Title: I Have Failed You Author(s): Valairy_Scot Timeframe: post-TPM Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Genre: Total angst. Keywords: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Summary: Rambling thoughts of a exhausted and grieving padawan trying to come to terms with the death of Qui-Gon Jinn. Notes: Hey, he's grieving and he's not thinking straight, so he's blaming himself. I Have Failed You I never wanted to let him down. I had come close, too close, too many times. This time, I had let him down. Because of me, he was dead. Dead. A hole burned through sinew and bone, a hole burned through flesh. A hole through his chest. A hole burned into my own heart. Dead. Among strangers who were friends, for where Qui-Gon Jinn was, there were only friends, not strangers. I grieve among strangers, but he died amongst friends. Dead. An empty shell once housing a warm and vital soul ? one once full of laughter and full of life. Full of love. A teacher, a mentor, and my friend. Gone now. I remove his torn and dirty clothes, for preparing him is my duty, my wish and my responsibility. I wash his body clean of blood and sweat, my hand lingering on that cold flesh as if seeking a sign of life within, dress his cold flesh in clean tunics, and tidy his hair. Oh Force! I long ago closed those eyes that had stared into mine as he had felt his death. Mine, not his killer?s. He had sought the eyes of his apprentice ? me ? was he wishing his last sight was of me? Was it a look of warning, or of love? Or of reproachment? Through the grace and power of the Force, I have survived my encounter with my master?s killer. I have taken a life, and I grieve twice, no, thrice. Once for my master, once for the dead being whose life I had found necessary to steal from him, and once for myself ? for I now have bloody hands. It could not have ended any other way; it would be his death or mine. It could not have been otherwise, I know. A Jedi accepts the responsibility and the need, should the occasion arise, but my heart hurts all the same. Only now do I know the weight and the burden such power carries. I will remember it, always, and do all in my power to wash my hands free of the stain. I will always regret it, and never regret it. It had to be done, but I do not take its doing lightly. My duty done, I sit by his bedside and let my head sink upon his chest. It will be the last time I will ever touch him, and I don?t wish to let go, but soon, his body will be consumed by the flames of his funeral pyre and all I will have left of him is memories. I will never again hear his heart beat against my ear as he holds me close, see his warm smile upon my eyes or feel the touch of his hand on my arm. Oh, Master, my heart grieves. Had I heeded your words more closely, paid more mind to the now than to the possible, would I still be at your side, your learner, wishing to fly on my own wings while still protected by yours? Now I am on my own. The teacher now, no longer the learner. I don?t know that I am ready for this. I must be ready, for I have no choice. It is too late to be otherwise. I can?t go back. I can?t avoid the kick that sent me over the edge, to be far from your side when you needed me. I can?t be faster, to escape the energy gates with you, to fight at your side. I can?t be there to take the sword thrust that took your life. I could only watch. Cry. Feel I let you down. You forgave me, Master. You wiped a tear from my eye. Told me to be the teacher. Charged me with the responsibility for that ?pathetic life form? you know will save us, trusted me. I will do what I must. You have taught me well. You forgave me, Master. But I can?t forgive myself. I failed you. I will not fail with the one you have entrusted to me, for if I do?that will be my final failure. I will not fail you again. Once is enough.