Summary: Adventures in babysitting.

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It was restday. Obi-Wan had mixed feelings about restday. Sure, they didn't have classes, but that also meant they didn't have saber training. Obi-Wan would really rather have had saber training but not afternoon classes. *Then* restday would've really been something special. As it was, he got to play in the crèche with his friends. That was okay, he supposed, but today he wanted to play with Quigee. Given that the Crèche Masters were especially watchful on restdays, escaping from the crèche would require some Very Devious Plotting.

Obi-Wan was seated on the floor, deep in thought, when something thudded into him from behind, bowling him head over heels.

"Hiya, Obi-Wan," the projectile said, resolving itself into Obi-Wan's friend, Garen Muln, after they'd untangled all the limbs and figured out whose was whose.

"Hello, Garen."

"Whatcha doin'?" the other boy asked.

"Gonna go see Quigee."

"Is he coming to get you?"

"Nope."

Garen frowned, puzzled. "Is Master Aronna gonna take you to see him?"

"Nope."

Garen's eyes widened.

"You're gonna *sneak* out?!" he asked in a hushed whisper.

Obi-Wan grinned. "Yup," he whispered back.

Garen gasped in delighted apprehension. "How're you gonna do it? You know they watch more when we don't have lessons. You'll never make it."

Obi-Wan glanced appraisingly at Garen. "I can if I have help."

Garen's eyes narrowed. "Oh, no. No way. *I'm* not gonna get in trouble just so *you* can go see Master Jinn."

"C'mon, Garen, puh-leeeeeeeeeze," Obi-Wan whined. "I'll teach you some of Quigee's saber moves," he offered. "Knight Ralla will probably give you a real training saber if you learn them."

Garen's eyes lit up. "What do I have to do?"

"I need a div...div...di-ver-sion," Obi-Wan said importantly, using a big word he'd learned from Quigee.

Garen looked blank. "What's a di-ver-sion?"

"You gotta distract the Crèche Masters; make them look the other way while I get out."

"How do I do that? Even when I'm in trouble, they don't *all* pay attention to me at once."

Obi-Wan's brow furrowed in fierce concentration. Inspiration suddenly descended upon him.

"Hey, guys, what's going on?" The two boys' friend, Reeft, had seen them conspiring and wanted to be let in on the fun.

Obi-Wan grinned.

"Obi's gonna teach me new saber stuff," Garen said proudly.

"Obi-Wan?" Reeft looked hurt. He wanted to learn some of the cool moves he'd seen Master Jinn do, too.

Obi-Wan patted Reeft's shoulder reassuringly. "I'll teach you, too, Reeft. But you gotta help me escape."

"Obi's gonna *sneak* out to see Master Jinn," Garen confided in a scandalized whisper.

Reeft gasped. "Aren't you gonna get in trouble?"

Obi-Wan considered that. "Maybe a little, but it's worth it. I can't get in *too* much trouble for going to see another Master. S'not like I'm gonna go steal food or anything," he said reasonably.

Reeft nodded. "Okay. How're we gonna get them to stop watching?"

"Hmmmmmmm." Obi-Wan looked around the crèche. His eyes lit up suddenly, and he pulled his friends into a huddle, whispering hurriedly.

Several nods and furtive glances later, the trio split up. Five minutes later, Reeft tripped over a chair and crashed into a table holding finger- paints, splattering several other children and crèche assistants with brilliant color. Meanwhile, Garen tried to turn up the lights using the Force, but accidentally-on-purpose managed to activate the fire sprinklers instead. Pandemonium ensued.

Obi-Wan grinned at the general destruction in the crèche, then slipped out the door.

Thirty minutes later, Master Aronna had managed to deactivate the sprinkler system and restore some semblance of order. She looked around. "Has anyone seen Obi-Wan?"

The assistants all shook their heads.

