Dark Desires
by MonaR

Notes: This was really hard for me to *finish* - not the least of which was because it is *incredibly* hard for me to write Yoda and not sound like an ass, *or* make all the other characters sound like him, too! Who knew? Also because I tried to get into Qui-Gon's head this time, instead of sticking with Obi-Wan, who is easier for me to write.
Pairing: Q/O
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Pre-"Phantom Menace", inspired by, but not based on, the "Jedi Apprentice" novels. Not really any spoilers, but if you don't want to know about my interpretation of these characters before you see the movie, don't read this, just in case. 'Kay? 'Kay.
Summary: Qui-Gon Jinn experiences a crisis of faith, and considers the true path of his destiny.
Warnings: I don't use betas. :( Any mistakes are solely my fault and the fault of my *#^&@ spellcheck.

Obi-Wan Kenobi looked around the circular training room. There were many people he recognized, from his days at the Academy - young apprentices like himself, with their Masters, Jedi Knights alone, here to watch the training matches in hopes of finding a Padawan, a few members of the Jedi Council as well, Master Yoda and Master Windu among them. He waved and smiled at a few of his old classmates, turning his head and pointing them out to his Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, at whose feet he sat.

Obi-Wan's smile and enthusiasm were infectious, even to his Master, who smiled and nodded along. But there was a darkness in the Master's eyes, which even his Padawan could not ignore. It had been there for weeks, now, as he struggled with some great burden, one he could not - or would not - share with anyone, even his young apprentice. Finally, it had brought them back here - to the Jedi Academy, where he sought council from his old Masters.

Neither one of them had been back for any significant length of time since Obi-Wan had been a student himself. The first mission which had set them on their path's destiny together was long past; Obi-Wan had been Qui-Gon's Padawan for many seasons. He was nearly a man; he was as tall and almost as strong as he would become, and although he still struggled with some of his lessons, he had grown more confident and much more sure of himself and his abilities than he had been when Qui-Gon had first seen him, in this arena, lightsaber-fighting one of the other young students, seeking to make an impression on one of the Masters and be taken on his journey towards becoming a Jedi.

He did not often leave his Master's side; during their travels through the galaxy the youth had gained the affectionate nickname of 'Shadow'. Wherever Qui-Gon was, Obi-Wan was never far behind.

"I need to speak with Master Yoda," Qui-Gon said, placing his hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder.

"The next match is about to start, Master," Obi-Wan said, with a grin. "If the cheering that we've heard so far is any indication, you won't be able to hear a word until after it's finished."

"And who are we cheering for in this match?" Qui-Gon asked his apprentice.

"Both of them, of course, Master, and an impressive fight," Obi-Wan said, innocently. After a raised eyebrow from his Master, he laughed. "Although it would be especially nice if Dwala won."

Dwala was a young girl Obi-Wan had known when he was a student here. She was small, but strong, with long black hair and golden eyes. She was one of the few friends he had who had not yet found her destiny: a Jedi Master to train her, or a placement in another field, such as Agri-corps, where her ability with the Force could be used to heal.

"Then we shall hope that the Force is strong with her, today," Qui-Gon said, with a ghost of a smile.

Obi-Wan grinned. "Yes, we shall." He turned his head back to the centre of the room, where the match was about to start, leaning back slightly against his Master's legs.

The room filled with cheering as the match started, and the two young students began to fight. They fought blindfolded, and there were different levels in the room, some with steep and some with gentle drops. The idea was to use the Force to tell you where you were and where your opponent - and his lightsaber - was, to keep your balance while allowing you to fight defensively, to wear your opponent down, and to resist the temptation of giving into anger or fear. A true Jedi fought not in the name of anger, but of protection.

Dwala fought well, as did her opponent, neatly executing leaps and somersaults, wielding their modified lightsabers, strong enough only to bruise or burn, not to kill. In the end the two students exhausted themselves, neither fighting to a clear victory, at least as far as Obi-Wan could tell. It would remain to the gathered Knights to decide who had 'won' the match.

Dwala came over to them, after the match finished, dripping with sweat. She towelled herself off, bowed to Qui-Gon, who nodded at her, and hugged Obi-Wan. "My friend! It has been so long."

"Dwala, you fought wonderfully," Obi-Wan said, hugging her back.

She shook her head. "I don't know about that. Hegar was strong. I thought he had me, a couple of times."

