Tomorrow Can Wait (JA) : New post 23rd Feb!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Jemmiah, Aug 16, 2001.

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  1. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    By the time Qui-Gon returned to his apartment it was extremely late on in the evening. The lights were turned on at the highest setting, causing Qui-Gon once again to shield his eyes as Obi-Wan opened the door to admit him.

    "Did you make up the spare bed?" Qui-Gon said in a low voice little higher than a whisper.
    "Yes," Obi-Wan nodded grimly, "not that it's made much difference. Look." He nodded over to the dining area where Jemmiah was in the process of washing up the dishes left from earlier that day. "I asked her not to but she insisted. Said if she couldn't go back to her place she may as well make herself useful."

    Qui-Gon strode through to the partitioned area of the room that housed the kitchen units. Jemmiah continued to ignore him for the time being, something he was quite prepared for. Keeping busy was one thing but keeping busy at all times of the day or night smacked frankly of someone who was desperate not to face up to the truth. Well, she'd run away from the truth for most of her life, he considered silently, so there was no reason for her to stop now?

    "Jemmiah, what do you think you are doing?" he asked in a level voice.
    "Washing the dishes." She replied succinctly. "Somebody never cleaned up from earlier today so I thought I might as well do it."
    "Put them down." Qui-Gon commanded her, his voice leaving no room for debate.

    Jemmiah picked up the remainder and placed them in the hot water, before drying her hands on a nearby towel. "You should really get a washer installed." She avoided his eyes.
    "That's what Obi-Wan is there for." Answered Qui-Gon, although the humor in his voice seemed somewhat hollow. "Please sit down. I need to discuss something with you."
    "I thought you were going to discuss whatever it was in the morning." Jemmy added pointedly.
    "I was. However you actions have demanded that I talk to you tonight. Padawan," he looked over his shoulder to where the still plainly concerned Obi-Wan hovered by the door, "make Jemmiah a cup of cocoa if you please."
    "Can't." Jemmy shrugged. "An-Paj says I'm not allowed it. And I'm not allowed tea either or anything with caf in it. Infact I'm just about sworn off everything right now so I wouldn't bother."

    Why did Qui-Gon get the feeling Jemmiah was determined to make this as difficult for him as possible?

    "Obi-Wan, please bring Jemmiah a glass of caf-free, cocoa free water from the dispenser." He gave him a look that suggested he'd better take his time getting it, too. Obi-Wan replied with a nod, only too happy to leave.

    The master turned to face Jemmiah.

    "I know this must be exceptionally difficult for you right now but I think you aren't giving yourself the time you need to think about what has happened." Qui-Gon tried not to let his words sound like a rebuke of any kind, rather friendly advice. "Sooner or later you have to accept the unpleasant truth of this evening."
    "I have accepted it." Jemmy's voice was as low as his.

    "I've seen no evidence for this, infact far from the contrary." Rejoined Qui-Gon, trying to gauge her feelings once more. "Jemmiah, death is never an easy thing to cope with but unless you face up to it you will never be able to move on. Evla's gone." He put a hand on her shoulder, trying to get her to at least think about how she felt. "There's nothing we can do to alter it. You do understand this?" his voice dropped lower still.

    "Did you know?" she asked suddenly.
    "Did I know what?" Qui-Gon felt the sure ground he was standing on began to crumble beneath him. "That Evla was going to die?"

    He could feel her watching him intensely and he inwardly marvelled at the way she had managed to turn the tables on him. Instead of her being the focus of attention it was all about him.

    //Very smart trick, Tangles// he admitted. //But it won't work.//

    "Yes I did." His mouth felt slightly dry. "I've known since before we left Coruscant onboard the Kaligari."
    "I see." She replied matter-of-factly. "And when were you going to tell me this? Or was I never supposed to find out."
    "That's a little unfair,
  2. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    Wow!! I know I keep saying the same thing over and over... how amazing you write emotions, how you elicit them from readers...
    making us feel so close to your characters.

