by Annie Carr & Emrin Alexander

Feedback: Gratefully and Happily Accepted Any Time! OR
Archive: M_A. Others please ask. Also on our site.
Category: Romance, Humor, A/U
Pairing: Q/O
Rating: R
Spoilers: None
Summary: When our heros become housebound due to a planet-wide storm, questions help them pass the time and reveal some surprising answers.
Disclaimer: George Lucas is da man. He owns everything. We just play.
Series: None
Note: TWENTY QUESTIONS was originally published over a year ago in the zine "Living Force I".  We would have posted it to the list when everyone else was posting their respective stories from that wonderful publication, but Em couldn't find the disk the story was on (she's senile).

"That's it then."  Qui-Gon Jinn set his com link aside and turned to his padawan.  "We're stuck.  We can't leave this place
until the Storm is over."

Obi-Wan sipped his tea, unconcerned.

"That should be in about a month."

The tea cup rattled a little as it was set down hard.  " A MONTH?!"

Qui-Gon was calm.  "You read the literature before we came. It's the annual Storm and no one is allowed outside.  There's no
communication at all.  The Melandians use the time to reconnect with their families, and for meditation and contemplation on their oneness with their god."

"I know that,"  Obi-Wan stood up.  "But it doesn't come yet. The Storm comes in the next cycle.  We should have plenty of

Qui-Gon took his robe off, twirling it slightly before hanging it on a hook by the door.  "It's early this year.  A warming
trend in the western ocean, I believe."  He looked around.  "It could be much worse, Padawan.  We have plenty of food and water.  Apparently the lighting will be down and it will be cold, but we have a fireplace and wood on the porch, and there are candles.  Fresher facilities will be intact.  The kitchen is generator powered.  These places are set up for comfort during the Storm."

"When?"  Obi-Wan was watching the clear blue sky out the window.  "When does it start?"

Qui-Gon came up behind him and rested one hand on his padawan's shoulder, the other pointing,  "The clouds are already on the horizon.  Once the first raindrops fall, we're on our own."

"Then, if you don't mind, Master, I'd like to go out."

Obi-Wan looked over his shoulder and met his Master's serene gaze.  Qui-Gon agreed with a sort of crinkle of his eyes, a gesture Obi-Wan knew well.  That look meant a lot of things - don't get into trouble, do something useful, have fun, I trust you, don't drink anything blue. . .

It was warm, he didn't bother with his robe.  The wind was picking up and caught at his tunics when he left the covered porch.  A path led from the front steps toward the lake, then turned towards the forest.  The small city was on the other side.  When
Qui-Gon said they were on their own, he meant it.

Obi-Wan watched the clouds gathering on the far side of the lake, growing darker by the minute, the first sheets of lightening
splashing along the underside.  This was his favorite time in a storm, when electricity was in the air, the wind rising, whipping
his hair around, rumbling thunder in the distance and the first whiff of ozone.  The trees were whispering, a line of silver as
the leaves blew backwards.  He took a deep breath, let it out slowly.

One month, Melandian time.  He wanted to run, to expend energy, to exhaust himself so much he would sleep for the entire time.  One month.  Alone with his Master.  It had been hard enough this year, being so close to Qui-Gon, feeling the way he did.  When they were on Coruscant he spent most of his time in classes, in the exercise rooms, out with friends, and when they were off world on assignment, he generally managed to either be off on little assignments Qui-Gon gave him, or be caught up in the actual negotiations.  Rarely were they given the same sleeping quarters. He was no longer a child, needing close attendance by his Master;  he was 22, a grown up and Qui-Gon had seen to it that he had his privacy.

Obi-Wan turned slowly in the wind to face their quarters.  A small cabin -- living room, kitchen, fresher and bedroom, each room large, even for a man Qui-Gon's size.  Larger than their quarters in the Temple.  Nonetheless, it was far too small for Obi-Wan.  Forced intimacy when he could hardly look at Qui-Gon without getting an erection was the last thing he wanted.

There was no time to get to their transport ship for any supplies, already the Storm was coming over the lake, the clouds rolling, angry looking.   He turned back and watched, bouncing on the balls of his feet, waiting until the last minute, as the lake
began to shatter with heavy raindrops and the sound of water hitting water overtook the wind speaking through the trees.

Half of him wanted to go back to the cabin, face his Master and let the stones fall where they may; the rest of him wanted to
give himself up to the Storm, one rage meeting another, to lose himself in the coming violence that matched his own soul.  He
tried to picture the two of them alone together in four rooms for a month, and doubted he could stand it.

The choice was taken from him as Qui-Gon spoke in his mind. *Time, my Padawan.*

Obedience was so automatic he had turned and taken several steps before he paused.  Then a slash of lightning hit a tree close
by, thunder roared in his ears and the ground shook under his feet.  Cold air whipped around him as the wind picked up speed and the temperature began to drop rapidly.  He began to run and ignored the steps, leaping straight to the porch just as the first
drops of rain hit the path behind him.