Master Aronna sighed. At least when Obi-Wan snuck out, she always knew where he was going. Obi-Wan was such an accommodating little one; whenever he escaped her watchful eye, he invariably went directly to a highly qualified baby-sitter.

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Obi-Wan hurried through the Temple halls, following his bondmate's Force signature and hoping that he wouldn't be stopped by any of the older Jedi he passed. Today, Qui-Gon's Force signature was leading him in a new direction. He was heading away from the training salles, he knew, and he could tell that the young Master wasn't in his quarters. Unperturbed, Obi- Wan continued on his way, Qui-Gon's presence a bright light in his mind.

He finally stopped in front of a door high up in a tower where he'd never been before. Everything looked dreadfully official. Off to Obi-Wan's right was a set of truly imposing double doors, but Quigee wasn't behind them. He was in a smaller room next door, Obi-Wan was sure. He turned all his mental strength to the door, encouraging it to open.

It didn't budge.

Obi-Wan frowned. It seemed the door wasn't about to give up his Quigee. His frown deepened to a scowl as he tried again and again to open the door.

"Open it, you cannot," a voice rasped from behind him. "Secret meeting, it is."

Obi-Wan whirled around. He bowed carefully, unsteadily to the green troll, just like he'd seen other Jedi Knights do. "Master Yoda," he chirped.

Yoda grinned at the little interloper. "In there, your bondmate is. Come out, he cannot, until the meeting is over."

"Why?"

"Important meeting, it is. Interrupt them, you should not."

"Why?"

Yoda's ears twitched. "Because," he said definitively. "Top Secret."

Obi-Wan's eyes widened. "Secret?" he whispered excitedly.

"Very secret," the old Master said sagely.

Obi-Wan considered that. "Long meeting?" he asked.

"Long meeting, yes. Many hours already, I think. Three hours more, at least."

Obi-Wan was quiet for a moment. "Quigee will be tired. And upset. He's always upset after meetings. We should do something nice for him."

Yoda blinked. "Do something nice, we should?" he parroted. "What for? Many meetings, Jedi Masters always have when at the Temple, they are. Unusual, this is not. Used to it, your bondmate is."

Obi-Wan shook his head resolutely. "Do something nice for Quigee," he ordered. "Tea. Quigee likes tea. And cookies."

Despite his 800 years of experience, Yoda found himself on somewhat uncertain footing. It had been a long time since he'd dealt with any children outside of the more formal context of the crèche, classrooms, or meditation gardens.

"Tea, your bondmate has already. Cookies too, perhaps," Yoda said carefully.

Obi-Wan brightened. "Oh good! We should go to Quigee's quarters. Make him tea and cookies for when he gets out."

Yoda's mind worked rapidly. Devilishly smart, these young ones could be if one wasn't careful. "Impolite, it would be, for us to enter Qui-Gon's quarters without his permission."

Obi-Wan regarded the small, green Master patiently. "But you're Master *Yoda,*" he said, as if that should explain everything.

Yoda blinked again.

"You can get into *everybody's* quarters if you want to. And Quigee won't mind. You're his Master."

Well. He couldn't really argue with that. "Very well. Come with me, you will, small one. Wait for your bondmate, we shall."

"With tea and cookies?" Obi-Wan stressed.

"With tea and cookies."

Yoda turned and started to shuffle off. Obi-Wan cast one last glance at the closed door, then scampered after the small Jedi Master. When he caught up to Yoda, he carefully grabbed one green claw in his own small hand.

Yoda's ears twitched, and he looked quizzically at the little boy.

"Gotta hold hands with your buddy when the Crèche Masters aren't around," Obi-Wan said authoritatively. "It's a rule."

"Important, rules are. Glad, I am, that you follow them. Not like your bondmate," Yoda grumbled. "Follow the rules always, he did not. Made things very difficult for his master, he sometimes did."

Obi-Wan goggled. "Quigee didn't follow the rules?" he gasped. "But Quigee *always* tells me to follow the rules."

