"There's nothing to talk about."

"You might be surprised," Qui-Gon responded. "Sit down and talk to me for a minute." When his apprentice didn't move, he added, "Please?"

That did the trick. Obi-Wan turned and walked slowly into the room, sitting at the far end of the couch from his master. "You wanted to talk. So talk."

"Are..." Qui-Gon cleared his throat and tried again. "Are you truly interested in Master Epergene?"

"That depends on who's asking?"

Qui-Gon blinked. "What?"

"Who's asking? Qui-Gon the master, or Qui-Gon the man?"

"Oh." He cleared his throat again, then swallowed hard. "The man."

"I find Master Epergene to be charming company, and a very kind man."

When he didn't continue right away, Qui-Gon prompted, "But?"

"My deeper interests lie elsewhere."

"Oh." Yesterday he would have been sure of what that meant. But today...Obi-Wan was like a stranger. He had to ask. "So what you said yesterday, that still holds true?"

"Force, Qui-Gon, have you taken leave of your senses?" Obi-Wan exploded, jumping up from the couch and pacing in front of it. "Sometimes...I don't know whether to give up on you, or throw you down on the floor and kiss you into admitting what lies betwee n us."

The corner of Qui-Gon's mouth quirked up. "I'd rather you didn't give up, but if you'd like to try the other I wouldn't complain."

That stopped Obi-Wan dead in his tracks. "What did you say?"

"I said I'd rather--" he stopped suddenly as Obi-Wan landed on him, pinning him to the couch.

"Did you mean it?"

Instead of answering, Qui-Gon pulled his padawan's head down for a kiss. After a moment, Obi-Wan's shock wore off, and he dove into the kiss enthusiastically.

Minutes later, he came up for air. "Not that I'm complaining, but what brought this sudden change about?"

Qui-Gon shook his head. "I realized you were right, and I'd been a fool."

Obi-Wan blinked. "It's a good thing that nothing would get me up from this couch, or I'd go get a data recorder. I doubt I'll ever hear those words again."

"A smart man knows when to admit he was wrong."

"And a smart padawan knows when to make the best of it before his master can change his mind," Obi-Wan said, leaning down for another kiss.

His master stopped him just before their lips touched. "I won't change my mind. Will you?" He wasn't asking for a promise of forever. Just a promise that this was more than a dalliance for Obi-Wan.

"No. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever."

Qui-Gon smiled. There was no doubting the sincerity in his padawan's voice. He tugged on Obi-Wan's neck, bringing their lips together in a kiss that held the promise of a long, happy future.

the end
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