Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by obimom, Sep 17, 2012.
You planning on updating?
And yes, I do plan to update...I get so busy with working on the new chapters, I keep forgetting I'm still posting over here...sorry about that. Next chapter coming up!!
Yes, bonding indeed...thanks Earlybird...
Ash...I know you love this, and I know you love the next chapter...more on it's way.. thanks!!
Thank you!! More on the way...sorry it's been awhile since the last update...
This one is short and sweet...and I'll try not to take so long to post the next chapter...
Chapter 24: The Morning After
Siri awoke very early the next morning, her body partially over Obi-Wan's, one of her legs crossed over his. Her head was resting on his chest and his arm was draped loosely around her, his fingers splayed against her back. She listened for a moment to his heartbeat, enjoying the feel of her bare skin against his as her fingers played gently over the silky hair on his chest.
Last night had been everything she had hoped it would be. The spark that had connected them years ago had come to life again, and the consummation of their bond had been not only physical but spiritual as well.
She played again in her mind the events of a few hours ago.
She remembered his tenderness and care for her as he had slowly caressed her with warm kisses, his gentle hands finding ways to make her moan a little louder and her heart beat a little faster.
She relished how he had responded to her soft touches, how her own hands had found and explored areas of him she never thought she would, how he had gasped and slightly moaned, wetting his lips as his impassioned eyes caressed her face. Then he had bent over her and kissed her softly. That simple, gentle gesture had proved to be almost too much for her and she had found herself almost whimpering with intensity, longing for him to finally take her completely.
When he finally did, she had reveled in his embrace, in the blending of their bodies even as their spiritual selves had blended so many years ago as he oh so tenderly loved her in a way she had never thought she would experience.
Their bond had burst into renewed life then, completely uniting them. The intensity of their union soon thereafter culminated in an explosion of passion that had lifted her to a height only
experienced once before, when their signatures had become one on Tagon. She now felt their union complete.
As passion had finally been spent, the force had hummed it's approval as, exhausted, they finally collapsed into each others arms and allowed contented sleep to overtake them.
Now, several hours later, the relaxed contentment Siri felt laying next to him was only broken by the realization that this would soon be over. Master Kit Fisto would be expecting her in a few more hours. They would have to go back to their duties, to the war. She was content in knowing she had given him the greatest gift she could: herself. He would always have that, even if ...even if he couldn't have her.
She pushed away thoughts of knowing her own death could be near. Now was not the time to dwell on that. Now, for a few more minutes at least, let them enjoy this time together. She knew it was likely the only time they will have as a bonded couple.
She kissed his shoulder gently, and shifting her body a little, resumed her snuggle against him.
He stirred, turning toward her and throwing his other arm over her, drawing her closer to him in a tightened embrace as he sleepily mumbled and kissed the top of her head. He then relaxed and she grinned as she listened to his breathing once again settle into the deep pattern of sound, peaceful sleep. In almost a floating sensation of bliss, she in turn threw her arm over him and allowed sleep to claimed her once more.
When she woke again a few hours later, she raised her head and glanced at her chrono. She realized she only had a little time left to get ready for her mission. She started to move away from him in order to exit the bed when he pulled her closer to him, mumbling, "Where are you going?"
"I need to shower. I do have to meet Master Fisto in a while."
His eyes opened then. "Hm. You do. And I have some council meetings to attend this morning, and we're expecting a report this morning from Anakin on his campaign."
Collapsing against him with a light groan, she said, "Oh, I don't want to talk about campaigns or the war right now...but I guess it can't be helped, can it? It's a part of our lives now."
Sadness touched Siri for a moment, the sadness of knowing how their lives as Jedi had taken this unpleasant turn in the name of duty.
Obi-Wan gazed at her, his eyes full of love and concern. He then pulled her to him again and whispered, "Stay just a little longer."
With regret she murmured, "I really can't, but..."
She had an idea. She took his hand and pulled him out of bed toward her fresher.
"What...?" Obi-Wan said as she pulled him into the small room.
She said nothing as she turned the water on. She pulled him in with her and he understood.
With a glint in his eyes, he grinned and said, "Ah, good thinking."
It didn't take very long for Siri to realize that perhaps this wasn't such a good idea. They had soaped each other down and washed each others hair, then let the cascading water rinse them. She paused, watching, mesmerized as his wet hair clung to his face, making his blue eyes seem larger and more vulnerable than usual. She watched rivulets of water stream down his chest, short curly hairs shimmering with droplets.
Impulsively she slowly licked some of the water off his chest and then worked her way lower.
After a few moments, with desire re-awakened she looked up into his face. His eyes had taken on a rather hungry look as his hands began to caress her wet skin. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he lifted her up into his arms, using the force to keep them steady. Her legs went around him as he backed her against the shower wall and they kissed as once again they embraced in a lover's union, water cascading over wet, glistening bodies.
Later they dressed, enjoying their remaining moments together. She straightened his collar and helped him with his boots, he in turned helped her with her boots and then put her cloak around her. Their movements were slow and deliberate, both keenly aware of the quickly passing time.
At last they stood at her door, ready to face reality again.
They gazed at each other for a long moment. No words of love were needed. Words would only clutter what their hearts already knew.
They didn't know how long it would be until they would see each other again, if ever. Both were intensely conscious of the toll the war was taking on the Jedi community and neither regretted the night they had just spent together.
His hands reached up and gently caressed her face, and then he kissed her one more time. His warm, passionate lips filled her with the sense of their impending separation. They tightly embraced, and he brushed his lips over the top of her head and whispered, "I wish you didn't have to go now."
She smiled at the soft irony of his statement. "Your attachment is showing," she said with a teasing smirk.
The corners of his mouth turned up in a sardonic grin.
"Oops! Sorry, the human part of me keeps wanting to speak it's mind, but don't worry, the Jedi part of me knows that I must release you to your duty, as I must go to mine."
She nodded mutely, swallowing back a choking lump in her throat. She threw her arms around his neck and embraced him again, then standing back turned resolutely to the door and opened it.
Together they left her quarters, each going their separate ways and toward separate duties.
Romantic and sweet moment between the two of them. Love how they compromised on what to do before leaving. Lovely scene!
a very nice scene. Loved to read this after coming back
So aweet and loving, they are truly meant to be together.
Thanks Earlybird, glad you are back!!
Yes they are! Thank you!!
Chapter 25: Battle Weary
Obi-Wan sank wearily onto his cot in his tent after several long exhausting days on the battle field. The droid army was relentless, the republic army valiant in their effort to defeat Grievous & save the civilians in the villages.
Since landing on Mega, they had battled day and night against Grievous's droid armies as they had marched and attacked village after village. Finally, after three days of continuous fighting, the droids had suddenly stopped and retreated. The clone troopers had cheered, but Obi-Wan sensed this wasn't over, that there would be a regrouping and then the battle would be renewed, but he was grateful for the respite.