Yoda grinned slyly, hoping to head off any incipient rebelliousness while the boy was still young. "Do as your bondmate says, you should. Doing as your bondmate does, a good idea, this sometimes is not."

"But Quigee's the bestest Jedi ever! Well, mostly," Obi-Wan hastily amended as his nascent sense of diplomacy finally caught up with his mouth.

"Hrmpf."

Despite their slow progress, they'd already arrived at Qui-Gon's quarters, thanks to Master Yoda's 800 years of familiarity with Temple shortcuts that allowed those with short legs to get to meetings on time.

Yoda reached up and placed one withered claw against the palm reader and 'nudged' the locking mechanism with the Force, encouraging it to recognize him. The door slid open obediently.

Obi-Wan scampered inside and made a beeline for the kitchen, chattering excitedly all the while. "Thanks for opening the door, Master Yoda. Do you know where Quigee keeps the tea? Prolly higher than I can reach. Can you...? Oh no you can't, we're the same size. But you're good at floating stuff, huh? So you could probably get the tea down. Oh, hey wait, these drawer handles might work..."

Like a little monkey, Obi-Wan nimbly scaled the cabinets and crawled along the counter. "Lessee, tea, tea, where does Quigee keep his tea?" He began opening cupboards, banging the doors shut enthusiastically when the tea did not appear. Yoda winced.

"Not here, not here, no tea here, oh! Tea." Obi-Wan thrust two small hands into a cupboard, stretched precariously up onto his toes. He extracted a tin that he recognized as the one that held Qui-Gon's favorite blend. As he lifted from the shelf, he lost his balance and flung out both hands to steady himself. The tin of loose tea leaves sailed through the air.

"Oops!"

Sensing a disaster in the offing, Yoda instinctively reached out with the Force and steadied the falling tin. He glanced at the imp clinging to the cabinetry, and his ears twitched in amusement. "Be more careful, you should. Still small, you are. Still learning. Afraid to ask for help, you should not be."

"Yes, Master Yoda. I'm sorry." Obi-Wan was genuinely contrite, and sincerity shone from his little face like a blinding beacon. "I just want to do something nice for Quigee. He's always so nice to me. I want to take care of him, too."

Despite his oftimes prickly demeanor, Yoda knew that deep down, he was just an 800-year-old softie. In a flash of foresight, he saw clearly how much this little child would mean to his former padawan. He could see that Obi- Wan would be Qui-Gon's salvation. He smiled gently. "Help you with the teapot, I will, when the time is right. Near the hot stove, you should not be. Very angry, Qui-Gon would be, if let you get burned, I did."

Obi-Wan nodded gravely, then his attention shifted again. "Oh yeah. Cookies. D'you know where Quigee keeps the cookies?"

Yoda searched the kitchen quickly with his mind. His ears drooped. "Sense cookies, I do not. Out of them, Qui-Gon must be."

Obi-Wan squared his shoulders. "We'll have to make some then."

Yoda blinked, off-balance again.

"Get cookies from the commissary, we could."

Obi-Wan shook his head stubbornly. "Nope. Not as good. Only the best cookies for Quigee."

Yoda glanced at the chronometer. Two and a half hours until Qui-Gon was due out of the meeting. Baking cookies should fill in that time nicely. "Teach you, I shall, how to make Qui-Gon's favorite cookies. Made them often when he was a Padawan, we did."

"Quigee's favorite? Yay!" Obi-Wan clapped his hands, nearly toppling himself off the counter in his exuberance. "What do we need for the cookies?"

Yoda smiled in spite of himself. "Flour first, small one. One of the most important ingredients in cookies, flour is."

Obi-Wan nodded seriously, studiously filing that bit of knowledge away for future use. "Flour. Hum. I wonder where Quigee keeps the flour." More banging of cupboard doors ensued.

Even though he knew where Qui-Gon kept the flour, Yoda stayed silent. It would be good for the child to do most of this himself, good for his self- confidence. Besides, he clearly wanted to do something nice for his bondmate.

