When Qui-Gon returned his attention to whatever had so captured his attention, Obi-Wan walked over to the couch. He dropped down onto it, not bothering with removing his robe. Instead, he sat staring intently at the back of his Master's head for several long moments. The thought that Qui-Gon would lie to him caught him off guard, and burned in his chest.

If Qui-Gon noticed Obi-Wan's scrunity, he gave no sign. Taking a deep breath, Obi-Wan stood. He let his cloak fall onto the couch, forgotten.

Silently, he walked over to where Qui-Gon was sitting. "Master, what is wrong?" He hoped that Qui-Gon would take the opening, bring into the light whatever was going on.

Qui-Gon turned in his seat, and Obi-Wan found himself with the uncommon vantage point of looking down at his master. "Obi-Wan, why do you assume anything is wrong?" The Jedi Master closed his eyes, and Obi-Wan could read the frustration on Qui-Gon's face.

Obi-Wan pulled back half a step, but refused to back down. He reached out along their bond, only to be blocked by thick shields on Qui-Gon's end. When he was sure his Master had felt the touch, Obi-Wan nodded. "That, Master." Obi-Wan gestured with a quick tilt of his head. "That is what tells me something is wrong."

Obi-Wan's prior unease over his feelings for his Master was forgotten, at least for the moment. In its stead was another unease, that Qui-Gon was keeping something from him.

Obi-Wan crossed his arms, and his Master sighed. "Obi-Wan, some stones are best left unturned."

"And some lessons are best left unlearned." Obi-Wan watched as Qui-Gon's eyes widened at his forward statement. "Master." He added the latter a few heartbeats later. "Such as the act of shutting out one's student."

"Obi-Wan . . ."

Obi-Wan recognized the hard tone to Qui-Gon's voice, but in that moment chose to ignore it. He steeled his reserves, and raised his own shields. He held his shoulders straight and forced himself to focus on the moment. "A wise man once told me that when a student was able to teach the master, the bond was true. Perhaps you know him, I've not seen him today."

His Master didn't reply immediately, and Obi-Wan watched as he released a steadying breath. He easily recognized the motion, Qui-Gon was letting go of his emotions into the Force. Qui-Gon then shook his head, his eyes suddenly cold. "Padawan, you might wish to rethink that."

"Then tell me what is wrong." Obi-Wan's voice changed, taking on a pleading air; his eyes, however, were calm. "What are you hiding?" He dared reach out, and lay a hand on his Master's shoulder.

The older Jedi shook his head. "Nothing that should concern you."

"I don't believe you." The plea was gone, replaced with a tone that bordered on coldness.

Qui-Gon stood suddenly, the chair tipping over onto the floor behind him. "I did not ask for your beliefs on the matter, Padawan."

The two Jedi stood toe to toe; however the position left Obi-Wan at a distinct height disadvantage. Still, he wouldn't back down. "Yet you ask for my trust?"

"No more than you ask of me." Qui-Gon's voice didn't raise above a normal level, but Obi-Wan could see the emotions firing in his blue eyes.

Obi-Wan shook his head, short jerky movements. "What has that to do with anything?"

"Everything, my Padawan." Obi-Wan looked at his Master, his confusion showing on his face. The hostility seemed to drain from Qui-Gon before Obi-Wan's eyes.


Turning, Qui-Gon leaned over and righted the chair. Once that was done, he again sat down. "What troubles you so, my Obi-Wan?"

The fire was gone from Qui-Gon's voice, leaving him to sound almost . . . defeated. Obi-Wan's confusion continued to grow. He broke from Qui-Gon's steady gaze, and glanced around their quarters. Suddenly, his previous unease returned and he licked his lips nervously.

Qui-Gon's gaze was drawn to the unconscious action. "You've been worrying over something for some while now, and I've stayed back, thinking you would come to me if you found questions you could not answer. Instead you turned to my Master. What is it that you feel you cannot come to me for help?"

"Master . . ." Obi-Wan let the word drag out, torn as to what he should say. He shook his head, determined. "I asked you first, Master."

Qui-Gon reveals what he's hiding.

Qui-Gon doesn't reveal what he's hiding.