When Grievous's army had gone, Obi-Wan, Commander Cody and the clones warriors had just stood where they were, arms too tired to hold up weapons finally dropping to their sides. They were exhausted, filthy and barely on their feet in the middle of a surreal plain cluttered with burnt and smoldering droid parts and bodies of clones who had lost their lives. Burnt out buildings dotted the landscape, the inhabitants of which had been whisked away before the attacks and taken to safety. Very few civilians had lost their lives since the GAR had arrived. Obi-Wan was thankful for that.
The troops then swiftly moved themselves into action, busying themselves with retrieving the bodies of the fallen and getting the injured ready for transport to the med unit back at camp. Two air transports landed at the battle site where a handful of fresh troops who had come to help their brothers in battle now disembarked to help get their injured comrades onto the transports. If need be, they would stay behind while the exhausted, dead and wounded were taken back to camp, and then they would be picked up later.
Obi-Wan gazed regretfully at the painfully few remaining troops carrying the dead and injured while dragging their own exhausted bodies to the transports. After they were on board, General Kenobi and Commander Cody then boarded one of the air transports. The 10 minute flight landed them at the makeshift base camp where tents dotted the landscape, with a med tent in the center, a mess tent and the Officers and Jedi's tents on one side of the med units and surrounded by troopers. Clones who had stayed to guard the camp welcomed the warriors home, medics rushed to the transports to help get the wounded to the med tent.
Obi-Wan helped lift some of the injured to medical cots, using the force to ease the discomfort of some of the troops. The pain of these men rippled in the force and his stomach churned at their discomfort; he would have stayed as long as needed but the the head medic found him and ordered him out of the med tent to tend to himself.
"We need our General to be in one piece for the next onslaught," the Commanding Medic informed him.
He had tried to argue, but the Commanding Medic would have none of it.
The Medic carefully said. "I mean no disrespect, General, but you need to rest. You Jedi are incredibly invincible, but you need to clean up, eat and sleep. We don't know how long this is going to last and we need you to be rested and ready, Sir!"
Obi-Wan had glanced blearily at the Commander. Clones were not usually this mouthy with Jedi, he thought, but then shrugged his shoulders. Healers were healers no matter who they were, even clones. He bowed in acquiescence and headed for his tent.
Now, sitting on his cot, he ran his hands through his hair, shaking out dirt, dried blood and bits of robotic metal. He rubbed his red, sleep deprived eyes and then bent over to pull off his boots. His mind flashed for a moment to that night a little over a year ago when Siri had gently removed his boots and set them on the floor. That night when...
He heaved another aching sigh. How he missed her.
He shook dirt and grime from his boots and set them next to his cot. He removed his cloak and shook it out, picking bits of metal out of the folds but no amount of shaking would make it clean. He threw it against the lone chair in the room and then collapsed on the cot, letting his arms fall aimlessly to his side. He was even too tired to go to the camp fresher but he had to admit it would feel good to clean up a little, if there were enough water. He pulled himself up and forced himself to his feet. He retrieved his one spare fresh tunic from his pack and left his tent to make his way to the temporary facilities.
He entered and discovered a bath drawn and waiting. He looked askance at it, then at the clone attendant waiting.
"Where did you get the water for this?" he demanded, thinking about the many uses this water could have been used for other than someone's bath.
"And who is this for, anyway?" he wanted to know.
"You, Sir," the clone answered with a bow.
Surprise stunned him for a moment. "Me! I didn't ask..."
"Commander Cody's orders. Step in, Sir."
Obi-Wan stood, his thoughts mulling over chewing out Commander Cody for his chutzpah. He drew himself up, and turned to find the object of his ire when the attending trooper stopped him.
"Sir, we found a stream a few miles to the east of us a couple days ago. We rigged up a temporary line to draw the water from there. It's been tested and found to be good. We have plenty of water, or at least enough. No one will go without by you taking a bath...Sir."
Obi-Wan turned and studied the man for a moment. The trooper stood unflinching under his gaze.
Obi-Wan looked again at the inviting bath and suddenly weariness and desire for cleanliness won out.
"Very well," he said, placing his fresh tunic on a nearby stand.
He gratefully pulled off soiled tunics and undergarments. The trooper handed him soap and implements for bathing, put a towel on a stand next to the bath, then took his leave. Obi-Wan sank blissfully into the steaming water, closing his eyes as he allowed the warmth of the water to wash away his tension along with the filth. He sank into the force and allowed it's soothing balm to cleanse his spirit as well.
As he relaxed, he tried to push away thoughts for awhile of the warriors outside who would take turns during the night with their brothers in guarding the resting camp while others traveled to the next villages to get the citizens there to safety, transports ready to take them to refugee camps far away from the main fighting. Most had already fled, but there were always stragglers, those who refused to give up their homes.
He thought about Anakin who had left after the second day with Commander Rex and his own company of troops to try to flush out Grievous. He wondered how Anakin was doing. They had heard nothing in the last two days, but Obi-Wan did not sense immediate danger for his former Padawan. He hoped to hear from him this evening.
He scrubbed his hair and then using the bath brush he had been given he scrubbed his body until the water was dark and foamy with dirt and suds. The attendant returned and beckoned Obi-Wan to stand. He did so and the trooper took a bucket of warm clean water and poured it over Obi-Wan's body, rinsing the grime and suds into the soiled bath water.
He then stepped out and grabbed a towel as his thoughts returned to the previous year.
Over the last several months Kenobi and Skywalker had been sent on many dangerous missions and had managed to pull off many spectacular victories, as the holonet news media's were so fond of putting it. According to them, the team of Kenobi and Skywalker were single handedly saving the galaxy.
Obi-Wan disliked such propaganda. He tried to ignore it as much as he could, but it was difficult when his partner loved the praise and insisted on bringing it to his attention.
He had given up trying to remind Anakin of the Jedi platitudes of self sacrifice, serving without reward or accolades. The Council agreed with Obi-Wan's disdain for the media attention, but there was little they could do about it. The Chancellor insisted it was good for the morale of the people to have a face behind the war, to see who was fighting for them.
Recently they had been hot on the trail of General Grievous and his armies. The battles were fierce, more Jedi lost their lives, more Clones died saving planets from the destruction of the Separatist armies. And now their trail had lead them here to Mega and just as at other times, the hope was that perhaps, finally they would capture and stop General Grievous and his machinations.
Anakin, Obi-Wan, and two companies of clone warriors had landed on this most recent battle front only about 5 days ago. Mega's planet leaders had refused Dooku's "offer" of protection if they left the Republic and joined the Separatists. The leaders had bravely refused, but soon afterward Grievous's droid army had landed and begun their assault on the land, killing all who stood in their way, whether child or adult. They burned buildings driving citizens out of their homes and then blasted them down. Dooku had promised to "rescue" the inhabitants if the leaders would sign. They nearly did, until the Jedi with the clone armies landed to do battle against the droids.