At length, Obi-Wan opened a high cupboard. "Aha! Flour!" he crowed. Before Yoda could caution him, he yanked the heavy sack off the shelf, and it fell to the counter with a solid thud. A geyser of white powder erupted out of the open end, liberally dusting the small Jedi Master.

"Oops."

Yoda sneezed.

"Gosh, Master Yoda, I'm sorry. I didn't *mean* to spill." Grey-green eyes darted nervously around the kitchen as though searching for a solution to this latest problem. He smiled when his eyes lighted on the sink.

"I'll clean you up, Master Yoda. Just a minute." Obi-Wan crawled along the counter to the sink and turned on the water. He grabbed the sprayer attachment and took aim, one eye squinched shut and a small pink tongue peeking out in concentration.

Yoda's eyes widened, and his ears stood straight up in alarm. "No, no!" he said hastily. "Need a bath, I do not. Take a shower, I can, when back to my quarters I go. Thank you anyway, small one."

Obi-Wan regarded the ghostly-looking Master dubiously. "Are you sure? Master Aronna always tells me to clean up a mess right after I make it."

Very smart, Master Aronna is. Like her, I do. Good, it is, that you listen to her. But work quickly, we must, to get the cookies done for your bondmate. Leave the mess just this once, we can."

Obi-Wan nodded. "Okay, if you're sure! What else do we need?"

Yoda ran over the list of ingredients in his mind, considering the possibilities for mayhem inherent in each. "A large bowl, we will need," he said finally. "A large spoon for mixing, rolling pin, flat baking pans. Spoons for measuring, too. Find all of those, can you, hmm?"

"Find them all, I will," Obi-Wan imitated Yoda with a cheeky grin.

"Hrmpf! Get the rest of the ingredients and start the oven heating, I will." Accordingly, eggs, sugar sack, small tins of various spices and salt, and a small flask of molasses began floating through the kitchen to land safely on the counter.

A tousled red head poked out of the large cupboard into which Obi-Wan had disappeared. "How big does the bowl need to be, Master Yoda?"

"Big, yes! Biggest bowl Qui-Gon has, I think."

"Right." Obi-Wan dove back into the cupboard. A moment later, a set of small hindquarters wriggled into view, accompanied by faint sounds of exertion. All of a sudden, there was rustle and clatter, and Obi-Wan dropped to the counter with a squeak, his flailing limbs launching a large steel bowl into the air. The bowl struck the opposite countertop with a tremendous clang, the force of its impact sending one of the eggs rolling off the edge and falling to the floor with a splat.

"Oops."

Yoda sighed, and surreptitiously assembled everything else they would need. Qui-Gon might appreciate the cookies, but he highly doubted that the young Jedi Master would like to have his kitchen trashed, however good the intentions.

"Thank you, Obi-Wan. All ready to bake cookies, we are."

Obi-Wan smiled sunnily, then froze as Yoda floated him through the air and deposited him on the other countertop. "Wow, neat!"

"Reach the bowl, I cannot," Yoda said by way of explanation. "In charge of stirring, you are."

Obi-Wan puffed out his small chest and wielded a large spoon, proud to be entrusted with the responsibility of stirring Quigee's cookies. "Yes, sir, Master Yoda, sir."

Yoda's eyes twinkled. A measuring cup floated up in front of Obi-Wan. "Fill this four times with flour, small one, then once with sugar. Flour and sugar, very important, they are, if to make cookies, you wish."

Obi-Wan nodded and carefully began dipping out flour and sugar. He managed to get most of it into the bowl. As if by magic, a sharp knife was summoned from a knife block, sliced through a block of shortening, then floated carefully back to the sink, away from the child perched on the counter.

"The smaller piece, into the bowl it should go." Yoda wisely decided that he would take care of the egg.

