Not giving himself time to think, Obi-Wan turned and fled back the way he had came. Forgetting his class, his only thought was that he needed to avoid the conversation that would follow, should he be forced to speak with Qui-Gon.

Not watching where he was going in his flight, Obi-Wan found himself stumbling over an object suddenly in his path. Sparing half a glance toward the unexpected block in his escape, he paled at seeing Master Yoda standing there.

A serious look in his large eyes, the troll-like master tapped his gimmer stick on the floor. "Somewhere to be, have you, Padawan?"

Obi-Wan shook his head, but stopped the motion and nodded instead. "Yes, Master Yoda. Advanced Spectrial Geometrics class."

Yoda humphed, nodding. "In other direction that is, I believe."

Obi-Wan bowed his head. "Yes, Master Yoda."

"Then why run you this way, hum?" He looked at Obi-Wan with a stare that might as well be looking through the Padawan. Obi-Wan fought the urge to squirm.

Instead he shook his head. "It is nothing, Master Yoda."

"Nothing should you run from? Something this is, this conflict you've created."

Obi-Wan looked up in alarm, staring at Yoda. The thousand thoughts that crossed his mind in that moment played out in his eyes for Yoda to see. "Master?" Obi-Wan swallowed nervously, worried what the master might know.

Yoda closed his eyes for a moment, and tilted his head back. "Little detail do I know, Obi-Wan. But your Master should you speak to." He paused. "Or rather, speak he should, to you." The last comment was directed over Obi-Wan's shoulder. A familiar tingling in the back of his mind told Obi-Wan who was now standing behind him, and he tensed involuntarilly.

"Thank you, my Master, for delaying him for me," Qui-Gon said, moving to stand beside his wayward apprentice.

"Humph. Delay far too long you have already. Go on with you. Your class you will miss, Padawan Kenobi." The words were short, but each recognized the glint of humor in the old master's eyes. "Time do you need. Time alone." With that, he shuffled off down the hall.

"Shall we, Padawan?" Qui-Gon asked, looking at Obi-Wan.

Risking a glance up at his master, Obi-Wan nodded. "Yes, Master."

They walked in silence to an empty expanse in one of the gardens. Once there, Qui-Gon was silent for a moment before turning to Obi-Wan. "For a while, I tried to ignore what you were doing. But, to be a master of any worth, I could no longer do that. I know what you are trying to do, Obi-Wan."

Obi-Wan stilled himself, expecting his Master's next comments - the unavoidable let down. His eyes widened when Qui-Gon said, "And somehow, it worked. I've watched you with him, and come to several realizations. Some were not as pleasant as I would have liked." He paused, searching Obi-Wan's eyes before walking over and cupping his cheek with one hand. "And one or two were most enlightening, indeed."

His breath catching in his throat, Obi-Wan blinked quickly. "You're serious?" he asked in disbelief.

Laughing, Qui-Gon nodded. "Most serious, Obi-Wan." A smile split Obi-Wan's face, mirrored by the smile on Qui-Gon's face.

>From far away, two figures watched the scene with interest.

"Owe me twenty dectares do you, Windu," the shorter one said to his companion.

The taller man laughed. "Who knew the old idiot would get a clue? I've known him for years, never thought he'd figure this out."

The other thumped the ground with his walking stick. "Thought or not, little difference does it make. Money owe to me, you do still."

Walking away, laughter followed them. "You'll get your money, but I know you. You're pleased about more than the money."

"Know them, as well, I do. Good they will be together. Happy."

"Yes, that they will be."

the end
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