This scenario had been played several times on various republic worlds since the war had begun. These targeted planets were smaller, less influential worlds with little to offer the Separatists except to weaken the republic and dishearten republic citizens by signing it's loyalties over to the Separatists and providing them with another voice and vote on the senate floor. The strong arm tactic of offering protection and then attacking if the leader refused was effective; most planet leaders succumbed to the pressure but Mega had stubbornly stood it's ground, not fooled by the enticing promises made by Dooku and other members of the Separatists Leaders.
Obi-Wan desperately did not want to see these brave people lose this fight. He would fight to the end for them if need be.
He ended the bath much refreshed and hungry. He would seek something to eat and then sleep. As he dressed in the fresh tunics, Commander Cody hailed him. He left the fresher as Cody approached. Anakin was waiting to speak with them.
As Obi-Wan matched strides with Commander Cody on the way to the Officers tent where the comm unit was set up he said,
"You ordered a bath for me, Commander."
"I did, Sir," Cody said matter-of-factly, his eyes trained on the tent in front of them.
"I did not order it."
"No, you didn't, General."
"Do you have an explanation for this...act of initiative?"
"You needed a bath, Sir, and a moment to relax."
Silence stood between them a moment. Finally Obi-Wan said, with a touch of grateful humor in his voice,
"Thank you, Commander."
"Just doing my duty, Sir," Cody said, the hint of a twinkle glinting in his eyes for only a moment, then disappearing into the hard features of the warrior.
They arrived at the tent in companionable silence.
On the comm unit, Anakin reported that they had finally found Grievous's hiding place and hoped to finally end this siege within 24 hours. Obi-Wan nodded thoughtfully. He was hopeful, but Grievous was pretty shifty...he seemed to slip out of the grasp of the GAR time and time again.
Obi-Wan had then contacted the temple to report on the battle and Anakin's progress.
Yoda had nodded thoughtfully as he gave the report.
"Encouraging this is, Master Obi-Wan. However, help I am sending you. Sense I do that the battle on Mega is not over. Sent, I have, a Jedi with a battalion of troops. Departed two days ago, they did."
Obi-Wan nodded gratefully. "Thank you, Master Yoda. Their help will be most appreciated. May I ask, who is the Jedi leading them?"
"Master Tachi, it is. Available she was. Arrive within hours, she will."
"Thank you, Master Yoda. Her arrival will be most...welcome."
Yoda harumphed as he eyed Obi-Wan, a mixture of humor and severity in his gaze.
"Await your next report, I will, Master Obi-Wan."
Obi-Wan bowed as the comm ended.
Siri is coming here!
Suddenly his emotions were a mixture of trepidation and anticipation. Cody glanced sideways at him as they exited the tent and went to the mess. He kept his demeanor solid, allowing no emotion to seep out. Cody was not force sensitive, but he knew his General. However if Obi-Wan's reaction was at all exposed, Cody did not acknowledge it. After a brief meal, he bade Cody good night and went back to his tent.
He laid on his cot and closed his eyes. His thoughts drifted for the thousandth time to that night; the night forever seared in his memory, the night he had held her in his arms, had felt her heart beat with his, the sweet warmth of her breath as she had kissed him time and again; the night he had felt her body pressed against his in a union so complete he had felt sure they must be one person, never to be separated again. The last night he had truly experienced peace.
Memories of that night warmed him in his cold bunk in the tent. He drifted to sleep, a slight smile tugging at the corners of his mouth as he saw again her beautiful face lifted up to him in that warm bed, her eyes shining with a love that filled him until he thought he might burst. As he slept, he dreamed of her.
The ship veered sharply, but those inside managed to keep their footing as they avoided the rockets and lazers aimed at them as they neared the surface of the planet Mega. Commander Lox barked orders as the clone troopers fired back, blasting droid after droid out of the sky. The Commander glanced at the Jedi standing silently to the side.
"Our landing coordinates have been confirmed, General. It is almost morning there, but the sun has not risen yet. It will still be dark as we had hoped."
"Good. Proceed, Commander. We must make it through to them. They need us," the Jedi said calmly.
"He needs me," she thought to herself.
Siri let the cowl drop from her face as she gazed eagerly at the swiftly approaching planet.
Over a year. It had been over a year since they had spent that night together. Over a year since she had seen his face, gazed into those eyes, felt their bond, felt his body next to hers, felt him...
Mission after mission had kept both of them away from the temple for long periods of time and on the few occasions when she had returned to the temple, he and Anakin had been away fighting a battle on some far off planet, going after leads that might lead them to Dooku or Grievous.
Now, she shivered in anticipation of seeing him again. The situation was far from ideal. In the report she had seen he and Anakin had already been there several days in a desperate attempt to save the planet from separatists. They had the added stress of trying to move innocent citizens out of harms way as the droid armies attacked their villages.
Obi-Wan must be exhausted, Siri mused to herself, and who knows how long it's been since he had eaten properly or bathed but no matter what condition he might be in, she couldn't wait to see him.
Comm contact was kept to a minimum and very brief with coded messages. Commander Lox received the code that they were cleared for landing. They brushed away the last bit of crumbs from the attacking droid vessels and the GAR vessel finally landed at the coordinates that had been given to them. Darkness enveloped the land, and it was quiet. Siri flipped her cowl back over her head, grabbed her gear and prepared to disembark.
A trooper opened the latch and a blast of bitter cold air nearly pulled her cowl off. She clutched at it, bracing herself against the chill.
"The report said the nights were cold, but I didn't expect this!" she thought to herself.
Commander Lox glanced at her. "Ready, General?"
Siri nodded. The trooper stood at attention as the Commander and Siri passed through the latch.
Commander Cody saluted as they neared him, and Siri could hear other troopers greeting their brothers as they also disembarked.
"General Kenobi is in his tent. He has been expecting you," Commander Cody said, his eyes sweeping both Lox and Siri.
"Thank you, Cody. Take us to him at once," Siri said. She schooled her features to reflect Jedi stoicism as her heart began to race at the mere mention of his name.
They left the ship, making their way through brush and droid parts piled in neat stacks along the way.
The sentinels saluted as they passed, and soon they approached the camp where more troopers stood around a fire blazing in the center, warming themselves and eating hastily provided rations.
Others were sleeping in tents and Siri could hear a symphony of snores around her. She sensed this was the first chance they had had to rest in some days. She was glad for it. Some stood over basins shaving and cleaning themselves up a little, but all were on the alert and getting ready, knowing that at any moment they might receive warning of another attack.
Near the center of the camp, surrounded by the tents of clone troopers, stood the Jedi temporary quarters.
Commander Cody stopped at the closed flap of Obi-Wan's tent and announced their arrival.
"Send them in," she heard his unmistakable, yet weary voice say.
Cody opened the flap and they entered the dim tent. A single light sat on a small table next to a cot only large enough for one being.
"No room for two there," She thought, then chided herself. "Stop that."
If Obi-Wan was surprised to see her he didn't show it. He stood formally as Commander Lox saluted him.
"Sir. Commander Lox reporting for duty."
"Thank you, Commander." His eyes flickered to Siri. "General Tachi. I'm glad you could come. We really need the help."