Obi-Wan picked up the chunk of slippery white shortening with both hands. He almost got it to the bowl, but just short of his goal, the brick squished out of his grip like a wet bar of soap. "Uh-oh." It squelched against a wall and started inching slowly towards the floor.

"Oops."

Yoda took a deep breath and begged the Force for patience. He recalled the knife and cut another chunk of shortening. "Squeeze less hard this time, you should."

Obi-Wan nodded and very carefully carried the block of shortening to the bowl. He dropped it in with a cry of triumph, managing to splatter himself with a little egg and flour.

Obi-Wan's face tensed with worry.

"Worry not. Hurt the cookies, it will not, if missing a little egg they are," Yoda reassured him. "The egg and shortening, hold the cookies together, they do."

"Like glue?"

"Yes, Obi-Wan like glue. But taste better than glue, these things do."

Obi-Wan giggled.

"What else needs to go in the cookies, Master Yoda?"

Another measuring cup floated over to him. "Fill this once with milk, once with molasses."

"What's mol...molassasses?"

"Molasses, small one. Dark, it is. Sticky. Very sweet. Use it for flavor, we will."

"Dark??" Obi-Wan squeaked in dismay. They'd started learning about the Dark Side last week in meditation class.

Yoda cackled. "Dark color, small one. Not Dark Side. Impossible, it is, for cookies to lead to the Dark Side, yes?"

Obi-Wan giggled again. He picked up the heavy carafe of milk with both hands, tipping carefully and aiming for the measuring cup. He missed, and milk sloshed onto the floor, splashing against Yoda's robes.

"Oops."

Yoda's ears flattened, his legendary serenity wearing thin. One look at Obi-Wan's crestfallen expression, though, had him hurrying to reassure the boy. "Worry not, Obi-Wan. Helped clean off some of the flour, it did. Help you pour, I will, since so heavy, the milk container is."

"Thanks, Master Yoda," Obi-Wan said, relieved.

Together, they filled the cup with milk, and Obi-Wan poured it into the bowl, only splashing himself a little this time.

"Pour the molasses yourself, you can," Yoda said. "As heavy as the milk jug, this container is not."

"Okay." Obi-Wan worked the stopper out of the bottle and tilted it over the cup as Yoda shuffled over to the oven to start it heating.

Obi-Wan waited. And waited. And nothing came out. He lifted the bottle up to one eye and peered in. "I think it's stuck, Master Yoda."

"Moves very slowly, molasses does. Wait, you must," Yoda said without turning around.

Still trying to see into the bottle, Obi-Wan gave it a vigorous shake. Sure enough, a dollop of the dark, sticky stuff oozed out of the mouth of it and dropped onto his cheek.

"Oops."

Yoda whirled around in time to see Obi-Wan drag a hand across his cheek, smearing the dark liquid along his cheekbone.

"You were right, Master Yoda. It wasn't stuck," Obi-Wan said sheepishly.

Yoda cackled again as Obi-Wan carefully poured out a cup of molasses and dumped it into the bowl.

"Add the rest of the ingredients, I will. Need only very small amounts, we do."

"Okay," Obi-Wan said as he watched pinches and dashes of other powders suddenly leap from their little pots and fly towards the mixing bowl.

"Mix now, small one," Yoda said once everything was in the bowl.

Obi-Wan laid into the batter with a vengeance, stirring furiously until he was out of breath and the counter, himself, and Master Yoda were speckled with bits of golden-brown dough.

"Mixed enough, Master Yoda?"

"Yes, yes," the old Master said quickly to forestall any more of Obi-Wan's energetic mixing. "Very good at mixing, you are. Very thorough."

Obi-Wan beamed.

Yoda levitated up until he could reach the counter, then took a generous handful of flour and spread it out along the surface. "Onto the flour, the dough should go."

Obi-Wan obligingly dumped the dough out onto the counter.

Yoda grinned at the expectant child. "Time to get hands dirty, it is."