Qui-Gon was waiting in the doorway, smiling at him.  "I've got the fire going,"  he said, voice a little raised to combat the
sound of the Storm.  "Come in.  This should be an interesting time."

Obi-Wan wanted to hit him.


One week later, Obi-Wan sprawled on the large sofa in the cabin's living room and contemplated rushing for the door, running out into the storm, chaining himself to the nearest tree and daring the lightning to strike him down.  They had exercised, had moved furniture until they had a place to spar.  They had cooked and cleaned, and watched the rain, and slept.  They had searched the entire cabin for anything to read, any games to play.  They gave each other massively difficult mathematical problems and figured them out.  They talked and were quiet together.  It had been the longest week of Obi-Wan's life.

Qui-Gon was meditating, another thing they'd far too much of in the last week.  Obi-Wan watched him, shifting again to ease the constant ache in his groin.  Qui-Gon was wearing only his leggings, sitting cross-legged in front of the fire, arms loose on his
knees.  His eyes were closed, his face quiet except for the occasional tiny twitch of lips.  Obi-Wan wondered what Qui-Gon was meditating on this time.  Yesterday it had been on coping with the Council.  Today it was probably how to improve last night's bird stew.

He had been meditating since mid-day.  Obi-Wan had given up two hours earlier, unable to think of anything but the man across from him, how it would feel to have those hands on him, stroking him, those lips teasing his own apart.  Not the gentle hands of a loving Master, but the passion hot hands of a lover.  The firelight played like fingers over Qui-Gon's body and when Obi-Wan began to envy the light he had given up trying to mediate and had retreated to the sofa.

There was a lull in the rain, a softer pattern that didn't pound at the cabin.  The constant rattle of hard rain and thunder had
driven him half-mad in the first days, but it had gotten to the point where he scarcely noticed.  Due to the noise, they tended
to communicate in vague telepathy over the training bond when they weren't actually next to each other.  The bond and the
telepathy had both become even stronger for the practice, but it created havoc with his shields.

Last night he had almost. . .almost been caught.  Awakened by a particularly close flash of lightening and heavy thunder, he'd
sat straight up on the sofa (Qui-Gon got the bed because he was taller and slept on his back), wide awake, his heart pounding.
Just the Storm, just the Storm.  A faint question,  *Obi-Wan?*

Rather than answer, he drew his blanket loosely around his hips and went to the open doorway of the bedroom.  Qui-Gon was still asleep, laying on his back, one arm flung over his head, the other by his side, his hand curved a little toward his half-erect
penis.  Lightening wandered over the sky and he moved just a little, his hand closer to his cock..

Again in Obi-Wan's head,  *Padawan?*

Obi-Wan sent a picture of himself sleeping quietly.  Qui-Gon stretched a bit, going further into comfort, and one long finger
touched the base of his erection then roved up to the tip. Obi-Wan heard the murmured,  "Hmmmm" from faintly pursed lips, and stepped forward.  In the bed, Qui-Gon stirred and bent one leg, angling himself into his own touch.  His eyes opened and he blinked.

Oh, Sith.  For a moment he was frozen, then Qui-Gon's eyes closed again and somehow he had pulled away from the scene.  He'd been awake, waiting, listening through the sound of rain and thunder, huddled on the sofa with his legs pulled up and his head on his knees, when the sound came.  A deep moan between two claps of thunder.  He had come then, just due to the sound of it.

So now he sat on the sofa, absolutely positive that if he didn't have something to distract him soon he would either just jump
his own Master and fuck him through the floor, or go quietly insane.  He bit his lip until it bled and grabbed one of the cushions
to place in his lap.  When he glanced over he was surprised to see a magazine.  It had been hidden behind the cushion.  Eagerly
he picked it up.  Something to read!

He was still looking at the cover when Qui-Gon's breathing changed and he opened his eyes, blinking, adjusting to the light.  He seemed at peace, but then he always seemed serene.  Obi-Wan had fantasies about shattering that calm.

Qui-Gon unfolded his legs and stretched them out, going smoothly into a series of moves designed to release tension from being in the same position for an extended period.  Obi-Wan stared for a long moment, then dragged his eyes back to the magazine.  Actual paper products were rare these days.  This one had been published on Coruscant, almost two years ago.  At least it was in Standard;  neither of them were overly fluent in Melandian.

Qui-Gon had risen and was still doing stretching exercises.  He stretched until the tips of his fingers touched the ceiling "What have you got there?"

"I found a magazine,"  Obi-Wan was very glad he had the cushion on his lap.  Seeing rippling muscle in the firelight was doing
all kinds of crazy things to him.  He took a centering breath and gave himself something else to look at.  "It's one of those
ladies' 'zines, you know, fashions, when to plant flowers, how to bake cressa bread, advice to the lovelorn."

