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Jinn followed her, a bit wary at first, one hand holding the handle of his sabre carefully. "You... built this... " he chuckled to himself, "And I was worried you couldn't build a lightsabre." he said, amused at his own na´vetÚ about his new friend and benefactor.

Mika smiled as she continued bounding down the dirt trail towards the little bridge that crossed over the water to the small island in the centre of the lake.  "Yes," she called over her shoulder.  "See the sun?" she pointed upwards to the small seemingly normal sun.  "That's a tiny fusion reactor.  It provides not only natural 'sunlight' but also a power source for all the hidden sub-electrical systems.. such as the controls for the waterfall, among other things."  She stopped breathlessly on the little bridge and looked down over the railing into the clear water.  There were several large, shiny multicoloured fish swimming about beneath them.

Qui-Gon stood beside her, and she saw his water-warped reflection next to her own with the sun in the sky behind them.

"I don't suppose you ever see stars in here ?" the Jedi asked over her shoulder.

He watched as her reflection turned to look at his.  "On command.  Still, there's nothing like lying beneath a sky full of the real thing..." her voice dropped to barely a whisper.  "Especially with someone ... special."

Qui-Gon placed a big hand on her shoulder. "I understand." he said. "Now.... how do we see if our sabres work ?"

Mika sighed and completed crossing the bridge.  She waved her hand indicating the small island.  "Well, it should work here, in the very centre of the dimensional field.  That's the secret to this room's stability you know.  You're the only one I've ever told that to.  That makes this a dangerous spot to let someone stand with a weapon.  It's the only place in the TARDIS where a weapon will work."

Qui-Gon offered a crooked grin, as he took a position on the small hillock. He took the haft of his sabre in both hands and stood in a defensive stance. A flip of the small red actuator on the handle and the device gave off a low hum.

So far, so good.   The power cell was opening its charge. It always took a little time the first time a lightsabre was activated. A few seconds... 10, maybe 15... and the new, deep purple beam shot forth to its full four feet in length.     

Qui-Gon smiled as he lifted the sabre to a more passive stance, the deadly extension of energy humming gently in front of his face and giving off a dullish violet glow.

"Ok, my turn."  Mika copied his actions to the letter.  Her sword began to hum, but nothing happened.  She switched it off and frowned.  "Did I mess it up after all?"

"I don't see how you could." Jinn replied, moving closer to her and deactivating his own beam.

She held it up for him to see, fighting down a mischievous smile.  She knew exactly what was wrong with it.  "Well, here, you take a look."  Her hand brushed his as she handed her sword to him, sending goose bumps across her skin and making the hairs on her spots stand on end.

Qui-Gon looked the sabre over. It seemed just fine, actually it was put together better than Obi-Wan's had been. He fiddled a couple of switches, and then looked down into the lovely Ecturian's eyes. "Here... here's your problem." he said, "Your blade-length is down all the way." and he placed the haft back in her hand, not letting go of it himself, so that their hands met and stayed touching. "You extend the blade like this." and he slowly rotated the dial.

She then flipped the actuator switch and her blade hummed to life, even faster than his had.  A light lavender blade shot out to its full 4 feet.  "Ahh, it does work.  See," she smiled up at him, "I told you I could build one."

"Yes... you did." he replied, "And you did an excellent job. It's a lesson to me. The universe is a broad and multifaceted place. I should not underestimate the talents of any individual."

"I learned long ago that any knowledge is worth learning.  That's really why I wanted to build this."  She flipped her blade off and tucked the weapon into her waistband.  "And ... to spend time with the teacher," she grinned.

"It's too bad I can't take you on as an apprentice." Jinn said smiling, "If Obi-Wan had shown your enthusiasm, he would have faced the trials a year or so ago. But.... you don't believe in the living Force, do you ?"

Mika laughed at the thought of Obi-Wan having the same thoughts about his Master that she was having at that moment.  "I don't know if I do. I believe in many powers... most of which are scientifically explainable."

"Well, let me try to explain the Force scientifically." Jinn began. "The Force is an energy field, created by the energy that exists in al living things. The Meticlorians act as tiny channelers and transmitters for this energy field; making it possible for us to use the Force as a source of knowledge, for healing, strength, and defence."