"So I've been told. It's really bad I hear," Siri said, not taking her eyes off him. He looked thin, worn. His eyes were blood shot from stress and lack of sleep. His hair looked a little darker, swept back from his face. He had cut it since she last saw him and had it combed in a side part. She gazed into his eyes. They were basically the same except the sparkle had dimmed somewhat and a sadness seemed to pervade those blue-gray depths, yet as she looked deeper through their bond she saw gladness and hope in them. She knew that would be more expressed when the opportunity revealed itself.
He sighed deeply and she could feel the weariness permeate his very being. "This is the first night we have had since we got here where we weren't on the battle ground. We have been fighting for days to protect the citizens and defeat the droids. Many villagers flee as soon as word comes to their village that an attack is impending, but there are always those who lag behind. We go through and get as many out as possible, all the while fighting to keep Grievous's droids from attacking them. Many clones have been lost and our numbers have dwindled. We are grateful you are here."
"Two days after we got here, Anakin took Commander Rex and some of the troops to find Grievous.
His report last night indicated they had finally located his hideout. Hopefully this will be over in a day or two."
Siri nodded. "I hope so."
Commander Lox said, "What are your orders, Sir?"
"Get your men supplied and ready and then rest while you can. The front has been a few miles south, but we feel it will be moving again, closer to the next village. Troops are already there helping to get citizens out. I'm awaiting the report on the status of the citizens in that village. If the droid army continues as it has been, that is where the next attack will be, however recon reports to confirm this are expected. We will, of course, go where we are needed."
"Yes, Sir." Commander Lox saluted and then left.
Now alone with him, Siri suddenly didn't know what to say. There was so much she wanted to tell him, yet there was so little time.
"You look tired...and clean! I wasn't expecting that. Did you take a bath just for me?"
Obi-Wan shook his head, giving her a crooked grin. "Coincidence. Commander Cody thought I needed a bath and ordered one for me. "
"You should have waited for me! We could have bathed together!" Siri teased.
Obi-Wan's eyebrows shot up. "Sh! Siri! The tent walls have ears! And besides, I didn't know about your coming until afterwards."
Siri rolled her eyes at his concern about being heard. She dropped her pack and sauntered up to him.
"I don't care who hears us, Obi-Wan." She reached up and brushed his beard with her hand. "I'm just so happy to see you."
He took her hand and kissed it, and then suddenly Jedi General protocol fell away as he wrapped his arms around her, drawing her into a close embrace.
Their closeness stirred her in a way she hadn't experienced in many months. She pressed her head against his chest and remembered.
"I've missed you so much," he finally said softly, kissing the top of her head, then lifting her chin he kissed her lips. She threw her arms round his neck as their kiss deepened and for a moment they forgot where they were.
"General Kenobi!" Cody's voice boomed from the outside.
Siri and Obi-Wan broke the embrace as Obi-Wan said, "Yes, Cody. What is it?"
"Recon reports movement of droids toward the Dekaton border. The troops you sent there yesterday have most of the villagers moved, but there are still some who refuse to leave."
"We'll head there now. Get the troops ready to move out."
Obi-Wan glanced worriedly at Siri. "The Dekaton border is further south-west than where we had been fighting. It will be a longer trip by air transport."
"Obi-Wan, did you sleep at all earlier?" Siri asked, concerned at the circles under his eyes, the fatigue in his body.
"I slept earlier for a few hours," Obi-Wan said, adjusting his saber at his side and taking up the same filthy cloak he had discarded earlier.
"Why don't you let me go and you stay here and rest."
He gave her a sharp look, then softened. "Thank you, but it's my duty and and I will not sleep while my men are out there. I'm sure they would love more sleep too, but we have a job to do."
Siri nodded. She knew Obi-Wan enough to know her suggestion would not be accepted by him, but she felt she had to try.
"Very well, let's go then," she said, adjusting her saber and pulling her cloak more tightly against the predawn chill.
Obi-Wan paused, looking at her, his brow furrowed. His look caused a slight shiver to pass through her. Her thoughts immediately went to her visions and she clamped them down firmly. She instead focused on him.
"What? A bad feeling?" she asked quietly.
Obi-Wan nodded. "Something vague, illusive. I don't know. It feels like something close, I should be able to grasp it, but then it's gone. I don't know what it means."
She looped her hand through his arm. "Well, don't worry about it then. Come on, we have work to do."
Obi-Wan stopped and grasped her arm. "I wonder...should you...?"
Siri stood facing him, her eyes boring into his. "I am ready to fight at your side, Obi-Wan, no matter what happens."
She watched as his eyes shifted through several quick emotions, and then settle into acceptance.
He nodded, a rueful smile playing at his lips as he opened the tent flap. "Together then?"
She glanced outward at the bustling camp in the early morning light. Troopers running and shouting, men grabbing gear and jumping onto transports.
"Always," she said, and together they stepped out into the first rays of a new day.
A very nice and detailed update with all the life in the camp and now with Siri there. Love it to see them together
Thank you, Earlybird...love them together also. It's about to get pretty intense here in a moment.
Chapter 26: On a Battlefield Far Away
Angry crimson beams of light shot from the setting Megan sun, piercing the peaceful azure sky with accusing fingers, splashing its blood red hue over the battle being waged below. Its rebuke went unnoticed by the combatants, and as the sun slowly withdrew, its scarlet light seemed to linger on Siri's face for a brief moment before drawing in to itself. The sun sank dejectedly into the night as Siri and Obi-Wan slashed and battered their way through another line of droids.
Clones flanked them on either side, but Siri had relished being at Obi-Wan's side this day. She would not have chosen to be anywhere else. They had fought together before in early missions with their padawans, but this was the first time since the war had begun that they had fought together in battle.
When they had first arrived that morning, the force had been a dizzying array of fear and confusion as clones had been desperately trying to get citizens out of harms way while battling the droids at the same time. Siri and Obi-Wan had split up, each taking the homes on either side of the village, checking to make sure everyone was out. They fought attacking droids as they went, and when they found beings cowering fearfully in a corner of their room or in a closet, they yanked them out with a stern "The droid army is here, you must get out now. Go with the soldier to safety."
The Jedi met little resistance to the command as the stragglers allowed themselves to be thrust into the arms of an attending clone trooper to be taken to the waiting transport. The few times they did meet resistance either through fear or stubbornness, a little force persuasion did the trick. This was no time for protocol or negotiation.
Finally, the village was clear, and Obi-Wan and Siri could concentrate on the fight.
A short time later, they received word that another village a few miles away was also under attack. Siri left Obi-Wan to join the fight there, and for a good portion of the day she fought with Commander Lox in that village. The clones had successfully gotten everyone out with the exception of one or two stragglers, but soon that village was under control and Siri was able to rejoin Obi-Wan in the main battle in Dekaton.
The spent the rest of the day side by side.
As they leaped, slashed, deflected and parried, they had fought in perfect harmony, each feeling the others moves and strategy. They seemed to not only feel what the other was feeling, but they seemed to know the other's thoughts and moved accordingly. Very little had needed to be spoken between them.