"You both fought well," Qui-Gon said, quietly, drawing a beaming smile from the girl, and from his apprentice, as well, pleased that his soft-spoken Master had chosen to praise his friend.

"How long will you be here? Will we have a chance to catch up? It's been too long since we've talked!"

Obi-Wan grinned at her tumble of words, and looked enquiringly at his Master. Qui-Gon had neither told him the purpose of their visit, nor its length.

"I must speak with Master Yoda," Qui-Gon said, again, his eyes crossing the room to where the old Master had been sitting. He had left the room shortly after the match, presumably to talk to some of the other returning Knights. Qui-Gon's eyes rested on the young man and girl in front of him. "Perhaps you could find something to do, Obi-Wan, in my absence?"

"Yes, Master," Obi-Wan smiled. "I will do so."

"Good. I will meet you at dinner time, then." He took his leave of the room.

"Three hours!" Dwala said. "Will that be long enough to catch up, my friend?"

"Dwala," Obi-Wan said, taking his friend's hand, "we shall make it long enough!"

Qui-Gon walked into the Academy's library, following the Force that surrounded Master Yoda. The high-ceilinged room, with its lush carpeting and holoprojected study materials, filled him with the same feeling of awe that it had when he had first entered it, as a child, so long ago. Several students sat and studied, glowing three-dimensional lessons in front of them - planets, star charts, reflex-training instructions, ancient riddles designed to test the limits of linear thinking.

Yoda sat where Qui-Gon expected he would find him. As he approached, he looked up at the tall Jedi. "Expecting you, I have been. For three weeks now, I have felt the conflict within you. Difficult to concentrate on other things, it was."

"I am sorry, Master Yoda. It is about the boy - "

"Not so much a boy, now, he is," Yoda said.

Qui-Gon sat down beside him. In front of them was a projection of the entire galaxy, thousands and millions of coloured lights moving in a fragile dance. "That may be part of the problem," he said.

"Strong feelings for him, you have."

"Yes, Master Yoda, I do. He is a good student. He has served well. He will make a good Jedi Knight. But - " Qui-Gon stopped himself.

"Ah, the conflict, it comes. Wish you to reject him as your Padawan?"

"Not reject him. But it would not be the first time that the relationship has not worked out." He stilled himself, again, thoughts of the past coming to mind but quickly dismissed in favour of the problem at hand. "I thought, perhaps, if he had another teacher - There must be others who are looking for an apprentice."

"Others there are," Yoda nodded. "Not bonded with him, are they. Not like you, are they. Too much of the past in you."

"I'm not thinking of the past." Qui-Gon shook his head. "I cannot help but feel that if he stays with me he will not fulfill his destiny."

"His destiny unavoidable is, whether stay with you or not, he does," Yoda replied. "Think you he can fulfill his destiny only with you not?"

"I don't know."

"Know, you do."

Qui-Gon turned his head in surprise at the vehemence in the old Master's voice.

"If leave you he does, a Jedi he will not become."

"I don't believe that. The Force is too strong in him."

The old Master nodded his head. "Believe you or not, true it is. The Force is strong in him, yes, many skills learning he is, yes. But confidence in himself, he has not. Confidence in you, he has. Build himself stronger, he will. With you, he will. Without - " Yoda let his voice trail off. "The path is darkness. Anger, fear, still are much in him. Overpower him, they could, without guidance."

"I fear he is learning too much from me, Master."

Yoda's eyes twinkled at Qui-Gon. "Rebellious, he has always been. Stubborn, too. Not only from you did he learn these things." Qui-Gon smiled, as well, accepting the gentle chide from the Master. "Not all ways of the Jedi the same, are. Your way, from mine is different. His from yours, the change will be seen, in time. Destiny of us all, it is."

"And that has made things difficult for both of us, at times."

"But change, you would?" Qui-Gon did not answer. "Ah, you say little, your heart says much. Your heart's destiny follow, you should, yes. Afraid of it, you may be. Lead you wrong, it will not." Yoda chuckled. "Even an old Jedi remember must: always to look towards the way of the Light. Confusion, anger, fear - the Dark Side are they. Look to the Light." He patted Qui-Gon's hand. "Go, I must. Think, you must."

Qui-Gon watched as the old Master made his way out of the room, and sat down again at the bench, looking into the tiny representation of the vastness of space that was projected in front of him. With a single wave of the hand, he made the entire thing vanish, and bowed his head.

"How goes it with you, Obi-Wan?" Dwala asked, as they walked from the arena. None of the Jedi Masters would approach her until all of the matches were finished; she and Obi-Wan slipped away to catch up. "You look well."