Qui-Gon sat back down on the floor, shifting to get comfortable. "All right.  It's something anyway.  I always wanted to know
when to plant flowers, and you could make better cressa bread."

Obi-Wan turned the page,  "You said you loved my cressa bread."

"I believe we had been starving for a week at the time."

Obi-Wan ignored the teasing.  He began to leaf through the magazine.  "Hemlines were down again, two years ago."

"As I recall, yours tended to drag in the dirt."

Obi-Wan grinned.  "Master, you know I follow the fashion trends devotedly."

Qui-Gon was slowly twisting from side-to-side.  "Oh yes.  Brown and cream.  What all the fashionable Padawans are wearing."

Obi-Wan continued turning pages.  "Here's something.  It's some sort of test."

"What kind of test?"

"It's called 'How Well Do You Know Your Closest Companion?'"

Qui-Gon spread his legs and bent his head to his right knee. "How well do you know me, Padawan?"

Obi-Wan was reading quickly down the questions.  Uh oh.  "Not well at all, Master,"  he said quickly.  "Maybe I'll see if we
have the makings for this cressa bread."

Qui-Gon sat back, shook his hair out of his face and bent his head to his other knee.  "Read the test.  I'd like to think you
know me a little by now."

"Master, I really think. . ."

"Just read, Obi-Wan."

 Obi-Wan cleared his throat.  "Well, the first question is easy. 'How did you first meet?'  That would be in the Temple when you came looking for a Padawan."

"Actually that's not when we first met," Qui-Gon sat back.  "We first met when you were about 3 years old."

"I don't remember that."

"Why should you?  As I recall, you had escaped the creche and I interrupted your path to freedom.  You ran right into me and
fell over on your little butt."  Qui-Gon smiled at him.  "You were very cute.  You punched me in the knee for getting in your way."

"Really?"  Obi-Wan had a vague recollection of some huge giant smiling at him, lifting him up into incredibly strong arms.  "Did
you take me to the dining hall to eat with the Masters?"

"You didn't want to eat the assigned meal in the creche -- you hate mashed spindle leaf to this day."

"I didn't know that was you.  Why did you never tell me?"

Qui-Gon was genuinely puzzled.  "Why should I tell you?"

"No reason."

"Next question?"

Obi-Wan hesitated, then said,  "Master, these aren't the kind of questions for an apprentice to speculate about his Master."

Qui-Gon flashed him a look, and continued his stretching.  "If I don't like the question I'll let you know."

Obi-Wan bent his head and read off  the next question,  "'If your companion were to write a book, what would it be about?"

"Good question.  What do you think?"

Obi-Wan considered.  "Cook book?"

Qui-Gon merely looked at him.

"Well, all right.  How about your adventures as a Jedi Master? Write what you know, they say."

"Murder mystery."  Qui-Gon reached over and stoked the fire, then reset the screen.  "One of the Council gets murdered and
everyone did it.  I've been writing it in my head for years."

Obi-Wan laughed and relaxed a little.  "That's two I lose."

"Try harder."

"Question three:  'If your companion could take three things to a desert island where he would be stranded, what would they
be?'"  Obi-Wan felt he knew this one.  "Your light saber, your robe, and. . .all the chocolate covered grennies you could carry."

It was Qui-Gon's turn to laugh.  "Close.  I'd take my saber and my robe, but I'll skip chocolate covered grennies and take you


"I wouldn't want to be alone, and besides, I'm used to having you around."  Suddenly serious, he added,  "I can't think of a
better companion in any situation."

Obi-Wan knew he was blushing, hoped the low light would hide it. "Thank you, Master."

"Next question."

"'What's the thing your companion fears most?'"  Obi-Wan thought it over.  "You fear I will turn to the dark side like Xanatos."

Qui-Gon took a breath and was motionless for a long moment. Then he said slowly,  "You're correct."

"One out of four,"  Obi-Wan mocked himself lightly.  Then,  "Do you still fear that so much?"

"Obi."  The tone called for the Apprentice to meet the eyes of the Master, and he did so.

"Obi-Wan, you know I do not believe you could ever turn to the dark, don't you?  That any fears are completely due to my own faults and have nothing to do with you?"

There was no doubting the honesty shining out of  Qui-Gon's face.

"I know.  I wish. . ."  Obi-Wan paused.  He wished he could take away that pain in his Master's heart, but it wasn't his place.
They'd had this conversation many times before.  "Do you want to stop and fix dinner now?"

"Not yet."  Qui-Gon smiled to let him know it was all right, and Obi-Wan felt a mental caress that, as always, knew his concern, was grateful.

Back to the magazine.  "The next two go together.  'What physical characeristics does he like best and least about himself?'"

Qui-Gon raised an eyebrow at him.

"I'll say that you like your eyes and your height.  And you dislike your chin and . . ."  Obi-Wan paused.  "I'm a blank."