Only a couple times had there been a brief pause in the battle and they had sank gratefully to the ground and shared a ration bar, leaning against one another for support. All too soon the battle had resumed and they had been on their feet again.
Now, dusk settled into restless night, but the battle showed no sign of letting up. Siri nearly staggered on her feet, wondering how much longer this was going to go on. She thought of what Obi-Wan had told her when they first arrived; that they had been in continuous battle for three days before their brief respite at camp.
She shoved exhaustion aside and drew on the force's reserves and felt herself renewed. She felt a slight touch from Obi-Wan. He was sending her strength. She pushed it back. "You need your strength too, Obi-Wan," she hissed in their bond.
The fight continued.
Late into the night, a few hours before dawn there was finally a halt. The droids retreated, leaving the broken and burning village. A transport soon landed and Commander Cody jumped out.
"Sir, the droids are heading south to Katon, the next village. Troops are already there."
Obi-Wan beckoned Siri, and with the other remaining troops, loaded onto the transport for the short flight to the next village. Siri and Obi-Wan took advantage of the moment to close their eyes in meditation, leaning against each other.
Siri felt a light touch on her mind. She stirred. She must have fallen asleep. Sheepishly she looked at Obi-Wan's gentle gaze, a smile lifting the corners of his mouth.
"We're here, Siri."
She allowed herself to be pulled up, and she grasped Obi-Wan's arm, gazing into his eyes.
Something stirred within her. A feeling. Suddenly she wanted to stop everything and embrace him, hold him tightly. She wanted to grab his hand and drag him away and take him someplace else. A place where they both would be safe and together forever.
But there was no place for them, at least not yet. Not while destiny held its sway. She saw his eyes flicker with that vague something, that famous "bad feeling" shadowing his face for a moment, but she lifted her chin, determined to follow her path.
"Let's go," she said.
They disembarked in the early morning light to find line upon line of droids marching on a nearly empty village except for the clone troopers already there. They had worked through the night to get villagers out and now faced off with the droids. Lazer shots flew and clones returned fire. Droids and clones alike fell as their comrades stepped over them, firing continuous rounds at their enemy.
Droids at the edge split off and threw fire bombs into houses, the explosions and resulting fire casting an eerie glow against the golden light of the early dawn.
Obi-Wan and Siri deflected shots fired at them as they, along with the newly arrived troops, joined the fight.
Once again, the two Jedi fought in perfect synchronicity, deflecting and protecting each other and their troops. Fewer troopers fell when the Jedi were there.
Throughout the day, the battle moved through the village, droids were scattered, clones mowed them down. Obi-Wan and Siri slashed droid after droid, yet they seemed unstoppable.
Late in the day, as the watchful sun slowly lowered itself toward the far horizon, they had reached the outskirts of the village. In the distance a lone house stood against the stark landscape in the late afternoon light.
Siri paused. She sensed something there. She glanced at Obi-Wan. She could see he sensed it too.
"There are children in that house," she whispered.
Obi-Wan nodded. "I'll go get them out," he said, calling to a nearby trooper to accompany him.
"No." Siri said. Obi-Wan turned to her, surprised.
"No. I'll go."
"We don't have time to argue," he said.
"No we don't. I'll go, Obi-Wan. You stay with your troops."
Their lightsabers came up, deflecting bolts shot at them as they stared at each other. Each sensed danger there, neither wanted the other to go.
"No arguments, Obi-Wan. You stay with your troops. I'll go." Without waiting for him to respond she turned and ran toward the house, the trooper following.
"You must survive!" Siri called back as she ran. She stopped short of the door. This house had a familiar look to it. She took a deep breath, grabbed the force, opened the door and entered.
Obi-Wan watched her enter. Dread tugged at him, and he thought he had heard her say something about "you must survive."
"What does that mean?" he wondered, but had no time to reflect. The battle was upon him again and he turned to battle the droids, desperate to defeat them before they could reach the house.
The force suddenly spiked in alarm. Obi-Wan's heart nearly stopped. He knew she was in danger, he had to get to her. Droids suddenly seemed to surround him, and with a renewed strength brought on by adrenaline and desperation, he fought like a man possessed, plowing down droids with his saber.
The clones fought to keep up with him as he made his way toward the house.
He was nearer, but still too far away when the door opened. The clone trooper with a distraught woman holding her baby and grasping another child by the hand was escorted out. He shielded the small family as he lead them to another clone who whisked them away, keeping them protected against attack.
"Where is Siri?" he wondered, deflecting more shots. He had destroyed most of the droids in his vicinity and began to run toward the house.
Finally, he saw her cloak shadow the door. She was in the doorway, holding another small child tightly to her. She darted out of the house when from behind the house, to Obi-Wan's horror, a droid suddenly launched a fire bomb. It hit the house and exploded, throwing Siri and the baby several feet into the air. She used the force to protect the child, but she landed hard, shrapnel flying as she fell. The baby flew out of her arms, or was she tossed? A nearby trooper caught her and the baby was safe and taken swiftly to her mother, but Siri lay still on the ground.
Not caring about flying debris or the burning house several feet away from where Siri now lay, he ran toward her, his heart pounding in protest.
"No! No! No!" Disbelief and horror gripped him as he cried within. "Not her!"
As he neared, a droid shot out from behind the burning house and fired three quick shots into Siri.
Stricken, Obi-Wan shouted in rage and leaped the remaining feet to land on the other side of Siri. Furiously he slashed the droid to bits, then other droids came around and he single handedly mowed them down. His pulse racing, he fought without thought, determined to rid himself of these hindrances to her.
He glanced her way and her form lay crumpled and bloodied on the battle field. "No!" he cried again.
He raised his lightsaber to destroy the remaining droids when suddenly the droids stopped. They stood still.
They suddenly turned and in formation marched away from the battle field, leaving fallen droid counterparts lying in pieces on the ground.
Obi-Wan sensed Anakin had done it finally. This was confirmed when Commander Cody ran up to him, comm in his hand.
"It's over. Anakin found Grievous and destroyed his hiding place. We'll get the full report later, but Grievous escaped into a waiting ship saying something about "Another time, Jedi". Droids are right now loading onto their ships. We won, at least here. We..."
Obi-Wan had stopped listening. Knowing Anakin was safe was enough for now. He moved numbly to where Siri lay, his eyes riveted onto her body, searching for any sign of life. He felt a faint ripple from her. She was still alive, but would it be enough?
"I'm sorry, General Kenobi. I'll get the medic here asap."
Obi-Wan nodded but did not respond.
His heart in his throat, he slowly knelt next to her. She was covered in blood, her body twisted and broken.
With trembling hand he stroked her hair softly.
"Siri?" he whispered, choking back the tears.
He moved his arm under her and lifting her slightly, cradled her in his arms, not caring about the blood now soaking his robe. She felt so light. He felt her force signature getting weaker. He tried to check her to see if she could be moved to a medic, but she shifted slightly, opened her eyes and smiled weakly up at him, and then she winced.
"It's too late, Obi-Wan," she whispered.
