With a final nod to Bant, Qui-Gon strode from the quarters and into the empty hallway. It was very late, and there were only a few Jedi about.

He reached out through the Force, searching for the familiar feel of his Padawan. Within seconds, he knew where Obi-Wan had gone. He fought the urge to reach out to Obi-Wan along the bond, and instead quickened his pace.

Qui-Gon nodded curtly to the only other Jedi he saw while he was walking, barely noting their presence. When he reached the Moonlight gardens, he paused for a moment before going inside.

The first thing Qui-Gon noted were the sounds. Compared to the pressing silence of the Temple late a night, the chirping of the insects that lived in the garden echoed loudly. Taking a deep breath, Qui-Gon followed his sense of Obi-Wan across the garden.

True to its name, the Moonlight garden had a clear ceiling across one are, while a large balcony was open to the sky. It was there he found Obi-Wan, sitting with his arms curled around his knees, on one of the balcony's high walls.

As Qui-Gon silently moved closer, he could see the wind tousling Obi-Wan's hair. Rather than risk startling him while he was perched high above the city, Qui-Gon gently reached out along their bond.

"Obi-Wan?" he asked in a low voice.

The Padawan turned his head, so that he was staring out over the city-scape. Qui-Gon stared at his apprentice, longing to pull him into an embrace and undo the damage he had unwittingly inflicted.

"I'm sorry if I upset you," Obi-Wan said in an uneven voice.

Qui-Gon shook his head, knowing that Obi-Wan couldn't see the unconscious gesture. "You haven't upset me," he replied, taking a step closer. "I'm sorry that I've upset you."

Obi-Wan's looked up quickly, searching his Master's face. "But you said you know," he paused, taking a deep breath. "You know how I feel."

He nodded. "Yes, I did. What I didn't say, my Obi-Wan," he replied, closing the distance between them, "Was that I feel the same."

The young man's mouth fell open, before he thought to shut it. Although he sat unmoving, Qui-Gon could read the emotions that played across the expressive green eyes. "You what?" he asked, more in a rush of air than actual words.

Qui-Gon reached over and took Obi-Wan's hand. "What I was trying to say, so ineloquently in Bant's room . . . What she demanded I tell you . . ." He paused, a faint smile on his lips at seeing the still shocked expression on Obi-Wan's face, "Was that I love you, my Obi-Wan."

"I love you, too," Obi-Wan breathed quickly, before wrapping his arms around Qui-Gon's neck.

He smiled. "I know, that's what I was trying to tell you."

Obi-Wan laughed. "And I ran off."

"Well, lucky for the both of us," Qui-Gon said, moving back but not letting go. "You have a good friend who showed me the error of my ways."

With a nod, Obi-Wan agreed. "Another thanks I owe her?"

"We owe her," Qui-Gon corrected. For a moment, Qui-Gon looked out over the sparkling city-scape. "What made you think to come here?" he asked.

"I've always liked it here," Obi-Wan said, resting his head on Qui-Gon's shoulder. "It's peaceful in the garden, but I like the open sky."

Qui-Gon kissed the top of Obi-Wan's head. "You've always liked the stars."

"Mmm," Obi-Wan agreed, his eyes falling closed as he pressed himself up against his Master.

Qui-Gon smiled. "I think it would be best if we returned to our quarters."

Looking up, Obi-Wan caught a mischievous spark in Qui-Gon's eyes. "I think I'd like that," he replied, any seriousness cast aside by the smirk on his face.

Placing his arm under Obi-Wan's bent knees, Qui-Gon easily picked him up from the ledge. "Qui-Gon . . ." Obi-Wan said, trying not to laugh. "Put me down."

"And here I was, trying for romance," the Jedi Master dead panned.

Wrapping his arms back around Qui-Gon's neck, the grin slowly fell from Obi-Wan's face only to be replaced by something else. His eyes half closed as he leaned forward and captured Qui-Gon's lips with his own. Qui-Gon stopped walking, instead concentrating on kissing the man in his arms.

"Keep this up," Qui-Gon said after the kiss ended, "and we'll never get back to our quarters."

Obi-Wan grinned. "Put me down and see if you can catch me."

"Oh I think I would catch you."

Another kiss later, Obi-Wan winked, "Is that a threat?"

"A promise, my Obi-Wan."

Managing to free himself from Qui-Gon's arms, Obi-Wan stood before his Master, a curious smile on his lips. "I'll hold you to that, my Master."

With that, Obi-Wan turned and ran from the gardens, knowing that Qui-Gon stood behind him smiling. Using his longer stride, Qui-Gon caught up to Obi-Wan just before he reached their quarters.

"I'm glad it is the middle of the night," Qui-Gon laughed. "So that no one might see you running through the halls."

Smiling, Obi-Wan leaned back against the wall and wrapped his arms around Qui-Gon's chest. "And what were you doing, then?"

"Walking briskly," Qui-Gon replied.

Obi-Wan shook his head, laughing softly. "Ah yes, I'll have to remember that one." He was silent for a moment before adding, "I'm glad it's late at night, too."

Qui-Gon's eye brow raised, "Oh? Why's that?"

"Because how often will I get to do this in an open hallway?" Moving his hands to Qui-Gon's face, he kissed the Jedi Master. Responding eagerly, Qui-Gon opened his mouth over Obi-Wan's, before exploring the younger man's mouth with his tongue.

When the kiss was over, Obi-Wan pushed the button to open the door with his elbow by accident. Tumbling through the suddenly-open doorway, the two men twisted in mid air. The air rushed from Qui-Gon's lungs when he hit the floor with Obi-Wan on top of him.

"Oops?" Obi-Wan asked, able to tell that Qui-Gon wasn't hurt.

Qui-Gon moved his feet so that the door would finally shut behind them, but made no move to get up. Qui-Gon laughed hoarsely. "Quite the literal version of catching you, I'll admit." He kissed Obi-Wan on the forehead before adding, "But I'm happy to oblige."

"My Qui-Gon," Obi-Wan said, smiling.

With a nod, Qui-Gon agreed. "Only yours."

the end

Return to Beginning