Obi-Wan giggled and plunged both hands into the dough, squishing it happily between his fingers. Yoda watched until he judged the dough had been kneaded sufficiently. The rolling pin floated over to Obi-Wan.

"Now, roll it out flat, we must."

Obi-Wan picked up the unfamiliar instrument and studied it for a moment. Apparently satisfied that he knew how it worked, he brandished it like a club, preparing to bash the cookie dough into submission.

"No, no! Wait!" Yoda cried. "Works like this, it does." He gently took the rolling pin from the child and demonstrated its proper function.

"Oh, I see. Like this?"

Obi-Wan crawled around behind the dough, took hold of the rolling pin handles, and gave a tremendous shove. The roller went easily over the dough, then continued on over the side of the counter, taking the overbalanced little boy with it. One green-clawed hand shot out and grasped the back of Obi-Wan's tunic before he could fall to the floor.

"Gently," Yoda admonished.

"Oops."

Between the two of them, they finally managed to get the dough rolled out and cut into circles. With great care, Obi-Wan arranged the circles on two cookie sheets. "Are we done?"

"Yes, small one. Wait for them to bake, we must. Put them in the oven, I will, so that burn yourself, you do not."

"Okay!"

The pans of soft molasses cookies floated over towards the oven, then maneuvered inside.

"Wow. We made a really big mess, Master Yoda."

Yoda refrained from pointing out that Obi-Wan had hardly needed his help.

"I'll clean it up!"

Still perched on the counter, Obi-Wan spun around to start gathering up the various ingredients. He knocked up against the sack of sugar, sending it crashing to the floor and spilling all over the place.

"Oops."

Yoda sighed.

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Qui-Gon exited the conference room with relief. Of all his Masterly duties, he truly hated meetings. As a diplomat much in demand, however, he couldn't avoid the diplomatic subcommittee meeting. At least it was over, finally.

As he paced through the halls, a furrow between his brows, he decided he'd stop by the crèche and visit Obi-Wan. Seeing Obi-Wan always made him feel better. As he recalled, it was the children's restday, so he wouldn't be interrupting any lessons. He changed direction and actually whistled as he headed towards the Children's Wing of the Temple. When he reached the crèche, he opened the doors to a hive of activity. Wet carpets and bedding were hanging from lines strung across the room, and a heap of paint- splattered clothing and linens waited in one corner to be taken to the laundry. Crèche Masters and crèchelings alike were scrubbing away at stains on the walls and floor.

"Master Jinn?" a familiar voice asked, he turned to see a frazzled Master Aronna approaching him. "Is everything alright with Obi-Wan?"

"Obi-Wan? I was just coming to visit him," Qui-Gon answered the woman who'd raised him in the crèche.

Aronna blanched. "You mean he's not with you?" she gasped. "Oh dear. We had a bit of an accident earlier, and I'm afraid he slipped out during all the fuss. I was sure he'd go to you..."

Qui-Gon's eyes went unfocused for a moment. "Don't worry, Master Aronna. He's fine. He probably did come looking for me, but I was in meetings all afternoon. In fact," he said, a grin growing on his face, "he's in my quarters with Master Yoda."

"Master Yoda?? Oh, dear. I can just see the Council reprimand now."

"No, no, don't worry. The old troll has taken a fancy to Obi-Wan. I wonder how he made out with an afternoon of babysitting. Well, you've got enough to do here. I'll keep Obi-Wan out of your way until this evening."

"Thank you, Qui-Gon. I appreciate it." She turned back to supervise the clean-up efforts.

As Qui-Gon strode towards the door, he was stopped by a small hand tugging at his robe. He turned to see two small human boys staring up at him with wide eyes. Aware that he looked even larger from their vantage point, he crouched down to address them.

"Yes, children? What can I do for you?"

"Um, Master Jinn, sir? We were wondering if Obi sent you to get us." The child had a hopeful expression on his face.

Qui-Gon was puzzled. "Sent me to get you? Why, little one?"

