Jedi Master Yan Dooku grimaced as he read the order on his datapad in his room. His padawan was NOT going to like this. Not one bit. Briefly, he contemplated drugging the stubborn youth until he had completed his order...then decided against it. The Jedi Council would want to see the young man voluntarily give up one of his most prized possessions. Perhaps this was a test for his padawan...Jedi were not supposed to be vain. He sighed and stood. This was not going to be pretty.

Qui-Gon sat at a table in the living room working on his homework. His Master had come in not looking very happy. He had just met with the Council and shut himself in his room. Qui-Gon had shrugged it off. His master had lots of trouble with the Council. Maybe that was what it was. He paid the growing tension no mind as he continued working on his astronavigation homework.

Dooku slowly walked into the living room, still staring at the datapad the Council had given him. He cleared his throat, and, keeping his eyes on the ground, mumbled, "Qui-Gon, there's something the Council wants you to do."

Qui-Gon frowned. "What's that Master?" The Council wanted HIM to do something? He was usually ignored whenever he stood before the Council with his Master.

Dooku sighed heavily as he sat down across from his padawan. Finally he looked into Qui-Gon's eyes. "You are to voluntarily donate your hair." He said, visibly bracing himself for what he knew would come.

"WHAT!??!!?!! MY hair!!!! for what!??!?!" Qui-Gon clamped his arms over his head protectively. "Tell the Council to shove it up their butts!" He screeched.

Dooku frowned at his sixteen-year-old padawan. "Qui-Gon," he rebuked gently, but sternly. "Jedi are not supposed to be vain."

"I'm not vain! " He squeaked. "I'd like to keep my head warm occasionally thanks!!"

Dooku chuckled; he couldn't help himself. "Ask your friend Mace. Wasn't he the one just a week ago that did this as well, but decided to keep his head bald? He should know how to keep your head warm."

"It's not my fault he's insane! I don't have a big afro like he did. He deserved to have his cut. It looked horrible. Mine looks FINE. I'm not cutting it and that's final!!" He glared at his master and folded his arms very stubbornly across his chest.

Dooku sobered. "This is not a request, Padawan Learner. This is an order. And it can be done by your will--or the Council's."

Qui-Gon gritted his teeth. "I won't do it. If the Council intends for me to donate my hair then they can come cut it themselves." He stormed from the room.

Dooku sighed. He had a feeling that would happen. But he wasn't ready to get the Council in on this yet; he didn't want Qui-Gon to fail this test of integrity. He knew the boy had integrity, but the Council had chosen this as a means to test it. It was time to call in the two people who could usually convince Qui-Gon to do anything: bad or good. He called Kyran Josel.

Qui-Gon hid under his sleep couch. He wasn't coming out and no one could make him. He wasn't letting his master anywhere near him with the pair of dangerous looking shears he'd seen in the kitchen earlier. Now he knew what that was for.

Twenty-two-year-old Kyran Josel rolled his eyes when he heard from his friend's master what had happened. He knew the Jedi Council would test his friend sooner or later, but hadn't expected it to be in this fashion. He had to convince Qui-Gon to do this...or Qui-Gon would fail. What that would mean, he didn't want to know. Softly he rapped on Qui-Gon's door. "Qui? It's Kyran. Can I come in?"

"Yes but you'll have to open the door on your own. " Came the muffled sounding voice.

Kyran shook his head and hid his smile as he keyed the door to open. He frowned as he saw an apparently empty room. He knew his friend couldn't make himself invisible so where was he? Then he spotted the hem of his cloak peeking out from under the sleep couch. "Hm, well, looks like no one's here so I'll just sit on the sleep couch," he said as he jumped on it, landing hard right where he estimated his friend to be hiding.

"OW! Sithspit Kyran get off me!"

Kyran laughed. "Only if you promise to get out from under there."

"Never! I'm not cutting my hair!" Qui-Gon sulked.

Kyran frowned and started swinging his feet, bringing them dangerously close to his friend's face under the sleep couch, but never touching him. "Hm, well, if the Council gave me something to do as a test, well I might just be crazy enough to do it in order to show them that, yes, I Do have integrity."

