A/N: Hi everyone, I'm taking on Dodo123's 100 themes challenge. The first one is love. Hope you enjoy!

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"Halt?" Will asked, experimentally.

His mentor was going through reports on the verandah, and he merely grunted, which Will took as assent.

"Can I ask you a question?"

"You just did."

"Do you love me?"

"What?" Halt's head snapped up, and he turned his dark eyes on Will.

"Do—you—love—me?"

"Where do you get these questions, boy?"

"Why are you trying to get out of it?" Will asked back.

Halt tried another tactic. "How unusual. It seems like the water barrel's empty. We'll just have to fetch some."

"Halt, stop it!"

"The water's waiting . . ."

"Oh, come on, Halt! It's just a question."

"Go!" Halt said, making a shooing motion. "I've got reports to look at."

Will could see that it was a lost cause—for now. Maybe he would try again later . . .

AT NIGHT:

Halt was feeling more irritation by the second. The boy had continuously asked the same silly question, all day long! Now Halt was making another cup of coffee for himself; the constant questioning had given him a headache. In the afternoon, after Will had interrogated him about a million times, without paying attention to what he was doing, Halt's temper had reached it's breaking point.

"When you act like this, no I don't!" He had yelled at his apprentice. But he was regretting it now, as he sipped his coffee. The boy had been unusually subdued and solemn after that. He'd even gone to bed early!

As he walked past Will's room, Halt stopped abruptly. The boy was saying something, so he listened by the door.

"Halt doesn't love me? He doesn't? The person I care about the most doesn't love me?"

Halt could have happily banged his own head against the wall. Why did he only take the things that weren't meant to be taken seriously, literally? Acting on impulse, Halt quietly opened the door and stepped in. "Will, what is it?"

"It doesn't matter to you anyways."

"Don't be stupid, boy! Of course it does!"

"Then why—"

"You're not serious, are you?" Will merely nodded.

"Boy, just because I said that, doesn't mean it's true!"

"So you lied?"

"I know you know what I meant. Why wouldn't I love you?"

"So you do love me?" The boy's eyes were shining, and Halt couldn't resist the impulse to say something.

"Look, if I didn't love you, I would never put up with such an annoying apprentice such as yourself!"

Will smiled. "And I love you too, Halt, even with that grim humor of yours. It brings a special light into my day!"

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So, did you like it? Please R&R!