"I feel well, Dwala."

"And have you been a good Padawan to your Master?" She asked this with humour in her voice.

"I have been what he has asked of me," Obi-Wan retorted, then lapsed into a smile. "Most of the time."

"Ah," she nodded, wisely. "Everyone said, when you left, that you and Master Qui-Gon were well suited for each other."

"But I wasn't even his Padawan then!"

"Destiny," she intoned, mimicking Yoda. They both laughed; Dwala had always been an excellent mimic; it was one of the mischievous parts of her personality that endeared her to Obi-Wan. "It's too bad about the Council, however," she said.

"What do you mean?" Obi-Wan asked.

"You know as well as I that he will never be a part of the Jedi Council, as long as he continues to oppose their will. He goes too much on his own way, Obi-Wan. People have said - they've said that he's leading you down the same path." She shrugged. "And that you will never be a part of the Council, either, if you keep following him."

"So who wants to be?" he replied, defiantly. "There are many different ways a Jedi can go. Not everyone becomes a part of the Council. He is no less respected for that - " He turned to look at his friend, his blue eyes clouding over as the thought occurred to him. "Is he?"

She shrugged. "Among his friends and defenders, no, he is not; luckily, Yoda is the strongest of those. He is a Jedi Knight, and that is all that matters. But among some of the students, and some of the other Masters - " she trailed off. "Don't listen to the gossip, Obi-Wan. Among the Padawans, everyone thinks their Master is the best. I expect I'll be the same way - if I ever get the chance," she sighed, with a wrinkle in her nose.

"You will," Obi-Wan said, confidently. He gave her arm a squeeze. "So, do you ever see anyone else from when I was here? Tolek? Boora?"

"Oh, yes," she said, brightening. "You're the last to have come back for a visit, Obi-Wan. Of course, the others come more often with their Masters. But you have been busy, haven't you? You must tell me what you've been doing! Do you stay anywhere long enough to make friends?"

Obi-Wan flushed, slightly, and did not answer her.

"You have made friends. Or," she tilted her head to the side, looking intently at him, as if to read his mind, "a special friend, perhaps. Obi-Wan, are you in love?"

"Don't be silly," he said, brusquely. "You know you stole my heart when you were eight, and you haven't given it back."

She laughed out loud. "Fine. Don't tell me. But I have ways of making you talk, Obi-Wan Kenobi!"

By the time he rose and walked from the bench in the library, Qui-Gon had been sitting so still for so long that his muscles protested slightly when he finally moved. No-one had approached him; he hadn't expected that they would. The other Jedi treated him the way they always had: mostly leaving him alone. It was a part of his destiny that Qui-Gon had long ago accepted, a life of solitude in which he could do his work and follow his path, alone.

And then Fate had thrust something new in his path - a boy, a Padawan. Another. Qui-Gon had fought against accepting his fate, even then, the memories of his earlier failure still fresh and stinging in his mind; another boy, who had been turned towards the Dark Side. Yoda had seen it then and had offered a warning, but Qui-Gon had been blinded by his own affection for and pride in the boy, and had refused to acknowledge what was true, even when it stood right in front of him. After the humiliation of that failure, he had vowed to himself never to be put in that position again.

He hadn't, however, bargained for two things: the long hand of Destiny, and a sandy-haired boy, with searing blue eyes and an infectious grin and a mouth that was a little too ready to speak, sometimes unable to slow to wait for the proper reaction. A boy who had been all knees and elbows when Qui-Gon had first met him, a little awkward and more than a little angry, and impatient, and stubborn, but undoubtedly infused with the Force. That he would ever be able to control the power that was in his grasp was another question that Qui-Gon hadn't known if he had the time or the inclination to find out.

And yet, the boy had won him over. He was not so awkward and gauche as he had been, he had learned things about control and patience, and if he was not yet ready to be a Jedi Knight on his own, Qui-Gon knew that one day he would be. Whether he would be revered by the other Jedi or a man of his own path, as his Master was, Qui-Gon was unsure. The path that he himself walked was a difficult one, he knew, and yet - Master Yoda was correct; simply because it was difficult, it didn't make him long to change it. It pushed him harder to find what his true destiny was.