    Fantastic post. :) :)
  3. KSkywalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 3
    I agree with the above statements!! That was a very well written post!!
  4. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Valorum left the droids clearing up the inevitable debris from the party, happy in the knowledge that the event had been a considerable success. It had been exceedingly difficult to top the event he had staged last year, but with many of the senators holding their own versions of the much aped Coruscant Charity dinner dance he couldn't afford to be lax lest he be found wanting in comparison. Everything had gone really well, although Valorum hadn't thought much of the catering and he made a mental note never to award any further contracts to them. Stand up buffets and dancing never seemed to mix well in his opinion. Next year it would be a sitting down affair, if he could persuade Corrine it was for the best.

    He'd been disappointed that Senator Lesell's wife hadn't made it to the dance. She was always a good conversationalist and witty in the extreme, gracing any such gathering with her superlative elegance and humor.

    Qui-Gon's girl hadn't turned up either, and for a reason he couldn't fathom that bothered him greatly. Maybe it was because he still felt so very guilty that the suffering felt by the temple and some of his own personal staff had been as a result of the Kaligari - HIS ship - crashing onto the moon of Urior. He recalled the impudent face of the ten year old girl he had first seen confined to a wheel chair, having escaped from the infirmary and then remembered the fresh faced youngster that had so enchanted him at the Ball last year.

    Jinn had said she was ill. Maybe he should send her some flowers? Some gift to cheer her up, and salvage his own conscience in the process? Yes, that seemed like a perfect idea. He'd send one of his staff to see to it in the morning.

    A small shadow stood by his shoulder, causing Valorum to turn round.

    "Ah, Corrine." he smiled at his daughter. "That went well, I believe."
    "Yes, I suppose it did." She shrugged as she surveyed the mess in the room, the cleaning droids flying back and forth to clear away the worst of the mess. "Most people went away with a very good impression."
    "Most?" echoed the Chancellor. "And who exactly didn't have a good impression?"

    "Oh, you know what people are like." Corrine stared down at the piece of cold and rubbery pizza, which had somehow managed to attach itself to the heel of her shoe. "Senator Rowli was making one or two uncomplimentary noises about the venue. Senator Urraxal moaned about the food because he has special dietary requirements. Senator Palpatine oozed charm and flattery one moment and declared the whole thing highly tedious with his next breath."

    "Pay them no heed." Valorum placed a hand on his daughter's shoulder. "You did very well. I was proud to have you with me today. I wish the same could be said for your brother?"
    "Don't let's start that again, father." Corrine begged him with tired eyes. "I just want to sleep now. It's too late to argue."
    "Agreed." Valorum nodded sadly at her. "You see? It is you who would have made the better politician!"

    She scraped the heel of her shoe casually against the leg of the table in an effort to rid herself of the demon pizza wedge.

    "You look a bit?" he tried to find the word. "Down. Is something the matter?"
    "No." Corrine shook her head firmly. "Should it be?"

    "I was reliably informed that you were having a good time dancing with a young man whilst I was talking to Senator Rowli." He peered into her eyes and caught the sadness that lay therein. "So why the long face?"

    "I got stood up." Corrine looked away, annoyed. "I didn't even get to ask his name. I told him to wait for me whilst I went to powder my nose. When I come back - he's gone! My night sort of took a dip after that."
    "If he can stand up a girl as beautiful as you he's probably not worth knowing." Valorum smiled fondly. "Put him from your mind. You're mature enough to bounce back from a slight of this fashion."

    "I am, yes." Corrine agreed readily. "It was just?off-putting, I suppose. And what about you?" she swiftly turned the tables on her father in an effort to deflect the attention away from
  5. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    Corrine seems like a perfectly wonderful girl, but she should just forget about the young man she danced with. He has other things on his mind... unfortunately. :( :(

    And her dirty old-man of a father shouldn't even be thinking about a girl Jemmy's age!!

    Wonderful post!!! :) :)
  6. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
  7. mouse2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 1999
    star 4
    Jemmy you're going to have to face matters sooner or later! Keeping the same routine and hoping it'll go away won't work!

    And Valorum you need to start thinking with that brain that's IN YOUR HEAD! And Corrine just forget about Obi!! Please??
  8. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    I like Corrine. Not that I don't like Jemmy, but I also like Corrine. Still, I suppose I'd better get used to feeling sorry for her, because she certainly won't have a happy future with the young man who stood her up.