He stared into beautiful blue eyes now clouded and fading. He shook his head, tears stinging his eyes. "No! Don't say that."
He had heard those words before. He couldn't bear to hear them again...not from her. He tried to send force healing into her, but she stopped him. "It's too late. Save your energy, Obi-Wan."
He shook his head in denial.
She gazed at him with wonder.
"Deja-Vu," she murmured, then her face twisted as a spasm of pain shot through her.
Puzzled, Obi-Wan stuttered. "Wh-what"
"I've been here before," she said softly, "in the caves of Ilum."
"You..you what?" Obi-Wan was reeling, trying to understand. "You knew about this? Could you not have stopped it?"
"I didn't know the circumstance that would cause it. I hoped to stop it, but..." she coughed, dark blood bubbling out of her mouth. She weakly spit it out and her gaze drifted in the direction of where the woman with the babies had been taken.
She shuddered again and whispered, "Have you ever been faced with something that you knew was going to take your life but you had to do it anyway?"
Obi-Wan blinked and wiped away the tears. He shook his head. "Not yet," he whispered. He felt his heart breaking with every breath she grasped, with every word she uttered.
"Why did you have to be the one to go in? Why not me?" he gasped.
"You have to survive. You have to..."
Siri gasped and grabbed his robe, as spasms of pain once again rocked through her. Obi-Wan held her as tightly as he could. He didn't want to let her go. He held her as though by his own strength he could prevent what was happening.
Tears streamed down his face. He couldn't do this. Not her.
No! NOT HER!"
His mind was protesting, screaming out in denial of what was happening before him. He shuddered as he whispered,
"Please Siri, please don't die. Don't leave me. I can't bear it."
Siri smiled slightly at those familiar words. Then she grimaced and said the familiar response, rehearsed so many times in her memory of the long ago visions.
"Of course you can, Obi-Wan. You will go on. You have to. You have much to do yet."
She tried to reach her warming crystal with her broken, bloody hand. She gasped in pain and motioned for him to find it.
He reached into her inner pocket and pulled out the crystal, warming and shining in his hand. She took it and held it for a moment, gazing thoughtfully at it, then pressed it into his hand and murmured "You keep this. Don't burn it with me, promise? You keep it with you."
"I promise," Obi-Wan murmured, grasping the crystal tightly.
She reached up and stroke his face gently and his tears covered her bloody hand. He took her hand and kissed it gently.
"It's a part of who I am," she murmured softly.
Her hand dropped and she gazed at him, tears in her dim, fading eyes. "I will always be with you. I love you."
Obi-Wan leaned over her and kissed her gently. She weakly returned the kiss and then her head fell limply to the side. He felt her life force leave her body, felt their bond break. She was gone.
He couldn't stand this. Not again! His heart was shattered, his being devastated. He lay over her in a pool of misery so deep the troops kept their distance. They kept busy, cleaning up the area, but their glances occasionally swept over to this unJedi like grief so eloquently displayed by their General.
Commander Cody stood protectively near his General; a sentinel and guardian for his grief. Obi-Wan felt rather than saw the troops protective regard. They would never speak a word of what they were witnessing.
Slowly, reverently, lovingly he pressed his lips one more time against hers. A kiss of farewell. A kiss of release, but he felt no release yet.
Blood smeared on his face from her lips mixed with the tears streaming from his eyes. A wail, quiet but so deep from within him welled up and he groaned as he knelt over her, his head pressed against hers, much like he had once done with his former master.
"I love you, too, Siri," he whispered as with shaking fingers he closed her eyes. Then squeezing his eyes shut against the pain, he pulled her in to himself, holding her close to his heart.
Far away, transports were returning displaced citizens to their villages to assess the damages and decide what needed to be done to rebuild. Others were returned to villages that had not been touched by the marauding droid armies, grateful that they had been spared the onslaught. In the capital the planet leaders shook hands all around and congratulated themselves that they did not bow to the demands of the Separatists. Anakin was preparing his troops to return to the base camp, looking forward to telling his former Master of the success he had just enjoyed.
On the battle field, troops were moving, busy. Gathering wounded. loading them onto transports. Some clapped each other on the shoulders in shared gratitude of their victory. Other transports flew in and landed as fully loaded ones lifted off and headed to the camp.
And in the middle of all the celebration and bustle sat a Jedi; a broken man cradling his love, shoulders shaking as his grief poured out in silver rivulets upon her broken body.
Behind him, crimson hues flared into a brilliant display of rose and titian hues over the horizon and then settled into a silent radiance of gold as the sun sunk into bittersweet night.
A heartbreaking update. To see Siri go
Great words and very touching
Thank you, Earlybird
Chapter 27: Facing The Future
His love was wrapped in a pristine cloak, golden hair framing her lovely face. She looked as though she were sleeping, as if she would awaken at any moment and wonder what all the fuss was about, but she lay in peaceful death, unaware of the devastated life poised near her lifeless body.
Obi-Wan stood silently, a lonely figure in a solemn line of silent, mournful Jedi and visitors.
This was the woman he loved, the woman the Order was getting ready to commit to fire, to the force.
He was numb, whether from grief or exhaustion he could not say.
His eyes were dry, tears having been spent on a battle field as he held her broken, bleeding body in his arms, just as he had wept so long ago when he had held his dying master.
And just as he could not weep at the side of his Master's bier then, so the tears would not come now.
He gazed again with heavy, dull eyes at her body, so beautiful lying in white upon the bier.
She was radiant. It was as if the force had wrapped itself around her, bathing her in its light.
He became dully aware that words were being spoken. By Mace he thought numbly, or was it one of the other Council members? He didn't know. He didn't really care. The words washed over him, barely touching him; of a life lived as a Jedi, of a life sacrificed for the lives of others.
"Including mine," he added morosely to himself.
"There is no death, there is the force."
The words were spoken by all, the same words spoken at every funeral bier, but this time the words sank into his consciousness and struck a discordant note within him.
"But there is death," Obi-Wan protested inwardly. "My own."
He was now a dead man.
He would continue to walk, to eat and sleep, to do his duty as a Jedi, but all these mundane things no longer mattered to him.
He watched as a torch was laid near the base of the bier, watched as the flames rose higher, consuming her.
He stared hard at the side of the bier rather than at her face. He couldn't watch this, not fully.
Through all of this, his countenance had been hardened in the stoic demeanor of a Jedi in control of his emotions.
It was a lie.
Grief and loss were a searing fire in his being: a double edged sword cutting and bleeding inside him, a painful hammering that pounded with every beat of that muscular organ that kept him standing. He could no longer think of it as his heart.
That was now being reduced to ashes, a spire of smoke billowing up, making the long journey through the temple vents and finally into the Coruscant air.
He had been through this with Qui-Gon and had wondered then how he would go on, but he had.
Jedi training had been his foundation, Anakin his unexpected salvation, but Siri had been his heart.
He could no longer feel anything except the painful hole left in the wake of its departure.
He realized the morbidity of his thinking just then and turned his thoughts instead to the events of last few days.
