"Would you mind telling me why I was just ran into a visibly upset Padawan in the meditation gardens?" Mace Windu asked after Qui-Gon opened the door.

Qui-Gon stood there for a moment, merely looking at his friend. "What?" he asked eventually.

Mace managed to not roll his eyes at his friend. "Can I come in at least?"

Standing to the side, Qui-Gon waited for Mace enter. Once the door was closed, he asked, "Would you like some tea?"

After taking a seat, Mace shook his head. "No, Qui. I'd like some answers."

"About?" Qui-Gon asked, taking a cup of tea and sitting in his chair.

At that, Mace did roll his eyes. "I can only hope you're pretending to be this dense."

Qui-Gon shook his head. "What do you want me to say, Mace?"

Mace leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "The truth. It's usually a good place to start. Why was Obi-Wan so upset?"

He rubbed a hand over his face and sat the untouched cup of tea down. "I told him I knew how he felt."

"Qui-Gon, Masters are supposed to know how their Padawan's are feeling. That's why we're the Masters."

"Now who's being dense, Windu?" Qui-Gon asked, a fleeting grin on his face.

Mace nodded. "That doesn't tell me why he's upset. Everyone in the garden was giving him a wide berth."

Qui-Gon took a deep breath before replying. "He thought I was upset by his feelings. That they bothered me. So he left before we could discuss it."

"So he doesn't know?" Mace asked.

"Doesn't know what?" Qui-Gon replied, shaking his head.

The Council member laughed, "Ah yes, the Qui-Gon ignorance defense." He reached over and tapped him on the side of his head. "I know you, my friend, better than you'd like at times. Better than you seem to know yourself at others." He grinned. "I may be on the Council, all stuffy and whatnot, but you I know. I've seen you together, you cannot forget that."

"He's young . . ." Qui-Gon began.

Windu laughed. With a wink he said, "And you're old. Balance in all things you know."

Qui-Gon couldn't help but laugh. "I'm not old."

"You only act it when you let a suffering Padawan sit in the gardens alone."

Qui-Gon shook his head. "He needs time to think."

"It looks to me like he's had that. He asked Yoda for advice didn't he?"

Qui-Gon grimaced. "And therein lies the problem."

"Yes, well," Mace said, "short green trolls aren't always on top of things in matters of the heart."

"But you are?" Qui-Gon asked with a laugh.

Mace nodded. "Of course. Why do you think I always had more dates than you did?" When Qui-Gon opened his mouth to reply, Windu interrupted him. "Go talk to him, Qui. He's had enough time to think."

"I . . ." Qui-Gon was interrupted by a knock on the door. "Just a moment," he said to Mace before standing and walking over to the door.

"Yes?" he asked the young Padawan that stood in the doorway.

The Padawan bowed slightly before handing Qui-Gon a datapad. "Message for you Master Jinn."

"Thank you, Padawan," Qui-Gon replied. The youth then bowed and left.

After reading the message, Qui-Gon dropped his hand to his side but didn't move. A moment later, Mace stood. "What is it?"

Qui-Gon looked at his friend. "Obi-Wan has requested a room change."

"Go talk to Obi-Wan. I'll deal with that," Mace said, reaching for the datapad.

"No," Qui-Gon said, tucking the pad inside his cloak. "I'll handle it."

Mace's eyes narrowed. "Qui . . . Don't even think about it."

"I have to," he replied.

Grant request.

Don't grant request.