"Perhaps, ... perhaps I just call it something else.  It sounds very familiar.  Do you think I have these... meticlorians too?"  She frowned, thinking of little things living inside her body.     

"You are genetically engineered form plant-life, are you not ?" the Jedi asked.

"Sort of," she shrugged.

"Well, I couldn't tell you right off, but I'm sure you do, to some degree." he took one of her hands in his. His massive extremity swallowing hers to disappearing. "I'd have to check your blood, and unfortunately I have no way of doing a Meticlorian count here."

"Well..." she said slowly, trying to keep her mind on their conversation and not on his touch.  "I do have a fully stocked med lab.

"How long before we reach.... our destination ?" Qui-Gon asked, looking into her eyes.

"Oh.. plenty ... of .. time..." she was finding herself mesmerized by his gaze.  She shook her head.  She was sure it was just another Jedi mind trick.  "Time has no meaning as long as we are in here."

"Does it have any meaning in the med lab ?" Jinn asked, absentmindedly stroking her palm with one of his long fingers.

"What med lab?  Hmmm?"  she was losing her battle against his charms.

"The fully stocked med lab you said you had, a minute ago." he grinned, "Are you quite sure you're all right?"

"Oh, med lab, yeah, right.  Uh, yeah... I'm fine... just...fine..." she continued to lose herself in his eyes, his smile, his hands.  "Here, in the TARDIS.... we are.. completely outside of .. time.  We have all the time we want.... together..."

"Well, the test will only take a few seconds if you have the right equipment." said the Jedi, "But I doubt if I could find your lab." giving her palm another gentle stroke, he slowly let go of her hand, and let it drift to her side almost as if it were floating on an unseen cloud.

Their contact broken, Mika came to, sort of.  "Oh, of course, I'll.. I'll show you then shall I?"  She began walking backwards, never taking her eyes off the tall Jedi. 

"Yes, please do." Jinn said smiling. he stepped towards her, "May I ask you... do you know how to swim ?"

"Huh? Why..." just then she stepped off the edge of the tiny island and plummeted backwards into the water.  She was under for some seconds before spluttering to the surface, more angry and embarrassed than hurt.  "Dammit!" she exclaimed, spitting water from her mouth and shooing away curious fish.

"Because you've just run out of island." Jinn commented as she went under. He watched her break surface again, and smiled. "I guess that was a bit of a dumb question. Why build a lake if you can't swim." and he extended a long arm to her, offering her his hand to help her back onto dry land.

Mika reached up and took his proffered hand.  But she was much stronger than she looked, and once again, he had underestimated her.  She tugged on his arm knocking him off balance and sending him plunging into the cool lake beside her.  "Think it's so funny do you?" she laughed. 

"Yes... quite." he replied calmly, after he'd managed to right himself and push the soaked bit of stray ponytail from his face "You are certainly full of surprises. And I suppose I deserved that. Just so you'll know Jedae are not without a sense of humour... " and he made a gesture with his hand, where by a large wave rose up in the lake and poured it's self over Mika's head.

Mika screamed, but in laughter, not anger.  "Oh, so you wanna play rough do you?"  She plunged beneath the water and disappeared.  She remained under for quite some time.  The water where she had been grew still and calm.  Several brightly coloured fish swam up to him curiously.  There was still no sign of the timelord.

Suddenly, Qui-Gon felt something grab at his leg and tug on it almost ferociously.  His first thought was that there was some sort of monster in this lake and it had gotten Mika and was now after him.

Jinn ducked his head under the water, his large strong hands prepared to wrap around the body of some aquatic animal and pry it from his leg. Instead he came face to face with the smiling timelord, her eyes wide with glee, holding her breath as if she could forever.

They surfaced together, both gasping for breath, Mika laughing at her little joke.  Suddenly, she could resist it no more and she leaned forward and planted a big kiss right on his lips.  Realizing what she had done, she backed away quickly and held her breath waiting for his reaction, her hair dripping into the water and her amethyst eyes huge and almost scared.

Qui-Gon stared back at her, his face a mask of shock and surprise. His mouth hung open, and water dripped down his face in a vision obscuring torrent from his loosened long hair. Slowly he closed his mouth, and his eyes stopped being so wide open.