    *sigh*

    Oh, Valorum, grow up! Act your age--no! Act Yoda's age. Then you won't have girl problems.
  9. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Just a short post tonight...

    **********

    The next thing Qui-Gon was aware of was the light trying to creep under the woven bamboo leaf blinds in his room. He wasn't sure when he'd finally managed to get to sleep but the night had flown with untypical swiftness, leaving him blinking the sleep out of his eyes whilst staring up at the ceiling.

    //Should have bushed my hair last night.// he thought drowsily. //Why didn't I? What was so important that I went to bed without taking care to?oh, of course. I remember now. The dancing?the trip to the infirmary?Evla.//

    He could actually sense Obi-Wan up and moving about in his room. Qui-Gon squinted at the chrono in surprise.

    //Awake so early, padawan? That is not like you at all?I usually have to throw a bucket of freezing water on you before you will even consider getting out of bed.//

    It must be because of Jemmiah.

    The force revealed nothing that indicated whether Jemmiah was awake or asleep at first and Qui-Gon supposed he was still too tired to pick up on her weaker presence. He hoped she had managed to get some sleep during the night. Having to discuss sensitive matters with an overwrought and overtired teenager wasn't something he particularly looked forward to at the best of times, and it was certainly not that right now.

    Qui-Gon stood up, stretched and then looked round for his robe.

    He found Obi-Wan was already in the kitchen (well, if he wasn't in his bedroom Qui-Gon supposed it was the next logical place he would be) and pouring himself a glass of fruit juice. The young man looked tired too, although Qui-Gon didn't imagine for a moment that he had tossed and turned all night with his mind on the sad affairs of that evening. Obi-Wan would cheerfully sleep through a galactic crisis if given the chance. Maybe that was why he was looking so abashed now, feeling that perhaps he ought to have shown a little more concern than he had.

    "Morning, Obi-Wan." Qui-Gon nodded over to him. "Sleep okay?"
    "I, er?yes." He admitted quietly. "I did."
    "Glad to hear it." Qui-Gon looked through to the door that led off to the spare room. "Jemmiah not up yet?"

    Even before the words had left his mouth Qui-Gon already knew the answer.

    "She's not here, master." Obi-Wan fixed him with an unhappy look. "I went to see if she was okay this morning and she was gone. Although she hadn't been gone that long because her bed was still warm."
    "Any idea where she went?" Qui-Gon asked.
    "I would guess she want back to her own place." Obi-Wan shrugged. "I did think about going round but I thought she might like to have some time to herself. She doesn't seem very comfortable round here."

    //Damn!// Qui-Gon thought silently. //Damn, damn, damn?this makes things even more complicated than before. It would have been so much easier if I could have talked with her here. On her own territory she will pay me little heed at all. Not that she ever did.//

    He could see Obi-Wan sympathetically following his thoughts and sighed deeply.

    "I'm going to grab a quick shower and then afterwards I'll go round and see what she's up to." Qui-Gon wandered over to the fresher room, his padawan staring after him.

    "Master, I made you some toast!" Obi-Wan protested. "It will get cold."
    "You have it, thank you padawan." Qui-Gon replied before closing the door behind him.

    Usually Obi-Wan would have snatched at the bread before Qui-Gon had ceased speaking but this time he just stared mournfully at the slices in the wooden rack.

    "For one of the few times in my life," he morosely eyed the bits of bread before him, "I don't have any appetite."

    *************

    Qui-Gon was used to battles and clashes of will with Jemmiah and had been almost from the start, usually as a result of two determined and stubborn minds refusing to back down on matters of personal importance. This morning was no different.

    After his shower the master had quickly contacted Leona to enquire about the funeral arrangements before setting off to the floor above where Jemmiah's apartment was
  10. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    *heavy sigh*

    Jemmy, you're not doing yourself any good at all. Forty minutes standing around ringing the doorbell?? I would have gone insane be then!! :) :)

    Poor Obi-Wan too. It must be a first for him to refuse to eat.

    Fabulous post Jemmy!!!
  11. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    I just love stubborn Jedi! Go, Qui, go!