"I used to hate being tall, you know."  Qui-Gon had stopped stretching and just relaxed,  leaning back, his legs straight out,
his weight on his elbows.  "I was always so much bigger than other humanoids.  All huge feet and tripping over everything.  Now I rather like it.  I guess I like my eyes.  How did you guess about my chin?"

"The beard."

One hand went to the short beard.  "That obvious?  Hmmm."

"What else?  What don't you like?"  Obi-Wan was fascinated.

"My hands."

"Your HANDS?"  Qui-Gon's hands were two of the most precious things about him.  Strong and large, gentle.

Qui-Gon held up his right hand and turned it in the firelight. "Too big,"  he said.  "Too blunt.  I always wanted elegant fingers."

Without thinking Obi-Wan sent him pictures.  Hands guiding him through exercises, lifting him when he was injured, hard grip on his lightsaber.  "Your hands are beautiful to me,"  his Padawan told him.

Qui-Gon said nothing, but he smiled at his hand.

Obi-Wan quickly looked at the magazine again.  "This one I know. 'What would be the only thing your companion would find

"Snoring during a state dinner."

Obi-Wan shook his head.  "Snoring during a state dinner is rude, not unforgiveable."


"No, what you would find beyond redemption is betrayal of trust."

Qui-Gon thought about it, seriously.  "Yes."

Wisely, Obi-Wan let it go.   "Ah, the next one I absolutely know!"

"Don't be too sure."

"Listen to this. . .'What part of your companion's body does he least like having touched?'"

The reaction was immediate.  Qui-Gon burst out laughing..

"Well,"  Obi-Wan muttered,  "I didn't know, did I?"

Qui-Gon took one look at his Padawan's reddening face and broke out in fresh peals of laughter.  "Oh, my dear Obi, if you could have seen yourself!"

"Looked like an idiot, didn't I?"

Qui-Gon sat up and spread his hands.  "Never!  Small and earnest, with such big eyes. . .trying so hard to do something nice for me.  You had no way of knowing I hated having my feet touched. All you knew was that I foolishly complained that they hurt."

Obi-Wan shook his head and pushed the pillow aside.  "YEARS!!  I can't even imagine all the times you let me massage your feet. And you never said a word.  I'd never have known if  Master Windu hadn't made that comment about you getting measured for new boots."

"I shall never forgive him.  Imagine him telling my Padawan that I used to kick the shoemaker!"

Obi-Wan remembered the moment distinctly.  Master Windu teasing. His own dawning horror.  The hands that rested on his shoulders tightening as his Master's mental voice said,  *And you remain the only person I will ever allow to touch my feet.  And it has been years since they hurt, thanks to you.*

They had long since laughed together about it, mostly when Qui-Gon plaintively asked if Obi-Wan would mind, just this once. . .

How much had his Master loved him, to consistently set aside an inherent loathing and allow his Padawan to massage his feet?
How many times had he accepted an unwanted gift, simply because to refuse it might have given Obi-Wan a moment of pain?

Obi-Wan looked over.  Qui-Gon was still grinning, wriggling his toes.  How much was it possible to love someone?  Apparently it was infinite.  Every time he looked at Qui-Gon he loved him more.

Taking a deep breath, Obi-Wan hurriedly grabbed for the magazine.  Question.  What was the next question?  "'What is the body part he most enjoys having touched?'"

Qui-Gon, still smiling, stopped looking at his toes.  "That's fairly obvious, as well."

"Master?"  Obi-Wan had no idea how to answer this one and was beginning to regret finding the magazine in the first place.

"I am a functioning humanoid male."   He gestured.  "Whatever you may think, Masters' penises do not dry up and blow away when they take a Padawan."

"Yes, I . . ."  Obi-Wan closed his mouth.  Had Qui-Gon just winked at him?

"Do not tell me that your penis is not your favorite area to be touched, my Obi, or you will have lied to me for the first time."

"No, Master.  Yes, I mean . . .oh, hells!"  Obi-Wan sputtered and threw up his hands in defeat.

Qui-Gon was looking innocent again.  "There is another spot," he mused,  "Just behind my left knee, that has potential.  Alas,
no one has actually focused there."

There was teasing and then there was teasing, and Obi-Wan knew from experience he would never better Qui-Gon when his Master got into a rare impish mood.  He read the next question and tossed the magazine to the end of the sofa.  "Let's have dinner.  I'm starved."

He set the cushion aside and quickly hopped over the back of the sofa, already going toward the kitchen.  "I'll bet we do have
the makings for cressa bread."

Qui-Gon rose slowly to follow, but when Obi-Wan disappeared, he paused by the sofa and picked up the magazine, opening it to the test.  He read swiftly, then set it back in place, one corner of his mouth quirked up.  Picking up his overtunic as he passed, he followed his padawan into the kitchen.

Dinner completed, they returned to the living room.  Obi-Wan sat on the couch, hoping that his Master would have forgotten about the magazine entirely.