He barely remembered the trip home, of Anakin's concerned glances at him. When duty had called,
Obi-Wan had been diligent to do his job but as soon as it was done, he was found sitting by her side, his mind filled with every event they had gone through together through the years, both good or bad. A few times, he was sure he could almost hear her sigh, at other times he seemed to feel her laughter as he smiled in memory of happy times. He knew she was dead, but somehow, sitting near her body, he thought he could feel her sometimes.
The question that ran though him more than any other was "Why?"
"Why her? Why did she have to go to that house? Why do I have to survive?"
Those questions plagued him day and night.
Landing on Coruscant had been the hardest part. He had to let her body be carried out and taken to the Temple examiner and then prepared for the funeral. It had taken every ounce of control he had at that moment to keep from breaking down again.
Later, when the briefing by the council had taken place, Obi-Wan had carefully explained everything that had happened, including the moment when Siri had turned and ran toward the house despite his misgivings. That moment was particularly painful.
He dreamed of it every night. It haunted his waking hours, wondering if there had been anything he could have done differently, anything that would have stopped her from running in, from being there when...
A jostle at his arm shook him and he glanced up. People were shifting away from the smoldering bier, moving toward the exit speaking in soft whispers. A few glanced Obi-Wan's way with curiosity and sadness. A few nodded to him.
He stood frozen, as though made of stone.
He sensed Anakin near. He glanced up as Anakin drew closer, brows lowered over eyes full of concern.
They had had an argument the day after their return to Coruscant with Siri's body. Anakin had kept quiet the trip home, but through his consuming grief, he had sensed a disturbance in his former Padawan and best friend.
He had approached him in their quarters that evening.
"Anakin, is something troubling you?"
"It's nothing, Master."
Obi-Wan nodded. "The Council has set the memorial for ... her...for tomorrow afternoon."
Anakin turned on him, eyes flaring into life. "You want to know what's bothering me? That is, Master!"
Puzzled, Obi-Wan said, "What?"
"You! You're so calm. You act like it's just another day, that she was just another Jedi. You act like it's nothing. Yeah, you sat with her a little bit on the trip home, but that's all I've seen you do. I haven't seen anything else from you that says you even care! Did you even love her like you claim? I wonder!"
Obi-Wan stood numb at Anakin's spiteful words, shocked at how much it hurt him.
Anakin had not been witness to the outpouring of grief on the battlefield that day. Obi-Wan had since kept his shields tight, not wanting Anakin to feel the pain and loss he was experiencing. Anakin could not know the emptiness he was feeling now, the nightly dreams he had about her. He had taken control of his emotions after that day and maintained a stalwart demeanor, defying the aching yearning in his heart to see her, to be with her. How could he explain all this now? Should he?
It was so very private.
Later that night, Anakin had apologized, and Obi-Wan had forgiven him.
Now, as Anakin approached him after the funeral service, Obi-Wan could feel his concern for him. He allowed Anakin to take his arm.
"Let's go back to our quarters, Master. Some friends are coming over."
Obi-Wan nodded and let himself be led away.
Thoughts of her filled him as they walked: Siri, so full of life, her soft shapely lips parted slightly as she smiled at him. Her hair, shimmering blonde and always a bit ruffled. Her eyes so blue, shining with love for him; a love he had always wondered at, never quite understood and never felt he quite deserved.
He thought again of the many things they had been through together: pursuing Jenna Zan Arbor with their masters, pursuing Granta Omega with their padawans, the Pellan tribe mission where they first discovered their love for each other, Tagon and the bonding they had experienced there.
"Why did you bind us together if you were going to take her from me?" he asked the force bitterly.
Then his thoughts went to the one night they had together, the night she lay in his arms; a perfect fit.
Inwardly he groaned with the knowledge that he would never hold her in his arms again. Grief suddenly welled up inside him and he stumbled a little. Anakin was quick to take his arm, glancing at him worriedly.
"Are you all right?"
Obi-Wan stood straight, his shoulders back. He schooled his featured into Jedi calm. "I'm fine,
As he regained some measure of control inside, he knew he would have to release her, to let her go, and he would... but not yet.
He felt the scrutinizing gaze of Master Yoda and Mace Windu on him. Well, he thought with a bit of defiance, if the Council was going to change the code, they would need to allow time for grief.
He glanced over at Anakin, walking sullenly next to him. He knew Anakin wanted him to show more emotion, to show how he felt. He jumped eagerly when he sensed Obi-Wan letting his shields down a little, then was disappointed when he clamped them in place again. He seemed to think that if someone didn't openly express their grief then that meant they did not feel nor truly love.
If he only knew.
He thought about how Qui-Gon had grieved for months after Tahl had died. He had cut nearly everyone out of his life for awhile, including his young Padawan.
Obi-Wan remembered how hurt and rejected he had felt at the time.
Would he do that to those near him? Could he cut off and reject those around him who only want to help?
No, he decided, he couldn't do that. He wouldn't hurt others just because he was in pain.
They reached their quarters and Anakin opened the door. He entered with Yoda and Mace following, Anakin coming in last and closing the door.
His friends were already there, some with eyes red from the tears they had shed, some dry eyed but with immense sadness emanating from them.
There was Bant, still weeping. She always did wear her heart on her sleeve. She hugged Obi-Wan for a long time and between gasps whispered for him to call on her anytime if he needed just to talk.
Garen came next, his face drawn with grief. He wrapped his arms around Obi-Wan and gave him a big bear hug. His friends didn't seem to care about the raised eyebrows of the Masters in the room.
Obi-Wan hugged him back, thinking these two more than anyone knew how much she had meant to him.
Well, no, he was wrong. There was at least one other person.
Adi Gallia approached him. A mix of Jedi stoicism and grace, she wore a veil typical of her race. She took Obi-Wan's hands and a quivering smile played at her lips. Obi-Wan could see under the veil the tears standing in her eyes.
Here was someone who was closer to Siri than anyone else, besides himself. Her former Master. He put his arms around her and hugged her tightly, feeling her pain and grief.
Finally, she backed away and gently put her hands on his cheeks, gazing at him sadly.
"She was like my daughter, Obi-Wan." She paused and leaned in to him, whispering, "I think of you as my son-in-law."
Obi smiled wanly and nodded at her, squeezing her hands. She gracefully moved away as Anakin began to serve drinks.
Obi-Wan realized someone was missing from their number.
'Where is Reeft?"
"On Vantor IV."
Obi-Wan nodded. Another Republic world under attack by the Separatists.
"May the force be with him," Obi-Wan said solemnly.
The others agreed.
After a short time of visiting, of his friends offering comfort without crossing the line into maudlin sentimentality, they said goodnight, each having duty or an early morning appointment.
Anakin had taken his leave earlier, as well as Mace. After a short while the only ones left with Obi-Wan was Adi and Yoda.
After a few moments silence, Obi-Wan spoke.
"She said, before she ran to the house, that I had to survive. What did she mean by that?"