The difficulty certainly was not in Obi-Wan; the difficulty was in Qui-Gon's own heart. As the boy grew older, pushed harder, worked and learned, they become both closer to one another and more dependent on each other. Qui-Gon knew that he had an inordinate fondness for the boy, but lately it was coming to be something entirely deeper, more of a longing. And for someone who had spent a great deal of life shrouding himself from need, such a longing was a terrifying thing.

Especially as Qui-Gon knew that the boy's innocence was no longer in question. He was a growing lad who had been presented with many of life's temptations and had succumbed to several of them. Qui-Gon often thought that this was something that he should have been prepared for, something they should have discussed, and yet - the time had passed.

"Too late, it is," he said to himself, with a smile. Any time spent around Yoda, and it was difficult not to speak like the old Master. Generations of Jedi had found the same thing out, in succeeding years of seeing who could do the best impression.

He walked once again towards the arena, wondering if the 'saber matches were still being held or if they had finished for the day. It was not quite time for the evening meal; he wondered if he would find his Padawan there, or if he was gone with his friends. He hoped it was the latter, knowing that, although the boy made friends easily, they were not easily kept, due to the nomadic nature of his life.

Quickly Qui-Gon found himself in a nearly-empty training arena. And yet, it was not quite empty; seeing that, he drifted back, close to the wall, in the shadows, to watch. Obi-Wan was there, but not alone - Dwala, the girl he had been with earlier, was there as well, and a few other youths, some student, some apprentice.

Obi-Wan was blindfolded, lightsaber in his hands, demonstrating his skill with one of the small hovering droids used for just such an exercise. The droid let out an electrical charge that the boy skillfully avoided, moving around easily, jumping out of the way of the field. Qui-Gon smiled to himself, watching his Padawan show off his skills to his friends. Quietly, he crept to the edge of the circular area, powered up his lightsaber, and used the Force to draw the droid towards him and turn it off. He put a finger to his lips with a smile, to indicate to the others that they shouldn't say a word.

"What - ?" Obi-Wan showed his confusion. "Dwala, what did you do with the droid?"

"It's right there," Dwala said, successfully covering the amusement in her voice. "In front of you."

"It is not - " Obi-Wan said, and then stopped, as he felt the fluctuation in the Force caused by Qui-Gon's presence. A slight smile came over his face. "Oh, there it is," he said, and raised his lightsaber.

Master and student faced off, Qui-Gon closing his eyes in lieu of a blindfold, knowing that he and Obi-Wan would move in tandem, as they so often did. He could feel the energy pouring off of his Padawan, and moved with it, thrusting forward with his lightsaber, which sizzled and drew sparks as it made contact with Obi-Wan's. Still the youth did not remove the blindfold, as Qui-Gon knew that he wouldn't. It was an ancient dance that they performed, parrying, blocking thrusts, moving around and over one another. Obi-Wan jumped, at one point, tumbling neatly over the head of his Master, landing behind him; Qui-Gon had to turn quickly to block his apprentice's lightsaber blow. Over and over they fought, blind, yet attuned to each other in a way that went beyond what mere sight could possibly have told them.

When they finally finished, and Obi-Wan pulled the slipping blindfold away from his face, he was grinning, his face aglow with sweat, beaming at his Master. Dwala leapt to her feet and applauded, as did the other youths on the sidelines. Qui-Gon bowed to his student, who complimented his action, and then clasped the taller man around the back, hugging him tightly. "I'm getting better," he said. "I nearly beat you."

"Yes, you are, and you nearly did," Qui-Gon smiled.

Dwala rushed up to her friend, demanding a promise to show her some moves before he left. Obi-Wan, breathing heavily, promised.

From the corner of the room, Qui-Gon caught a movement; just as it slipped into the shadows, he recognized the small form of Yoda, walking away from the training room, nodding to himself.

Obi-Wan stared up at the ceiling. The room was half dark, with a bright spill of moonlight across part of the floor and up the side of one wall. He resisted the urge to sigh, fearful of waking his Master.

The room was cold, and never before could he remember finding one of the sleeping-couches so unyielding and uncomfortable. The blanket was scratchy, and he couldn't seem to cover all of himself with it. Besides that, the even breathing of his Master, which so often before had helped to lull him to a restful sleep, tonight seemed only to distract him further from slumber.

Of course, it had been a while since they'd really shared a room, except when it was absolutely necessary. For long months now they'd separated at night, ever since Obi-Wan discovered the illicit pleasures to be had under the cover of darkness. His Master hadn't questioned his activities, and although he suspected that Qui-Gon knew exactly what it was that caused Obi-Wan to hold himself at arm's length, he hadn't mentioned it, either. Obi-Wan told himself that the fleeting pleasure was something that he'd outgrow, just a phase - but it never seemed fulfilling enough, something always telling him that he was seeking a deeper connection with another person he had not yet found.