    Obi-Wan must really be in a bad way if he's lost his appetite.
  12. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Qui-Gon looked about him. The room was exactly the same as he remembered it except for the large box of opened chocolates lying on the carpet and the bottle on its side not too far away. Jemmiah went back to kneeling on the floor beside a bucket, which seemed to contain some kind of stain removal agent - which by the look of it wasn't working particularly well. The patch the girl had been scrubbing was damp and the vague pink stain still visible even inspite of all the rubbing and mopping Jemmiah had done.

    "See?" Jemmy pointed at it. "Now what do I do?"
    "I suggest you start by actually finishing off the conversation we were having last night. The one you sneaked away to avoid."
    "That's not true!" Jemmy snapped at him. "If that was the case then why did I open the door?"
    "Because you got sick of hearing me ringing!" answered Qui-Gon. "Now will you please have the decency to actually look as if you are listening to me?"

    Jemmiah huffed audibly and threw the cloth into the soapy bucket in disgust, turning round to face him.

    "Thank you." Qui-Gon lowered his voice. "There's a lot I have to say but I think I should start by mentioning the arrangements for the funeral tomorrow."

    He watched her eyes shoot wide open in shock.

    "So soon?" Jemmy wondered. "That's a bit quick, isn't it? Sheesh, it's a wonder they actually allow you to die before they get rid of you!"
    "Jemmiah," Qui-Gon continued gently, "I spoke with Leona and the healers have released Evla's body for cremation tomorrow."
    "That means the usual jedi ceremony of standing around watching the corpse disintegrate into tiny mounds of smouldering ash, doesn't it?" Jemmy asked sourly.
    "That's a bit crude, but yes." Admitted Qui-Gon.
    "I'm not going."

    This time it was Qui-Gon's turn to be amazed.

    "What do you mean, you're not going?" Jinn stared in disbelief. "You have to go! You are the chief mourner."
    "There will be enough people there without me." Jemmy shrugged. "I won't be missed."
    "That's where you are wrong. People will expect to see you." Qui-Gon insisted.
    "Then they will be disappointed."
    "I see." Qui-Gon blew out an irritated breath. "And what selfish reasons do you have for not attending, hmmm? Or will you arrange another stain on the carpet that demands your urgent attention?"

    "I am NOT being selfish." Jemmiah stopped herself - only just- from reaching for the bucket of detergent and upending it over him. "Going to a cremation has never been a high priority of mine. I can think of more pleasant ways to spend the day than that. If I want to see burning flesh I'll go to a barbecue!"

    "You are just running away from the truth." Qui-Gon replied grimly. "Nobody likes these affairs but they have to be done. Evla was a jedi and she will be subject to the same ceremony that all the other jedi in the temple will have. You might well find it distasteful. It's not pleasant and I have never pretended it is," Qui-Gon stared directly into her eyes, "but you WILL attend tomorrow. If you won't do it for me you will do it for Evla. This funeral will help you come to terms with Evla's death. It will help you close that chapter in your life. I'm not saying you will forget, but you will be able to go on from there. Don't shove this away like you have everything else."

    "Maybe I don't want to close that chapter." Jemmy mumbled. "Maybe I'm not ready. I don't need a service to remember Evla. I'd sooner go off on my own and remember her in my own way."
    "That's the worst thing you could do." Qui-Gon shook his head. "Don't lock everyone away from your life. At times like this you need people around you."
    "And don't I get a say in what I do or do not need?" Jemmiah asked him bitterly. "If I choose to keep myself to myself that's my business."
    "I'm only trying to help." Qui-Gon reached out a hand to tidy her hair, only to have Jemmiah pull away from him.
    "Well, you're not helping me." She growled at him, watching his face cloud over with a mixture of hurt disappointment and annoyance. "Look, OKAY! I'LL GO TO YOUR STUPID FUNERAL! Does that please you?
  13. KSkywalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 3
    Poor Qui-Gon!! :_| :_| He's trying so hard to help Jemmiah, and she doesn't want any part of it!
  14. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Don't worry about Quiggy! He'll be okay! :)

    Well...until TPM anyway. :(
  15. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    Oh, you just have to remind us of that huh?!? ;) :) ;)

    That did seem a low blow... Qui's last comment. But maybe Jemmy will know so cry and release some of the emotions she's holding in....I know probably just wushful thinking on my part! :) :)

    Fabbo post Jemmy!!! :) :)
  16. juwannajedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2000
    star 4
  17. mouse2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 1999
    star 4
    Poor Qui-Gon and poor Jemmy!!

