sex numerous times, he realised that such protestations would only embarrass him further. He'd never felt that sort of love before, on such a deep level, to accompany the physical connection.

But his Master was nodding. "Then, perhaps, you should explore it, become familiar with it, so it ceases to surprise you."

Obi-Wan laughed again. "Yes, Master!" He resumed the kiss eagerly, feeling the laughter within Qui-Gon as well as the love, as the bond took hold once more. When they broke the kiss, Obi-Wan nodded. "I'm afraid I'm going to be very slow with this lesson, Master. We may have to repeat it... often."

With a nod, Qui-Gon replied in his best 'Master Jedi' tone, "If we must, Padawan." Then he, too, laughed out loud, and drew Obi-Wan to him.

the end

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