Hello! I've missed you all So here I am... I've decided to repost this, since it's been quite awhile and the original post has not been 'fixed' with all the code errors. I've also edited since I originally posted years ago, (and would like to edit some more) so it will be a little better, hopefully. I also have a bit of new content I will slip in as well as a bonus Please enjoy!_____________________________________________________________________________Title: Fallen Author: Ashley Time frame: prequel trilogy Pairings: Obi-Wan/OC Genre: Drama/Romance Summary: Maybe it's not the happy ending that matters, maybe it's the moments in between. Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the most important men in the galaxy; Aala Naberrie has always been in the background. As darkness descends around them, two people who never expected to have love, have to decide if it's something worth holding out for. Can love survive even as everything else falls? Rating: T Disclaimer: Star Wars was the property of George Lucas, is now the property of Disney. This story is for entertainment purposes only. No infringement of rights is intended and I make no money. _____________________________________________________________________________ Aala Naberrie sat alone on the Sundered Heart, her gaze fixed out the viewport. Beyond the dusty surface of Polis Massa, space was dark, and bleak, but she found it suited her mood. With a soft hiss, the door behind her slid open, and she knew it was Obi-Wan though he made no other sound. Broken from her thoughts by his arrival, she suddenly wondered how long she had been sitting there; hours maybe and she should've expected he would be there to check on her at some point. But she couldn't bear to turn around only to see that stoic expression she knew was on his face. "You don't have to be strong for me." Her voice was even, steady, but she wanted to scream, to yell at him – she had seen the pain in his eyes; she knew what he was feeling, could feel it in her own broken heart – why wouldn't he let it out? "I could say the same to you." Behind his ever cultured accent, Aala could just barely detect the weariness. "Oh, yes," she said. "That breakdown I had in your arms a few hours ago - that was all a show of strength. For you." Though she wanted to roll her eyes at him, she still couldn't face him, so she resisted. "And now?" His voice was soft, so low, but urging somehow. Patiently coaxing her to understand. After a long, silent moment she finally turned and stared at him, held his gaze as long as she could, then looked away, sighing. "I feel numb." And she knew he had made her answer her own unspoken question. Wrapping her arms tightly around herself, she turned back to the viewport, preferring to face the desolation of outer space. Right now it seemed a warmer companion than Obi-Wan. A second later she heard the door slide closed. Fine. Let him go. In the back of her mind, she knew he hadn't offered any more support because he knew she wouldn't have accepted it, anyway. That only made her angrier. She hated him for always being right, for always being so calm and in control. She hated Padmé for giving in to her heart, letting herself fall so far. And most of all she hated Anakin for what he had let himself become, for everything he had done. Aala didn't believe in regret – or at least she hadn't before she saw her sister's lifeless body lying on that cold table in that cold room. Now, it consumed her, harsh and unforgiving. Suddenly, she regretted every single decision she had ever made, every step that had led her to this point in time, and she was desperate to get back to that place, so recently found, where she could accept what life had given her, accept the path she had taken. But she couldn't find even the tiniest shred of hope anywhere inside her. Inevitably, her mind drifted back to Obi-Wan Kenobi. The hero, The Negotiator, the Jedi Master that could accomplish anything, and did. He had joked good-naturedly whenever anyone mentioned his hero status, modest to a fault, but still he played each role. The war had changed him, it had changed everyone. And now he'd lost as much as anyone. War will leave you with nothing, whether you win or not. Shaking the thought, Aala let herself dwell on the last time she had talked to Obi-Wan before everything went to hell. It was the first time she'd even spoken to him in a month. She hadn't seen him since Cato Neimoidia. Her mind was absorbed with doubt. Maybe if she'd said something different, been able to put into words what her instincts had been telling her... Maybe she could've convinced him to stay. _____________________________________________________________________________ Backing further into the shadows of the great halls of the Senate buildings, she gripped her comlink tightly in her hand and leaned back, letting the marble wall hold her up. "It's a trap," she said grimly, "you know that." Of course he knew. "Textbook..." she trailed off. "Yes." His voice crackled slightly over the comm. 