Qui-Gon sat on the floor again, next to the fire.  "That was quite good.  I ate too much."

"Well, I could Force float you into bed."  Obi-Wan grinned at him.

"I believe the last time you tried that little trick, I ended up with a broken rib."

"But, I healed you,"  his Apprentice reminded him.  Then added, "Eventually."

"So you did, however I think I will walk to my room myself. Eventually.  In the meantime, where's that magazine?"

Reluctantly Obi-Wan picked it up.  "I don't think. . ."

"What's the next question, Obi-Wan?"


"Ah,"  he scanned down the page.  The next one wasn't too bad. "'What is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to your companion?'"  He thought about that one for a long minute; off hand, he couldn't recall any instance where his Master had been much more than faintly put out, let alone embarrassed.  "Got me there."

"I wonder. . ."

"Unless it has something to do with the way Master Windu sometimes says 'cultural differences' and you grind your teeth."

Qui-Gon raised an eyebrow at that.  "I never grind my teeth, Padawan."

"Does it?"

"Have you ever wondered why I drill you so much on the cultural mores of every planet we're sent to?"

"I just thought it was one more way of torturing your poor, loyal, but incredibly stalwart, Padawan."

"There is that,"  Qui-Gon returned blandly. "But more importantly, it keeps you - I  hope - from committing the kind of misstep
that I did."

"Which Master Windu still teases you about?"


Fascinated, Obi-Wan forgot the steady thunder of rain outside. Firelight flickered, turning the room gold and red, banishing
the steady draft of cold air no amount of caulking and weatherizing could keep out of the cabin during the Storm.  "What

"I'd been knighted for two years when Master Yoda, Knight Windu and myself were sent to Teluria to witness the installation of their ruler as the official Queen Regnant.  I prepared for this as I always did on the lighter missions -- I skimmed the
background material, thinking that I could charm my way past any gaps in my knowledge.  Mace kept trying to get me to pay more attention, but I couldn't be bothered.  After all,"  Qui-Gon kept his face straight, but his eyes had a definite twinkle, "I'd never had any problems before."

"Didn't Master Yoda insist?"

"Master Yoda had finally decided to let me fall on my own face, Obi-Wan.  And, of course, inevitably, I did."

Obi-Wan tried to imagine something ghastly enough to embarrass his unflappable, serene master.  "What?"

"The installation went smoothly.  The following evening there was a celebratory banquet, to which we all went, naturally.  I was
seated on the Queen's right.  That alone should have put me on guard -- but, I hadn't read the background material on their
culture in depth.  At the end of the meal, she offered me a goblet of wine and I accepted it."

Obi-Wan waited, and then, when nothing more was forthcoming, said:  "That was embarrassing?"

"As it turned out, yes, because she was propositioning me for the night, and I, by taking the cup, accepted."

Such things were unusual, Obi-Wan knew, only in the sense that most Jedi declined the advances made, but accepting was not
unheard of.  He still didn't see....

"Couldn't Master Yoda have explained and extricated you?"

"He could have, Obi-Wan, but he did not.  Honor must be served, he said, and unfortunate as my ignorance was, I would have to go through with what I had - unknowingly - accepted.  Admittedly, it was not a hardship on the surface, at least.  After all, I was 26 and the lady in question was quite attractive.  In reality, however, things were not that simple."

"I'm almost afraid to ask, but how so?"

"Exo-biology, Padawan.  Do you recall what your recent seminar said about Telurian females?  They always add it in these days."

Obi-Wan blinked.  "Uh...let me see."  He scrabbled around in his memory, first placing the planet and then trying to think if
there was anything unusual about the females of that humanoid sub-species. . .  "The ink sac.  Did you?  She didn't?"

"She did.  All over the bed.  And the walls.  And me."

Obi-Wan stared at Qui-Gon in horror, then abruptly realized it was also extremely funny and began to laugh.

"It's not that funny, Padawan.  I was purple from head to toe!"

"Bright irridescent purple, Master, if I remember my studies correctly.  It doesn't wash off, either."

Grimly, Qui-Gon shook his head.  "Not for months.  For six blasted months I had purple irridescent ink on my skin.  It was
another six months before Mace stopped doubling up with laughter every time he saw me."

"And that's why I have to know every aspect of each culture we visit, back and forwards?"  Obi-Wan smiled, chuckles still
bubbling just below the surface.  "So you don't end up with a Purple Padawan?"

Qui-Gon began to laugh then.  "Precisely."

Obi-Wan got up, and moved toward the fireplace.  The restlessness was on him again, and moving was better than letting his
thoughts wonder - again - down improbable pathways.  "I'll never complain about all the extra studying again."

Qui stood and stretched.   "I think,"  he said moving to take Obi-Wan's vacated seat on the couch, "that I'll ask you some of
these questions."  He studied the magazine in his hands thoughtfully.