Here, at the Academy, they were assigned one room and it would have caused unnecessary questions to ask for another, as well; after his discussion with Dwala today, Obi-Wan didn't want to give the impression that things were anything but 'normal' between his Master and himself. The information Dwala gave him - how Qui-Gon was regarded among the other Masters, especially - was disturbing to him. It was obvious to him that none of them could begin to understand the greatness of his Master.

He turned on his side, looking at the peaceful face of the older man, less than four feet away. Dwala was correct, of course; part of his adoration of the man was due to the fact that Qui-Gon was his Master, and he inspired near-worship in Obi-Wan. But the youth also knew that he was allowed the rare privilege of seeing what few others had: some part, no matter how well-guarded, of the man's soul, the depth of his gift, the special attributes that the Force had bestowed on him. Among the greatest of those were his kindness and compassion, his unwavering faith in himself and in those he cared about, his wisdom, his loyalty. To Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn was the epitome of the word "Jedi"; all that he was was all that Obi-Wan aspired to be.

Finally, turning once more and finding no relief, he slipped from the bed, wrapped himself in his cloak and walked over to the window, pulling it open and stepping out onto the balcony. The air was crisp and clean, cold but with very little wind, he pulled the hood of his cloak up over his head and looked about him. Things were quiet, very few speeders flying at this time of night. The entire galaxy seemed spread out in front of him, the possibilities it held limitless, but it served only to mock Obi-Wan. Never had he felt that he had found his way, that which he was striving for. The path of his destiny seemed always just outside of his grasp.

He thought back to the mock-battle this afternoon, smiling in his remembrance. The realization that he was no longer fighting the small probe droid, but his Master; the first touch of his lightsaber with his Master's, and the sparks it threw; the continuation of their 'battle' - everything had dropped away from him, at that moment. Everything seemed clear, he felt he was a Jedi, in the presence of a Master. Then they stopped fighting, and after a few moments of closeness his Master shut down from him again, and Obi-Wan began to fear.

He knew that even more than anger, fear was the path to the Dark Side. But he was starting to form suspicions which he could not shake - the mysterious reason that they had come to the Academy, the meetings that Qui-Gon was having with Master Yoda, the secretiveness, the gradual severing of their connection - it all pointed to one thing: Obi-Wan had done something to make Qui-Gon want to stop being his Master.

If that were the case, wouldn't he just tell me? If I've done something, if it's something that I can fix... He shook his head. Perhaps his problem was that he hadn't done anything. Perhaps his Master had simply realized that nothing could be done with him, and had brought him here, to try to find another Jedi Master to take him on as an apprentice. Perhaps he simply wasn't good enough to ever become a Jedi.

"But how could I be? I'm too stubborn," he said to himself, "too willful, with not enough patience, too rebellious, I always talk back - "

"You can stop that, Padawan."

The deep voice came from the depths of the room. "Master," he said, turning around. "I didn't mean to wake you. I'm sorry." He stepped back into the room, shutting the window, his body so cold that the room now seemed over-heated in comparison. He sat down on his sleeping-couch, pulling the heavy brown cloak even tighter around his body, utterly unable to keep the misery off of his face. "I guess I can add 'too loud' to the list," he chuckled, half-heartedly. Finally summoning the last ounce of his courage, he looked up at his Master. "You've come here to find me another Master, haven't you?"

It took him a long time to speak, but when he did, the words seemed to cut right through Obi-Wan. "Yes," Qui-Gon said, "I did."

Telling himself that no matter how hurt he felt, he wouldn't allow himself to break down in front of his Master, Obi-Wan nodded. He pulled his long legs up under his cloak, hugging them to his body. "Who will it be?" he asked. "Who is there willing to take on such a lost cause as Obi-Wan Kenobi?"

"You didn't listen to me, Padawan. I said I did come here to find you another Master - and it was no fault of yours," he added, before Obi-Wan could speak. "The fault was in me. I didn't feel that I was teaching you as I should. I came to speak to Master Yoda, to get his counsel, before I made my decision."

"What did he say?"