'How did I even get to this point?' she asked herself. 'How does a quiet girl from Naboo get to know military strategies so intimately?' "I – I wish you wouldn't go." She said it quietly, unaccustomed to voicing such statements directed toward him. "Don't worry. I have a little trap of my own." He always did. "Anyway, I hear Utapau is nice this time of year; and I'll be back soon," he said, trying to sound light hearted. She smiled in spite of herself. "I hope so." "You'll miss me that much?" He teased. She couldn't help but smile again and shook her head. Who else could be on his way to meet the 'Jedi Killer' face to face and act like it was just a stroll in the park? "I won't miss you a bit, Kenobi. I just – I feel like you're needed here." "Well, it's a shame there aren't two of me." Indeed. She had trouble adopting his light attitude, or, at least, the act. He would not have called her unless it was imperative. He certainly didn't need to check in with her before he left for missions. Tired of the routine, she outright called his bluff. "You must feel it, too, Obi-Wan, or we wouldn't be talking." There was a pause. When he spoke again, his voice was serious, grave, any and all lightness was gone. "Aala, this war will not end with General Grievous out there." Annoyed, she sighed quietly and wondered if he really believed that line or if it was his orders talking. "With Dooku dead, the Confederacy won't hold together for long;" she argued, "he was their driving force. Grievous does not have the ability to direct the Separatists in galactic war." "We must face the possibility there might be someone else..." She knew that tone; he knew more, but couldn't say, not over a comm, and not to her; and she knew the rumors – unthinkable, but undeniable. Anyway, if it were true, it still made Grievous nearly irrelevant in her mind, a minor player in the game, but she knew Obi-Wan didn't have the time to debate war tactics with her. It was obvious he couldn't discuss it with her now. The decision had already been made. "I know what you're thinking," he said, "but either way, Grievous needs to be taken care of. It will force the end game." He paused. "Everyone seems to think I'm the one to capture him, so, I'll do what I must." She certainly couldn't argue with that. If anyone could do it, Obi-Wan could. And now she understood why he had contacted her; the end was near. She sighed quietly. "May the Force be with you General Kenobi." And then the entire galaxy had come crashing down around them. _____________________________________________________________________________ He found her unintentionally, an hour later in a dark room with a table and a galley, a cup of something, he could only assume something very strong, clutched in her hands. He paused when she noticed him, a grim expression on her face as she stared him down. "Two minutes?" he asked, his tone conciliatory. She owed him at least that much. Her mouth quirked as she looked back down at her cup and she nodded, the tiniest of smiles gracing her face. It didn't last. "How's the caf?" he asked spotting the pot on the counter. "Disgusting. I made it myself." He poured himself some anyway and stood across from her, watching. She had never seemed able to cope very well with any situation concerning her sister. She had been to war, faced the Senate, faced the Council even, and seen the worst the galaxy had to offer all without blinking an eye but if her sister was involved...her careful control fell apart. She'd lost as many friends as he had, and moved on as gracefully as any Jedi, but her sister... this she was not able to bear. "I never told you..." Aala started, breaking the heavy silence. With the mug of caf warming his hands, Obi-Wan leaned against the counter and waited. "Why I came to Coruscant...it wasn't just for work, I didn't care about being an ambassador." He knew that wasn't true. She loved her job and she was good at it, but he didn't say anything. "And it wasn't to see you," she looked up at him, that look of defiance he knew well. Was she trying to bait him? He kept quiet. Her expression changed, softened. "I never expected to run into you..." She stared at him, lost in thought. Then turned, staring off into nothing. "It was for her... I couldn't stop worrying about her after the blockade. I just wanted to be close if I could... I'd had nightmares for weeks. Really bad nightmares..." Aala paused and rubbed her temples, pressing her face into her hands. "Please tell me this is a nightmare..." He couldn't. So, he sat down across from her and grasped her hand in his, holding tight. "I wish I could."