Obi-Wan sat down on the rug in front of the fire with an audible thump.  Oh dear.

"Hm. . .most embarrassing moment, and the next question is," Qui-Gon read for a moment, then looked up.  "Who has had the most effect on your companion's life?"

Obi-Wan opened his mouth -- that was easy to answer.

But Qui-Gon forestalled him.  "No, not me.  I'm supposed to be a big influence on your life, Obi-Wan.  Who else has influenced you?"

Obi-Wan nodded, gaze turning inward.  Then he answered, "I suppose it would be Pel Jadreth."

Curious, for the name was not familiar to Qui-Gon, he asked, "Who is that?"

"Remember when I was 14 and you put me on KP duty because I was so impatient about everything?"

Qui nodded.  "The last straw was when you ruined Mistress Yaddle's two year experiment in cross breeding Mitochi Rain Herbs with Alderanian Fire Fennel because. . ."

"I used her greenhouse as a short-cut to astrophysics class. After you warned me about it repeatedly."  Obi-Wan still felt
appalled when he realized the enormity of what he'd done.  Poor Yaddle.   "Pel Jadreth was one of the Temple cooks -- still is. Poor man, there he was trying to put the finishing touches on a special dinner for the Chancellor and the Council and I was foisted on him as an assistant."

Qui-Gon winced.  "I'll have to apologize when we get home."

"I was throwing things about, trying to get through the work as fast as possible.  Pel watched me making a mess of things for a
while, then he finally pulled the utensils out of my hands and sat me down."  Obi-Wan could still remember the way the Pel's
amber and black eyes had pinned him to his seat.  "He said:  You want everything quickly, but everything quickly does not come."

"And what did you do?"

"I suppose I must have looked at him cross-eyed, because he laughed, and set me to washing bowls by hand."

"He told me, 'When I first learned to cook, always a recipe I must have in front of me.  Line by line, I would read it, never
deviating.  Then, gradually, less and less do I read the recipe, more and more of my own measure went into the dish.  Now, I write the recipes and others follow them.  Do you see?'"

"Did you?"

Obi-Wan shook his head.  "Not at first, but he kept me at it all afternoon, scrubbing things by hand, and I kept thinking about what he said.  Somewhere between the last stew pot and total exhaustion it dawned on me that what he meant was I had to have the patience to learn from you and then,  and only then, could I fly off on my own."

Qui-Gon remembered now, vividly, how the change had seemed to come overnight to his impatient, too ready to fly off the handle, apprentice.  "I thought it was my great teaching."

"It was you, Master.  But I . . . was able to absorb it more quickly because of Pel."

"I definitely must meet him when we get home.  It seems I owe him a great deal --an excellent apprentice.  And I might add, one who also learned to cook everything well,  except cressa bread."

"I make very good cressa bread -- to those who can appreciate it."

"The starving?"

Obi-Wan looked around for something to throw at Qui-Gon. Unfortunately, all the pillows were on the couch.  Outside, the Storm was intensifying, what sounded like hail slamming into the roof and he had to raise his voice to be heard over it.  For some reason, using their telepathy didn't occur to him.  "Ignoring that insult to my baking, what's the next question?"

"If your companion could take a holiday any where in the Galaxy, where would he go?"

Obi-Wan thought about that one.  "Hmm..."

"I'd go to..."

"No!  Don't tell me.  I'm thinking this out."  Obi-Wan, mirroring Qui-Gon's earlier stretching exercises, grasped his left foot
in both hands, and bent his head until it touched his knee. Where would Qui-Gon go for a real vacation?  They'd certainly had
breaks during missions; this present one occasioned by the Storm was a good example.  But a planned break?  With no duties
bracketed about it?  He and his Master spent a good part of the Standard Year travelling from one place to another,  a dispute here, a trade negotiation over there, mining rights somewhere else. . .

"I'm going to say that your favorite place for a holiday would be sitting in your own overstuffed lounge chair, bare feet up,
one of those trashy thrillers you love to read in hand. The Temple being a place we visit so seldom, it's almost as exotic as the
most distant resort planet."

Qui-Gon's blue eyes widened.  "True.  Home has a lot of appeal if one is rarely in residence.  And, trashy thrillers are the
only kind worth bothering with, Padawan.  Far more relaxing than 'Sundinian Tree Cities - Their Evolution and Growth During the First Empire.'"

"I refuse to be drawn off on the subject of my reading matter." Obi-Wan shook his head, suppressing a smile.

"Well, I suppose Tree Cities at least has the value of putting you to sleep."

Obi-Wan spread his legs as wide as they would go and resumed his stretching activities.  "Only if you like trashy thrillers
better than anthropology."  He happened to glance up then.  Qui-Gon was watching him with an expression that was hard to classify. It was gone too swiftly for further analysis.  Determindly, Obi-Wan went on with his train of vacation thought.  "My
recreational reading choices aside, the only problem with the Temple is that as soon as we set foot in it, something dreadful happens elsewhere and we are just as swiftly sent back out.  Or, Master Windu wants you to teach a class or sit on a committee.  Interesting, but not restful."