"So are you saying I don't have integrity? This is a pretty dumb way to test somebody's integrity if you ask me. " He pouted

Kyran swung his legs harder. "Oh, I don't know. The Council is wise. They know things we don't and if they think a padawan needs to do a little trifling thing--cut off his hair--to show his integrity is indeed intact, then who am I to question?"

Qui-Gon scowled. "Easy for you to say. You still have all your hair, Blondie."

"Yes, but have you seen my collection of rare Prusbian moths in the past three years?"

Qui-Gon poked his head out from under the couch slightly to arch a brow. "No."

Kyran smiled down at his friend. "There you go. My test of if I 'had integrity' was to burn my collection." His smile turned wistful. "It took me eleven years to build up that collection..."

Qui-Gon frowned a little bit. "That's harsh. I'd like to see if the Council has any integrity. Why doesn't Master Yoda donate his gimmer stick?" he complained. " He's had it for hundreds of years."

Kyran chuckled. "I don't know, but this is your test, just like mine. Qui- Gon, this is a relatively simple test for you. You don't have to kill anyone, and you don't have to marry anyone. It will be hard, but your hair WILL grow back. I can never get my moth collection back; it's gone forever. Why don't you grow up and do this like a man?" He stood up and started to leave.

Qui-Gon grumbled as he got out from under the bed. His back was aching from having Kyran jump on it. "Fine but only if you promise to go on a diet. By the Force that hurt."

Kyran burst out laughing. "Come on, my friend. If you like, I'll go with you to lend you moral support." He grinned.

"Alright alright alright." He said, sulking. "But don't expect me to like it."

Kyran chuckled as he grabbed Qui-Gon's arm to lead him out the door. "It'll be over before you know it," he promised, leading him into the kitchen. Dooku was waiting, the sheers in his hands, a chair placed in front of him. "Sit."

Qui-Gon, very unhappy at this point, sat in the chair, moping. His life was over.

"Hey, I must be setting a new style!" Dark-skinned Mace Windu joked the next day at lunch as Qui-Gon sat down.

"Shut up, Baldy." Qui-Gon grumbled as he sat down. He hated his new hairstyle. It itched and his head felt like it was freezing.

Kyran glanced at the short fuzz on his friend's scalp. The only hair that hadn't been taken was his padawan braid. "It doesn't look bad, Qui," he commented. "You only think it looks worse than it does." Mace just smirked.

Qui-Gon waved a carrot threateningly in Mace's face. "One more word from you and I shove this down your throat. If you say, so Kyran. It feels horrible."

Kyran got a twinkle in his eye and reached up to rub his friend's head. "It's not that bad."

Qui-Gon ducked and moved over a seat, away from Kyran. "Hands OFF. If you two are done making fun of my hair I think I'll have lunch now." He sulked as he sat and ate his lunch.

Kyran and Mace snickered. Mace tilted his baldhead toward his friend. "Hey, at least you still have SOME hair. Look at me." He grinned.

Qui-Gon rolled his eyes. "You had an Afro. My hair was normal looking."

Kyran held up a hand. "Truce, you two. Qui-Gon, the important thing is that you passed the Council's test. You too, Mace," he added, shooting a look at his friend that clearly said 'drop it'.

"Yeah. Well I have training to do. If you guys don't mind." Qui-Gon stood and went to deliver his empty plate to the trash. On his way out he passed a table where several of the Council were having lunch. He clamped down his irritation at the Council and headed out to the gym.

Jedi Master W'Go smiled at the lean Qui-Gon Jinn. He could tell the boy was irked with his newly cropped hair. He was glad he had been in the Council session that day when the Council had been trying to decide what to make Qui-Gon's Test of Integrity. Now the brown bangs of Qui-Gon's hair was carefully stored away in his room where he could admire it. His plan to get the boy was almost complete. He had one delicate piece of framing to do on Dooku, and then Qui-Gon would be his...and no one could save the boy then.

--THE END--