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DISCLAIMER: The following story is a non-profit, amateur effort not intended to infringe on the rights of George Lucas, Lucasfilm, Twentieth Century Fox, Industrial Light and Hocus-Pocus, Skywalker Sound, Guybrush Threepwood, Haggis MacMutton or anyone else affiliated with George Lucas and other assorted copyright holders. I make no claims to these copyrights, this story was merely the will of the Force.

A Matter of Belief
by The Brat Queen

Spoilers: The Phantom Menace
Summary: Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon debate the latter's skill with the Force.

"Master, what you say is impossible," Obi-Wan Kenobi looked at Qui-Gon Jinn in disbelief. "I simply cannot believe you."

Qui-Gon smiled knowledgeably. "Nevertheless, young Padawan, what I say is true."

Obi-Wan shook his head. "No. No. Master, you know that I trust you in all things but in this I cannot."

Qui-Gon raised an eyebrow. "Is it truly so hard to believe, my beloved student? I have often told you the ways of the Force are mysterious and that you do not listen to them often enough."

"You cannot expect me to believe that this was the way of the Force," Obi-Wan said, waving his hand dismissively. "Luck, perhaps. But not the Force."

"You have much to learn, young Padawan," Qui-Gon said. He folded his arms. The look of long-held wisdom deepened on his face. "But you should not feel bad. After all, I am much older than you. It is to be expected that you would not be able to see this as readily as I."

"Much older indeed," Obi-Wan muttered. A small glint of affectionate mischief in his eyes took the sting out of his words. A sly grin suddenly appeared on his face. "Tell me then, my wise Master, when you first knew of this?"

Qui-Gon made a vague gesture. "It is difficult to say, Padawan. The Force sometimes speaks in a whisper, leaving its knowledge only as an imprint on the mind."

Obi-Wan looked up at him. "A whisper?"

Qui-Gon nodded. "Yes. A whisper."

Obi-Wan looked at him in silence for a very long time. "You really didn't know, did you?"

"Your lack of faith is disturbing, young Padawan, and a sign that you are truly not yet schooled in the ways of the living Force."

It was Obi-Wan's turn to fold his arms now as he met his Master's gaze with even more strength as he repeated "You really didn't know, did you?"

Qui-Gon met his student's stare with one of his own before finally looking away. "Perhaps not at first," he said under his breath.

Obi-Wan's grin became larger. "I'm sorry, my Master - what did you say?"

"Perhaps not at first," Qui-Gon said, louder this time. He sighed and looked towards figures clustered together on what would soon become a Naboo battlefield.

"Not at first," Obi-Wan said. He nodded, still grinning. "And, perhaps not until just recently?"

"Perhaps," Qui-Gon muttered. He gave his student a sharp look. "But only perhaps."

Obi-Wan laughed, but schooled his features to appear solemn. "Of course, my Master, of course." He moved to stand beside Qui-Gon, following his gaze towards the figures and the young girl in the middle of them. He laid an affectionate hand on Qui-Gon's shoulder. "Anyway, my Master, I wouldn't feel too bad about it. I doubt even Master Yoda would have…" Obi-Wan stopped, thought about it, shook his head and grinned at Qui-Gon once more, patting his shoulder consolingly. "Well, perhaps not but even still, Master, it was a very good disguise."

Qui-Gon let an irritated grunt and a look which promised nighttime retribution for Obi-Wan's teasing be his only reply as they watched Amidala, formerly Padme, continue with her work.

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