He cleared his throat. "And... and why did you do that ?" he asked softly.

Mika was speechless.  She breathed, finally and opened and closed her mouth several times unable to think of anything to say.  "I... I just.. I couldn't help myself.  I've wanted to since we first met."  She lowered her eyes.  "I suppose that's yet another think I shouldn't have done."

Wordlessly the big Jedi swam to the shore and hauled himself out of the lake.  He shook off as much water as possible and held his hand out to Mika to assist her out as well.  Only she refused, shaking her head, almost too ashamed of what she had done to face him.

"Well, I don't know how much water you can stand." said Jinn, "But if you want me to do that test... I'll at least need to take some blood with me." he stood, and looked down on her, his hands on his hips. "Let me ask you, if you've wanted to kiss me since we met, why did you not do so, or say so before ?"

Hesitantly Mika looked up into his eyes.  They seemed to shimmer with the reflection of the glittering water in them.  "I.. I was afraid to.  I didn't know what you would say or think.  I still don't.  I.. I'm sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry for." said Jinn, "I rather enjoyed it." he added in a near whisper, offering her both hands, "You'd be surprised how infrequently a Jedi gets kissed."

She took his hands and allowed him to haul her waterlogged body out of the water in one swift motion.  She then found herself pressed for the moment against his front.  "I could...  remedy that.."  she smiled, never taking her eyes from his.  "But only if you wanted..."

"Perhaps... in time." Jinn replied, casually running a hand over her wet hair. "But, don't we have a mission of mercy to perform for a friend of yours ?"

She fought to keep her hearts from racing as she deflated visibly.  "Yeah," she said, not bothering to mask her disappointment.  Prying herself loose Mika started walking back across the bridge, wringing her clothes out as she went. "Always something isn't it?" she muttered half to herself.

Qui-Gon followed her, almost like an obedient pet, his heavy boots making a loud thudding on the bridge as he crossed. He tried his best to reach into her mind, and offer her a bit of peace or comfort, but she was a Timelord, and her mind was her own.

Mika continued up the dirt path, kicking at imaginary rocks, looking very much like a little girl who was angry that she didn't get her way.  She could feel him reaching out to her mind, but her instincts clamped it tightly shut. At the top of the hill she paused, waiting for him to catch up.  She slowly opened her mind... what did she have to lose?

Qui-Gon was trying to calm her. To make her feel at ease and comfortable, and not so disappointed. As he reached to her with his mind he also met her eyes with his and she could see the blue fire still smouldering there.

"You would think a timelord would have infinite patience," she said quietly, echoing his thoughts.  "But that isn't so.  Living as long as I have has taught me how fleeting life is ... we must grab what we can from life for it will only be there a moment."  She sighed heavily and smiled.  "Still, I know.  Duty calls."

Mika smiled mischievously as she looked at him.  "I'm glad you're glad."  she then turned and headed back up the trail. 

She led him back through the TARDIS after carefully resealing the doors to her 'special place' to her own living quarters.  She wanted to change into some dry clothing.  By some strange miracle, his own clothes were completely dry.

Qui-Gon followed her as far as her quarters, then offered her a bow and asked "Where should I wait for you. As you point out, this ship is always changing. I might need directions."

Mika waved her hand dismissively and opened her door.  "Aw, come on.  Don't give me that shy Jedi act.  Come on in.  You might as well get used to it.  I won't be a moment."  She went inside, practically dragging him in.  He was amazed at the room's size and decor.  Mika went back to her huge walk-in wardrobe and chose an outfit.  "Make yourself at home.  I'll just go in the bathroom and change."  She disappeared behind the closed door.

The Jedi found himself looking at a tall bureau. There several curiosities almost piled there on top of it. His eye was drawn to an old looking timepiece. It was cylindrical, like the timepieces on Correlia, and silver in colour. He lifted it, and popped the lid. The old mechanism still worked. He wondered if it were accurate.

Taking a closer look, he noticed an engraving.  "T. Andrews" was carved inside the lid in a fine flowing script.

Mika soon emerged from the other room, changed into a tight-fitting sleeveless white jumpsuit and matching boots.  She was towel-drying her hair as she silently came to stand beside the tall Jedi.  He noted the almost wistfulness in her violet eyes.

