Ignorance was no excuse. He hadn't even *considered* it, and the fact that his Master had not pushed now said more to him than any explanation could have.

Whatever he wanted, Qui-Gon had given him. Love, acceptance, comfort, and then freedom.

And he had repaid it by throwing that love back in the older man's face, choosing instead to dally with women he didn't care for, and to profess his love for someone he could now barely stand to see.

Each circuit of the room took him a few steps closer to his Master's bedroom door.

All of his things were in it, everything he owned that had not been on his person when he died.

Despite urging, Obi-Wan had failed to clear it out and claim the slightly larger room as his own.

When Anakin became his Padawan officially, which could be any time in the next few months, he would have to do that.

But for now it remained, a silent shrine to his failure.

Stopping now before the door itself, he pushed it open with a touch of the Force.

The bed was made, the desk cleared, the wardrobe tidy.

So like his Master.

With a sigh of resignation he walked in and lay down on the bed, scarcely disturbing the wrinkleless spread.

Perhaps if he slept here he wouldn't feel alone tonight.


Qui-Gon used the Force to toss the tray of food across the room. The effort cost him more than he would have liked, but it made a most satisfactory mess.

"I will *not* eat until I can see my...until I can see Obi-Wan. I have told you all that." And keeping his voice calm took even more effort.

Estern's face, as usual, was without expression. "If you do not eat, we will find other ways to feed you."

"I will sabotage them. You know I can." He looked at her and at Aribl.

"What would you have us do? It is not up to us to tell Obi-Wan."

"Talk to the council, then. It was important for them to bring me back from the dead; surely it is important for them to keep me alive."

"Healer, perhaps we should do as Master Jinn says? He is no longer healing."

"I will not permit us to be blackmailed, Nurse, no matter how important the patient *thinks* he is." She cast one more look at the mess on the wall and swept out in a flurry of dark velvet.

Aribl picked up the cleaning device that now remained in Qui-Gon's room and began taking care of the smashed tray. "She is in charge of your case, Master. I can no more go against her wishes than I can go against the council's."

"Do you know where Obi-Wan is?"

"Yes, of course. He's teaching now, until his Padawan is ready for training."

"He's in pain. I can feel it, even without the teaching bond."Qui-Gon found himself clenching his covers ashe said those words.

Aribl's full lips narrowed. He stood still for a moment, his cleaning task done, and then nodded. "He hurts. He's been told one thing by the people he trusts most in the universe and he senses something else. The contradiction is tearing him apart. I shouldn't be telling you this."

"But you are."

He nodded. "Because your lack of knowledge is impeding your healing. Healer Estern is one of the best physicians and surgeons we have, but she doesn't recognize the mind as playing a role." He bit his lips. "The council is wrong. Whate