"So, Padawan, where do you think I would go?"

The answer suddenly came to Obi-Wan, at least he hoped he was right.  "Where there are only serene minds, over two million
species of growing things, peace and the Living Force."

He glanced up then.  Qui-Gon's expression one of such affection and approval that he completely forgot to breathe.  "The Temple on Xiniteria?"

"The Living Force is not simply felt or observed, Obi-Wan, it permeates your very atoms.  It is at once exhillarating and
intensely peaceful."  Qui-Gon's gaze was direct.  "One day, I hope very soon, I will take you there."

Obi-Wan gasped, but that was just his body reminding him that oxygen was good.

For a long moment their eyes met and Obi-Wan felt somethimg odd along their bond.  Then Qui-Gon blinked.  "If your companion were an animal, what species would he be?"

"What?"  Obi-Wan abruptly realized he was still splayed out over the rug on the hearth and pulled his legs back together, muscles protesting slightly.  "Oh, ah, what kind of animal would you be, Master?"  Was his Master silently laughing?

"I believe that was the question, Padawan."

Oh yes, definitely amused.  So much for being this year's tops in sophisticated apprentices.  Obi-Wan said the first thing that
came to mind.  "Aurelian Frost Wolf."


"You're tall and graceful, they are long and graceful, commanding, with a long mane of  brown and silver hair, and a most regal
expression.  But serene.  Powerfully serene and sexy."

Had he really said the last?  Oh Force.  Obi-Wan knew no amount of bad lighting could hide the blush that burned his face.

"Sexy?"  Qui-Gon sounded as though he were asking,  "Stew for lunch?" And yet. . .

"The wolves are and that made me think of you, I mean not exactly, but. . .  Not that you aren't, I mean, of course you are. .
."  His Master was staring at him in apparent fascination.  Obi-Wan forced himself to shut up, thinking miserably:  why hadn't he just chained himself to the tree and dared the lightening to strike him when he'd had the opportunity?  Qui-Gon finally dropped his gaze back to the magazine.

"Next question, Obi-Wan.  How does your companion see you?"

As a complete burbling idiot.  Well, that's what Obi felt like, but that wasn't the truth, of course.  "I - I'm your apprentice."

"Obviously.  And?"

"A friend?  I hope."

"Oh, definitely, most truly, you are my friend, Obi-Wan. Anything else?"

And what would his Master do if he answered that with complete candor?  I want to be your partner, your lifemate, your lover, your everything.  "I don't know,"  he finally ventured, playing safe.

"A very interesting question, Obi.  Perhaps we'll discuss it again on the way home to Coruscant."  Qui-Gon turned his head on
one side, studying Obi-Wan intently.  "I'm going to skip down to the last question, now."

Obi hastily reviewed the page in his mind and swallowed hard as he recalled what that very last question was.

It was a doozy.

A doozy delivered in Qui-Gon's low, sexy, rumble.  "What is your companion's deepest sexual fantasy?"

Was it his imagination, or had the temperature in the room shot up a few more degrees?   His almost-faded blush returned full
strength.  And his longstanding state of total frustration must be accountable for him imagining that the expression on Qui-Gon's face, as he suddenly tossed the magazine aside, was one of intent, focused, sensuality.  All aimed at Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan continued to stare, brain on hold.

"Well, my Obi-Wan?"  Qui-Gon's voice was soft.  Almost a challenge.  Blue eyes had darkened to midnight and Obi-Wan felt as if he were on fire.

Qui-Gon left the sofa in a flowing movement, directly to the floor, coming closer on hands and knees.  Hunter.  Nearer still,
never breaking their gaze until he was beside him, barely touching.  Obi-Wan couldn't move.   Why had he though Qui like a wolf?  These movements were feline, all stalk and slink, tyger on the prowl searching for a mate.

"Is this part of your fantasy?"  Qui-Gon lifted one hand to cup his Padawan's chin, brushing one finger over dry lips.  Not a
Master's touch.  "Is it?  Or am I the one doing the fanticizing?"

"Yes."  Barely able to speak, not sure he'd been heard over the rain, Obi-Wan answered again,  "No.  I mean. . .I want. . .oh,
how I want."


"Yes, Master?"  He was staring at the mouth coming closer, not
able to breathe.

"Shut up."

Then his eyelashes closed as Qui-Gon's mouth met his, soft at first, then harder.  Long hair cascaded around him as Qui-Gon
pressed him back.  Obi-Wan moaned into the kiss, lifted his arms around the broad shoulders and opened his mouth.  Tongues touched, tasted, swirled together in a fast-building promise.

Qui-Gon was kissing his face then, using his hands to hold his head still, stretching his long body out to fit against Obi-Wan's.