    But you would have thought that after all these years that Qui-Gon wouldn't try and order Jemmy to do something in that tone of voice. It just makes her dig her heels in deeper and then they start to fight.

    But I've got a feeling that they'll both get things straightened out. WOnderful Jem!! :) :) :)
  18. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    Poor Jemmiah! She's going to be looking for something else to take her mind off the unpleasant facts of life, isn't she, some other excuse not to think, not to remember, not to feel? I hope she doesn't find it.

    I loved the word "friery".
  19. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Jemmiah took a few steadying breaths and forced herself to calm down.

    Trust Qui-Gon to go out of his way and annoy her. Trust him to interfere where she didn't want it. Trust him to care when she didn't deserve it.

    Evla was gone.

    Despite what Qui-Gon seemed to think she understood it and accepted it. Death had followed her around from an early age, infact she remembered on one occasion when she was about three or so being really, really sick and feeling convinced looking back on that time she should have succumbed. In a way she felt as if she'd been cheating time ever since. She'd seen people cut down around her, the captain and the crew of the ship that had crashed on Nargotria some twelve years before, her brother, various friends down the years that had been surplus to requirement?then just about everybody.

    Why did the word jinx spring to mind?

    The worst of what had happened on Nargotria had culminated in the death of her own mother, through illness according to one of her friends, although given the mortality record of that place Jemmiah had her doubts as to the truth of that sugar coated statement. She'd never had the chance to say goodbye to her and even though they were not as close as Jemmiah would have wished she would still have liked that chance. With Evla it was just the same. If only she had told her before?there were so many things she could have spoken to her about. Whilst she realized Evla was gone for good, the still numb part of her found it totally unbelievable.

    She was on her own. Again.

    The shock had passed. The anger was lurking underneath the surface and Qui-Gon, knowing her as he did, had sought to get her to release that anger by goading her into doing so. It had very nearly worked too. What he didn't understand was that for her grief was a deeply personal thing. It was a part of her that she kept separate from everything else. Seeking to expose the hurt she felt was not what she wanted. Bury the pain and get on with life - that was the only way to do it. Breaking down was of no use to anyone, especially not herself.

    Jemmiah looked at herself in her full-length dress mirror and shook her head. She hadn't been joking before when she had confided to Rela and Evla that she felt there was little going for her anymore and now that Evla was gone she felt she had even less. Feeling sorry for herself?

    Well, if she couldn't indulge in that now when could she?

    Looking back, her life seemed to be one big trail of corpses and they all seemed to lead right back to one person: herself. Evla had been her rock, the one constant thing in her life that had helped her to float against the tide. Now she had to learn to cope by herself. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were there right now but who was to say that might not change too? It was strange but recently the fears she used to have for her boyfriend during missions and their time apart had diminished over the last year whilst those she had felt for Qui-Gon had increased. She had no real idea why that was although she thought it might well have something to do with his turning fifty-six. It wasn't old by any stretch of the imagination but he wasn't exactly in the first bud of youth either.

    It was difficult to think of Qui-Gon growing older and maybe that was why it scared her. Obi-Wan was different. She could see him as an old man, not exactly at peace with the galaxy but content. And herself?

    Jemmiah had never considered growing old. She just couldn't do it. The fact she'd lived as long as she had with Merdan's shadow hanging over her was surprise enough. One day the man would catch up with her, of that she was certain. People like Evla and Qui-Gon had somehow made that threat seem less real but piece by piece that feeling of sanctuary was being whittled away.