"Everything I knew, already." Qui-Gon crossed the short distance in between them, kneeling down in front of his student. "That you are rebellious and stubborn, and strong with the Force, and that you lack confidence in yourself." He smiled. "I believe he told me the same things, when I was your age." Obi-Wan smiled, a little, but the fear was still plain in his eyes. "He also told me that we have bonded, which I knew, of course. We merely proved it in our 'battle' this afternoon. I am so attuned to your thoughts, Padawan, it is startling to me sometimes how clearly I can hear your voice in my mind. I know you've been struggling, these past few months, and I haven't known how to aid you on your path. I thought it was because there was a break between us, but now I know it is because we are too close."

"Too close?" Fear gave way to confusion. "How can that be possible?"

"I feel what you feel, Padawan," Qui-Gon said. "Everything that you feel. I didn't realize until I saw you here - until you let me see you - that this conflict within me has been part of you, as well." He raised his hand, palm facing towards Obi-Wan, who, after a moment, raised his and pressed it against his Master's. The ripple that passed through them was unmistakable, electric; Obi-Wan didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

In the end, he did neither. He leaned forward and did something that it had never before - in his waking hours - occurred to him to do: he kissed his Master, very softly, on the mouth.

It was electric.

When he realized what he was doing, Obi-Wan pulled away in shock. Echoes of the earlier fear showed in his eyes, and he opened his mouth, trying to think of something to say to explain his actions, certain that Qui-Gon would at the very least be shocked, possibly gravely disappointed in him. Before he could complete a coherent thought, his Master had gently taken his head in his hands and pulled him forward, drawing him into another kiss. It was better than the first, deeper, and before he knew what was happening, Obi-Wan ended up on the floor, on his knees, in front of Qui-Gon.

His cloak slid down his shoulders, and he shivered as the heavy cloth fell to the floor. Qui-Gon had stilled, looking at him, not moving or saying anything. He raised his hands to his Master's hair, pulling loose the tie in the back, and lifted it, a heavy mass. He was worrying his lower lip between his teeth, and Qui-Gon smiled at him, raising a hand to his pupil's chin, stroking the flesh down the column of his neck.

"What are we doing?" Obi-Wan said, finally. The sound echoed in the dead-silent room, and he winced at it, but it was something that he had to know.

It took Qui-Gon a long time to speak; finally, carefully weighing his words, he said, "Following our destiny."

Obi-Wan shivered, moving his body closer to the source of heat next to him. Without opening his eyes, he pressed a soft kiss against the flesh closest to his lips; Qui-Gon reacted by moving his arm, drawing the young man closer to him. The narrow couches were not constructed to hold more than one person, so they'd pushed them together, to make one large bed, just barely big enough to hold both of them.

Obi-Wan sighed, content at last. The tension that had filled his body for the past few weeks was drained completely. He felt filled with light, and, for the first time in his life, fearless.

"It will be dawn, soon," Qui-Gon said, quietly.


"We will have to get up."

"No," Obi-Wan answered, turning his head away from the window. His eyes were still closed.

"We can't sleep the day away, Padawan. We have much to do. Our work is not yet done."

"Fine, but I'm not opening my eyes."

There was gentle humour in the Master's voice. "And why is that?"

"My dreams always disappear when I do. I want this one to last."

"It will."

Obi-Wan was startled anew when Qui-Gon's mouth sought out his, tasting deeply of his depths, drawing the younger man up to rest against the full length of his body. They were naked, covered only with a sheet, and yet Obi-Wan was warmer than he could remember ever being in his life. It was as if the entire room was filled with heat, where it had been cold such a short while before.

His eyes opened involuntarily when Qui-Gon pulled back, his blue-gray eyes watching his student intently, but only for a moment; Obi-Wan himself closed the distance between them in another searing kiss. The resulting heat coursed through the length of his body, making him shiver again.

"Are you cold?" Qui-Gon teased. "You're trembling."

"Yes," Obi-Wan said, boldly. "You'll have to warm me."

Qui-Gon laughed, drawing a delighted smile from his young apprentice. "And Yoda said you lacked confidence."

"Not when I'm with you," Obi-Wan said. "Never when I'm with you."

"There will come a time, Padawan - " Qui-Gon started.

Obi-Wan would not let him finish. "I know," he said, "but not now, and not for a long time. No," he pressed his fingers over his Master's mouth, stopping the words he didn't want to hear from him coming forth. "Let me believe it. Whether it's true or not, let me believe it for a while."

Qui-Gon said nothing, just raised his hand and ruffled it through Obi-Wan's hair, again and again.

Back to SWA-L Archive