"Do you know how long I've wanted you?  Wanted this?"  He spoke into Obi-Wan's ear before biting sharply at the lobe.  Then his voice became a growl.  "YOU are my deepest sexual fantasy."

No more softness -- that would come later, when the rain gentled and thunder ceased --  now tongues battled as hands gripped, the need to touch and hold overcoming all else.  Obi-Wan felt essential passion rising faster in him than ever before; as if this was right and everything in his life had been leading to that kiss.

Qui-Gon nipped and licked his way down Obi-Wan's neck, going back to kiss him again and again, breathing hard.  His hands slid down smooth flanks, calloused fingers raising gooseflesh, to loose-fitting work-out pants, and beneath.

Obi-Wan lifted, pushing at Qui-Gon's pants, and they rolled together until Obi-Wan was on top, his own hands busy now, touching all the places he had dreamed of  for so many years.  Soft skin over hard muscle, ripple and play under his fingers, as if Qui-Gon's every cell was tuned into his touch, as if in exquisite trust, he had given over his body to Obi-Wan, to do with as he pleased.

Obi-Wan wanted everything.  To use every sense, to taste every crevice and lose himself in the heady scent of the man who held him.  Mostly he just wanted to be closer, and closer.

Outside the Storm was building, thunder constant, but they were beyond hearing, bodies tangled, shared voice as their cocks
touched and slid together.  Qui-Gon's hands spread over him, pulling him fully on top, fingers gripping his buttocks as he arched to meet Obi-Wan's thrust.  Again.  Slower and harder, full slide of body on body.

And then in his mind, a rush of feelings, a jumble of love and desire and white hot need that matched his own -- Qui-Gon's
astonishment as he saw himself through Obi-Wan's eyes, hair wild, mouth full and bruised, beautiful.  His own image from Qui-Gon, sweat glistened, fire-lit and golden and desirable, and beyond that for each man.

Qui-Gon moaned,  "My Obi. . .mine. . ."

The raw sound of it was enough to send him over the edge, his barriers gone completely.  And he took Qui-Gon along in the rush, holding onto him as tightly as he was being held, as climax pulsed between them.  It went on like the Storm, rolling between them, Force and nature, until, slowly it pulsed away.

Obi-Wan collapsed, boneless, his face buried in his lover's neck, hair caught in his teeth and a growing awareness of stickiness
almost everywhere.

He had never been so happy.  It saturated him.  Wonderous joy. He let it pour out along their bond, felt it returned in equal

Qui-Gon chuckled and it disturbed his floating ease.  After some thought he decided he could move.  He turned his head a
fraction.  "What?"

"We're a mess."

"Yes."  Obi-Wan could live with that.

Qui-Gon drew his fingers up Obi-Wan's spine, barely using his nails.  Obi-Wan wriggled a little in delight.  "You are heavy, my Padawan."

Obi-Wan remained boneless.  "Sorry,"  he said into Qui-Gon's neck. "By the way, to answer the question, you are my deepest sexual fantasy."

"Oh, good.  We're on the same page, then."  Qui-Gon's hands continued tracing lazy patterns on Obi-Wan's back.

"Of course, in the instance of something that carries this amount of potential seriousness, I feel extra study is needed."

"And that would entail?"

Obi-Wan bit the skin beneath his lips and then licked away the sting, enjoying the faint gasp from Qui-Gon.  "Hours and hours
of. . .resesarch."

"Flawlessly logical."

"Mmm. . ."

"Obi-Wan.  I hope you. . .I mean. . ." apparently uncharacteristically unsure how to word what he wanted to say, Qui-Gon
nevertheless pushed on,  "I love you."

Obi-Wan moved then, raising up so that he could look directly into Qui-Gon's eyes.  "And I love you."

They smiled at each other, contentment flowing along their bond.

"When I'm knighted, will you lifebond with me, Qui-Gon?"  Once he had wondered if he'd ever have the courage or the opportunity to say those words; now Obi-Wan couldn't imagine not saying them.


Obi-Wan snuggled back down, returning his face into Qui-Gon's neck.  "Good."

"This research you mentioned."


"Do you suppose we could start off by conducting some of it in the shower?"


Much later, when the Storm had gentled and Obi-Wan was once again beyond movement, he whispered into his lover's ear,  "I have changed my mind about the person who has influenced my life the most."

Qui-Gon was running his index finger along the crease of his Padawan's buttocks.  "Hmmm?"

"It was not a cook."


"Oh, that's nice.  Do that some more."


"It wasn't Pel Jadreth,"  Obi-Wan was determined to get his point across.

Qui-Gon's hands were exploring further.  "Who then?"

"Tonis Ferdinand."

"And who is Tonis . . . whatever?"

"Author. Magazine.  Made up questions."

"Wonderful. When we get back to Coruscant we'll send your author some of your delicious cressa bread.  Now, shut up and come here."