The other boy piped up. "He promised to teach us some new saber stuff if we helped him escape," he chirped blithely. Then a horrified expression came over his face. "Oh, no. I wasn't s'posed to tell."

Qui-Gon looked at the two children, then at the mess in the crèche, then back at the two worried little faces in front of him.

"You can't blame Obi-Wan," the first child said quickly. "He really misses you, 'specially on restdays when we don't have much to do. He just wanted to visit, but the Crèche Masters watch us awful close on restdays. He couldn't get away. So we helped."

Qui-Gon glanced again at the wet, colorful mess and started to laugh. Only Obi-Wan... "What are your names, you young rascals?" he asked, his blue eyes twinkling.

"I'm Garen," the first child said, "and this is Reeft."

"Well, Garen and Reeft, I'm just on my way to collect Obi-Wan now. Would you like to come with me? I think all three of you need to hear about *proper* ways to ask to leave the crèche. And then maybe we could have a saber lesson, hmm? What do you say?"

The boys' expressions went from worried to delighted in a heartbeat. "Oh please? Can we?" they chorused.

"Yes, but first you have to *ask* Master Aronna's permission. Not escape."

"Okay!" They hurried off and returned shortly with the Master in tow.

"Qui? Are you sure you want to deal with these two as well?"

Garen stared nervously at Qui-Gon, imploring the young Master with his eyes not to give anything away to Master Aronna.

"No trouble at all, Master Aronna. They're Obi-Wan's friends, and all three of them could probably stand to be run around a training salle a few times."

Master Aronna's eyes narrowed, then she grinned in sudden understanding. "Aha, yes. I do believe you're right," she said, deciding to let Qui-Gon handle this if he was so inclined.

Qui-Gon extended a large hand to each of Obi-Wan's friends. "Let's go, boys. Obi-Wan is in my quarters with Master Yoda."

The two boys' eyes went wide. "With *Master Yoda?!*"

"Yes. Master Yoda was my master, you know."

"Wow!" they breathed as they left the crèche.

It didn't take them long to reach Qui-Gon's quarters, and the young Jedi was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with the sweet scent of freshly baked molasses cookies. "Master?" he called as they rounded the corner into the kitchen. His eyes widened when he saw the mess. "What the Force...?"

A broom and dustpan were moving across the floor of their own volition, apparently guided by a colossally irritated Master Yoda, who stood off to one side with his arms folded. The little Master was covered with flour and sugar, his robes splashed with milk.

Obi-Wan was on all fours up on one of the countertops, scrubbing dutifully at the sugar, egg, and flour splattered there. He looked up when Qui-Gon came into view.

"Quigee!" he cried delightedly as he leapt off the counter.

Qui-Gon deftly caught his sticky little bondmate in mid-air. "What have you been up to today, Imp?" he asked, trying to be stern, but unable to rein in his smile. He took Obi-Wan's damp cloth and gently wiped the molasses off the boy's soft cheek.

Obi-Wan flung his arms around Qui-Gon's neck. "Master Yoda and me made your favorite cookies! He said you had meetings, and you always get unhappy after meetings, so I said we should do something nice for you. To make you feel better."

Qui-Gon's eyes softened, and he hugged Obi-Wan tightly. "Thank you, Imp. You take such good care of me."

Obi-Wan looked down. "Oh hiya, Garen! Hi Reeft! Can they have cookies, too, Quigee?"

Qui-Gon sighed. "Yes, Imp, they can have cookies. Then you need clean clothes, and then we'll all head for a training salle for saber lessons, how about that?"

"Oh, goody!" Obi-Wan wriggled happily in Qui-Gon's arms as Garen and Reeft echoed his approval of the plan.

The young Master turned to thank Yoda for watching his bondmate all afternoon. "Master..."

Yoda cut him off with one raised claw. One ear twitched, sending a puff of powdery flour into the air. "Owe me one, you do," Yoda said firmly.

Qui-Gon chuckled. "Yes, Master."

Fin