Obi-Wan rolled over and out of bed, not casting a glance back at the sleeping figure he was leaving behind. Rubbing a hand over his eyes, he gathered up his clothing and retreated to the bathroom.
Closing the door, he thought back on how he had gotten into such a mess. He couldn't bring himself to look at his own reflection in the mirror. Tossing his clothing on the floor, he stepped into the 'fresher, setting the spray as hot as he could stand.
The plan had made so much sense at the time. Seduce Master Epergene. Force Qui-Gon's hand - make it where he had to admit that there was nothing wrong in a relationship. Running a hand through his hair he groaned as he was forced to admit that it hadn't worked.
Three weeks had passed since the bonding ceremony where he had initiated his involvement with Qui-Gon's friend. Three weeks of half-hearted sex and prolonged silences. Three weeks of a mental block from his master that might as well be parsecs wide. It would appear that the lengths he had been driven toward were the very same that would drive Qui-Gon away completely.
Obi-Wan pressed his head against the wall, taking a deep stuttering breath. On the outside, amidst the other Padawans and Masters he was as composed as every. Possibly even happy. Luckily no one had looked very closely at the pain behind his shields.
The only one who might know was Epergene, and he was staying quiet. Even while on the dance floor the master had understood the drive behind Obi-Wan's sudden interest, and played along. Obi-Wan was grateful, then for the performance and since for an understanding shoulder.
Soon the water turned cool, and Obi-Wan exited the shower. Grabbing a towel he slung it around his waist and wiped the mirror off with his hand. Time to face himself before he could face the day.
After several moments in silent contemplation, he dressed and left the bathroom - a rare source of refuge. When he emerged, the master with whom he had lain with only an hour before was gone and the room empty.
A quick glance around revealed that he had dressed and left. There was a note proped up beside a small breakfast waiting for him in the main room.
~~Obi-Wan. Enjoy the breakfast, I look forward to seeing you again, but will be pleased if it is not for some time yet. Epergene.~~
He crumpled the note in his hand. The message was vague, but at the same time crystal clear. Epergene had been pushing for Obi-Wan to speak with his Master for the past few days. Glancing at the breakfast, Obi-Wan knew he had no stomach for it and left it were it lay.
His cloak was still hanging by the door, and he pulled it on before stepping out into the hallway. Holding his head high, he stepped out into the hallway and heard the door swoosh shut behind him.
The first responsibility for him that morning was to attend his class in Advanced Spectrial Geometrics. It was only a short walk from Master Epergene's quarters to the classroom, and he doubted he would be unfortunate enough to run into his master in such a short time.
His luck didn't last. Rounding a corner, he came face to face with Qui-Gon. As Qui-Gon had yet to see him, Obi-Wan contemplated turning to leave. Before he could decide, his choice was made for him as Qui-Gon noticed him and approached.
Stay and talk to Qui-Gon.