    //Maybe I should have just let Ben go off and find himself a new Lauria.// Jemmiah turned sideways in the mirror and was certain she could count all her ribs. //He can't be very happy with me right now. I mean, just look at that?I used to have a figure. I'd have to go searchi
  20. KSkywalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 3
    Well...... I have to agree with Jemmiah's view on the Jedi funeral traditions. They're a bit unsettling, to say the least. :eek: :eek: Maybe they could reach an acceptable compromise by allowing Jemmiah to leave before they begin the cremation. Certainly, a nice Eulogy could be given before they torch the Funeral Pyre!?
  21. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Just upping this one. I may or may not be able to post on this tonight. Keeping looking! :)
  22. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    It's a relief to know that Jemmy does indeed accept evla's death. I felt such a pain in my chest as she thought of how had she been told there were many things she would have told Evla! :( :(

    Superb post Jemmy!! :) :)
  23. juwannajedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2000
    star 4
    I find this line heartbreaking
    The numbness just wouldn't let her.
  24. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    That was truly depressing. Especially the last line. Reminds me of a short story I read called "No More Tears."
  25. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Obi-Wan had spent the rest of the morning wondering if he should go round and speak to his girlfriend or whether she would much rather be left to her own devices. Certainly if the past was any indicator he felt positive that Jemmiah would much prefer to be by herself, left to deal with her hurt the only way she knew how. It was a difficult choice to make because one suggested complete lack of support whilst the other indicated a wish to stifle and interfere. Obi-Wan wanted neither but could see no middle ground at all that would be acceptable to Jemmiah and so, very reluctantly, he opted to give her the space that she needed.

    He wouldn't know what to say to her anyhow. He wasn't very good at that sort of thing and lacked the tact and the natural empathy that his master seemed to poses on occasions such as these. He'd often wanted to be more like his master - well, today was one such day. She didn't need 'Ben': she needed 'Qui-Gon'.

    Curiously enough the realisation hurt him.

    Obi-Wan detested feeling useless but that was exactly the way he was right now. His own sorrow over Evla's death had to take a back seat. There was simply no time to regret the passing of one of the most caring and loving people it had ever been his privilege to know in his short life to date. He would mourn with the others at the funeral tomorrow and release his grief to the force.

    He worried about the affect the funeral would have on Jemmy. Death and suffering were almost a taboo subject as far as she was concerned. There were too many bad memories lurking beneath the surface that Obi-Wan felt might be better off remaining hidden and not raked up at that point in time, yet Qui-Gon seemed determined to make her face up to her grief. Too many things had happened recently and Obi-Wan didn't think that Jemmiah was ready to deal with anything right now.

    The evening. He would visit her in the evening to see how she fared and talk if she wanted to (not that she ever would).

    Qui-Gon broke in on his thoughts.

    "That test?" He ventured.
    "Master?" Obi-Wan's unease and surprise mingled together and became totally seamless. Surely he wouldn't insist that today of all days he should sit some kind of examination?

    "I think it would be better for everyone concerned if it were postponed for the moment. If that is acceptable to yourself?"
    "Yes, master." Obi-Wan bowed his head.
    "Now," Qui-Gon continued in a low voice, "I think it might also be for the best if we were to give Jemmiah some space right now. I know that will be difficult for you and of course you want to offer her some support - which is only quite natural - but I think she needs to be by herself for a bit."
    "Yes, master." Obi-Wan agreed. He'd already decided on that course of action but there was no need to tell Qui-Gon that.
    "I'm impressed with your restraint." Jinn admitted with a small approving nod of the head. "It's difficult not to step in too much but there's a difficult line to tread between being supportive and interfering."

    //And I have already crossed it today.// Qui-Gon admitted to himself.

    Obi-Wan stared at him with his stormy eyes changing slightly from their tranquil blue to almost grey. There was a lot he wanted to ask Qui-Gon but didn't want to upset him further. Evla had been his friend too. A long time ago she had been something more. He would be grieving in his own way and Obi-Wan did not seek to cause anymore sadness than already existed.

    "Master, why didn't Evla tell Jemmy she was going to die?" he asked finally.

    Qui-Gon sat down in the chair opposite, running a hand through his hair as he thought about the reply he would give. Did he really understand Evla's motives? Had he ever really done so? He had urged her to be honest with Jemmiah but she hadn't been able to.

    "The only person who knows?" he stopped for a moment to amend his statement. "?Knew the truth behind that decision was Evla." Qui-Gon sighed wistfully, recalling their many conversations on the subject. "She thought erroneously that if she told Jemmiah the truth she might not
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