"All well, I hope ?" he asked softly. "You're eyes, look almost as sad as the tale behind this.... timepiece."

She looked up at him puzzled.  "You can tell the story by just looking at it?" she wondered.

"Like I said, all living things generate the Force." he replied, "Even those who no longer live contributed their part. In their own time. I don't know the story of the thing... but I know there is great sadness and suffering tied to it. I sense a deep longing surrounding this item."

Mika took the watch and looked at the engraving on the inside back cover.  'To TA from HA.'  "Yes.  There would be great sadness in this.  It belonged to a man who felt responsible for the deaths of a great many people.  So much that he would not save his own life though I offered it to him."  She sighed heavily and placed it back on the bureau.  "Yet another fleeting moment gone."

"I will not pry." said Jinn, "You must have seen a lot of death in your time though... you show great strength."

"Thank you.  That is a great compliment coming from a great Jedi Master.  But you aren't prying.  I have seen much death.  But I have also seen much joy and beauty.  One must never forget to notice the beauty in the universe no matter how bad things seem to get."  She smiled and sat on the edge of her tall, antique four-poster bed.

"A very good philosophy. One I could agree to myself." he replied, slowly taking his seat next to her. "Have you... always travelled alone ?"

Mika grinned, remembering her varied companions, some of whom were even female.  "Not always.  But usually.  It can get very lonely.  Somehow, I think you know a lot about that...  loneliness, that is."  She fidgeted with her fingers as she awaited his response.

"Well, yes. In a way I do." he answered, "I've had an apprentice for a long time. And we did become good friends, but.... I've never had...." his voice trailed off and he stood again, as tall as an old-time king.

She knew very well what he meant, but she wanted him to say it aloud.  "Never had what?" she urged gently.

Jinn turned so that his soulful blue eyes were on her, "Really... I don't want to burden you with my ramblings." he said, "Surely there are more interesting people to discuss than Qui-Gon Jinn ?"

Mika smiled softly at him, her amethyst eyes sparkling in the dim light.  "Funny, I can't think of anyone I'd rather discuss than him."  She gently patted the spot next to her, urging him to retake his seat.  "People say I'm a pretty good listener too.  When I shut my mouth long enough," she grinned.

The Jedi returned to his seat. He had never met a more persuasive woman. He felt something in her that he had never felt in another. Perhaps it was a disturbance in the force, but it felt more like a pull, a magnetism drawing him inward. He felt his heart, often weighted heavily by the day-to-day duties of a Jedi Knight, lightened in her presence. He relaxed.

He found himself sitting casually and comfortably, his new lightsabre resting across his knees. "A Jedi's life is lonely, I wont deny that." he began.

Mika found herself smiling and trying hard to resist touching him.  She looked into his eyes, mentally urging him on.

"Although some Jedi have families, children, and that sort of thing... I chose not to, early on. I felt at least one Knight should be free to ply the trade without worrying...." he hesitated, looking at the comforting surroundings fate had landed him in, "Without worrying over not coming home," he finished.

Mika lowered her eyes and thought back to what had brought them together... what had landed him here in her TARDIS and in her life.  She thought of all the people that he did know and how they were sad now at his loss.  She suddenly felt very selfish.  She did not hide her thoughts. 

"I sense a great sorrow... in you, why ?" asked Jinn. His eyes were filled with a concern.

Mika took a deep breath.  "Because, I took you from your timeline for... personal reasons.  I can never learn to leave well-enough alone.  I.. I just couldn't let you die... though maybe you were right and I should have."

She looked at him and smiled softly.  "I'm glad you're not angry.  Sometimes I think I care too much."  Her eyes wandered back to the pocket watch on the bureau top.

"I don't think it's possible to care to much, Mika." the Jedi said, "Not when it concerns a life." he smiled, and placed a hand on her cheek. Her skin was soft, more so than he had expected, and his mouth opened a bit in surprise. She felt silken and smooth, more so than any flesh he had ever felt before.

Mika closed her eyes and held her breath.  She wanted him so badly, but now was not the time.  They had a planet, and another life to save.  Suddenly, she opened her eyes and hopped from the bed.  "Well, duty calls.  Come with me and we'll get to work," she said to Qui-Gon brightly.


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