Title: Any Good Author: River_Stone Timeframe: Set just before the JA book ? The Rising Force? Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi Genre: Pure angst Summary: A short vignette on Qui-Gon?s thoughts as to why a certain Initiate should not be put into his care. Author?s Note: Correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar are foreign concepts that do not dare to intrude upon my writing. Be forewarned! ****(*****)**** I?ve seen it, you know ? the way you feel about me: I see it brimming under the surface of your turquoise eyes, feel it radiating from the warm light that makes up your being. I don?t understand why you feel that I am destined to be your Master, why you feel the precious bundle of your heart belongs in my polluted hands, but that was never my decision. If it were, I would tell you to stop. I can?t allow you to feel for me because I will never be able to feel for you. Your bright presence cannot thaw the depths of emotions that froze at the turning of my former apprentice; your gently warming laughter cannot resuscitate my own. You would become but a barrier, locking me in my duty as a Master to a world in which I have no desire to remain. I would resent you for that. I will push you away with everything I could have once given you, as a wounded animal pushes away one who tries to treat it. I will fight you with a desperate passion, for that is the only feeling left in the empty caverns of my heart. I cannot be what you need. In my weaker moments I contemplate what it is that draws you to me. There is so little left in me that I wonder what it is that you see. I wonder if you have fallen for the shroud of tranquillity I cloak myself in, if you have fallen for a mask - a ghost playing at living - and nothing more. But somehow I know that is not true. You are different from the others. You might be able to save me. I will not allow it. I will not shatter your great potential with ill equipped teachings and a heart turned to sickness. In your eyes I see the thousands of ways in which I could fail you, all the ways in which your bright, vibrant spirit could be crushed under the heavy dormancy of my own. I will not allow it, no matter how many times I feel your spirit crack under each curt and unwarranted rejection. Somehow, I have made you love me. And I cannot allow that. It hurts too much. I am afraid, afraid of what would happen if I fall into your embrace and you unlock the mysteries of my heart and mind; afraid that you will see the darkness coalescing within me and be destroyed by it, too. No, it?s best that you keep your distance, and that I retain mine. Best that whatever part of me remains, remains hidden. Because none of it is any good.