Yoda grunted. "Right she was. Survive you must, Obi-Wan."
"Why?" Obi-Wan wanted to know.
Yoda's ears went up with his eyes. "Why? Because will it, the force does. Much still to do, you have, young Obi-Wan. Knew this, Siri did."
"Knew this? What did she know? She told me when she was...dying...that she knew this might happen. She said she saw it on Ilum."
"Yes, saw it she did, and many other things." Yoda said, nodding.
Surprised indignation rose up in him. "You mean she carried this knowledge all these years and didn't tell me? I never even sensed it in her, not even when the force bonded us. Why didn't she tell me?"
Adi took his arm gently. 'She couldn't, Obi-Wan. She had visions about herself and about you, but we, that is myself and Master Yoda, decided years ago that she should not tell you anything. It would have burdened you too much, and it could have even hindered what the force planned for you. She couldn't risk that."
"Why? What did she see in the future?"
"Much darkness. In the center of it, you are. What is going to happen, unsure we are, but know we this, survive you must."
With that, Yoda turned and took his leave.
A sorrowful smile touched Adi's lips and she leaned in and kissed Obi-Wan's cheek.
"Don't worry about it, my dear. Siri loved you, that's all you need to know. Carry that knowledge with you, and she will be with you always."
Obi-Wan's hand went to the pocket with her warming crystal. He felt its heat through his cloak, and felt her. He nodded.
The next few days moved slowly. Obi-Wan spent much time in meditation and when he wasn't doing that he sparred with Anakin or whoever else was available. He sat on the Council, making plans and decisions, but his thoughts never strayed far from her.
The nights were unbearable. He slept little and when he did they were about her and a dark, mysterious future he was supposed to be a part of.
"Without her," he muttered dolefully, and then he would sigh, pain and heartache his ever companions.
One night he awakened from a particularly bad sleep and walked the halls, his bare feet silently treading the ancient floor as he aimlessly wandered.
He came out of a deep reverie and found himself at her door.
Her name had been removed, Adi had cleaned her things out of it. He stood, gazing at it, remembering.
He remembered evenings spent there; On her sofa with bad caffe, on her veranda sitting together on her lounge watching the night traffic and then falling asleep together. He remembered the times they had kissed, times he had held her close, the times when they had teased each other and laughed together and how always, he was loving her. Then he remembered the night in her room, the night they made love, consummating their bond.
His splayed his hands against the door, as if willing her to be there; wishing fervently that she would open the door and invite him in, her blue eyes twinkling and her smile glad and inviting. He finally leaned his head against her door, heart aching and body heaving as he shed silent tears.
How he missed her, how he longed for her.
A little later, after he had returned to his bed and sleep had claimed him once more, he dreamed.
She came to him, her hair golden and blowing slightly in a gentle wind. Her blue eyes caressed him with love and yearning. She wore her Jedi tunic and robe. She removed the robe letting it drop to the floor and then she climbed into the bed with him. His heart began to race. She was here!
He reached out to her and held her close. He felt her body next to him and he kissed her. She kissed him back and he reveled joyfully in the warmth of her soft lips, but then suddenly she was gone and his arms were empty. With a disappointed groan he looked for her. Where did she go?
Suddenly she was there again, robed and at the side of his bed. She sat down next to him, and when he reached for her, she shook her head no.
"Obi-Wan, my love, you must let me go," she said as the wind blew around them.
Obi-Wan sank back into his bed, his heart breaking all over again.
"You have much to do. You are not finished yet. I'll be waiting for you when you come home, but you must finish your work."
"Siri..." he began, a lump in his throat, tears threatening to break again.
"I'm counting on you, my love." She smiled at him, kissed his lips lightly once more and then she was gone. Obi-Wan woke with a start and then rose up to meditate until the morning light.
The force sang in silent approval as he finally let her go.
Later that morning, Obi-Wan and Anakin stood before the council.
"A mission we have for you," Mace began. "Intelligence reports have located Nute Gunray on Cato Nemoidia. We have a chance to capture him and bring him to justice."
"A troop of clones, waiting they are, to accompany you," Yoda added.
Obi-Wan nodded. He glanced at Anakin, whose eyes glinted with eagerness at pursuing the leader of the Separatist movement.
Yoda gazed at Obi-Wan sharply. "Ready for this, you are, Master Kenobi?"
All eyes rested on him, some sympathetic, others piercing, as though trying to examine his heart. Sitting on the council, he had not experienced much in the way of criticism, but now he felt the disapproval of the members who were not as open to the possible coming change in the code.
They were waiting for him to fall apart, to prove that the attachment code was right.
He stood taller and lifted his chin, staring almost defiantly at the Council.
"I am ready for this mission, Masters," he declared solemnly. He realized that he meant it and his spirit lifted more at the knowledge.
Yoda nodded his approval. Mace relaxed, Adi smiled at him.
Obi-Wan's mouth twisted into a half grin.
He realized he could face his future without Siri. It wouldn't be the same without her and he knew he would always miss her. There would always be an empty place where she had dwelt in his heart but he could live with that now, he decided.
He had Anakin by his side and together they would fight the coming darkness.
He was ready.
And it felt good to be alive again.
TBC (It may seem like it, but this is not the end...yet)
A beautiful touching chapter with all his friends there for him
Thank you Earlybird...I'm glad you are enjoying it. These last two chapters were a bit hard to write, because I never imagine myself writing this sort of thing, but I'm pretty pleased with how it came out.
There's more to come...
Love how you handed this delicate and painful scenario. Obi-Wan handled it exactly the way I would expect him to. I look forward to Obi-Wan's future, and perhaps maybe their reunion? Great chapters.
Thank you! Obi-Wan's future is coming up...with a few changes from canon...
Chapter 28 A Hidden Secret
Red and gold beams of light streaked across the cloudless evening sky as dual suns shimmered on the horizon, casting a final crimson look over their desert kingdom before finally bowing one by one into the steaming horizon. As dusk deepened into night, Obi-Wan threw his hood back over his head and turned his face toward the little hovel he now called home.
He was just returning from the Lars homestead where he had dined with Owen and Beru Lars. Owen was still hesitant about Obi-Wan being around, but Beru had insisted they include him in their family as a friend.
It had been this way ever since the first month Obi-Wan, or Ben as the Lars knew him, had landed on Tatooine with an infant Luke cradled in his arms. At first Owen did not want him coming around at all and had made it perfectly clear to Obi-Wan, but one morning when Obi-Wan had checked on the Lars homestead and then turned to head for his tiny home, he heard his name called.
He turned to find Beru running toward him.
"Ben! Come here!"
Alarmed that something had happened to Luke, Obi-Wan had run to her. He hadn't sensed anything, but in the state he had been in of late it would have been no surprise if he had missed something.
It was nothing like that though.
"Have you had breakfast?"
"Well, no. I was just..."
"Come on in, Ben, have breakfast with us." Beru's earnest, friendly invitation was hard to say no to, but Obi-Wan glanced concerned eyes at Cliegg, busy with the vaporators.
Beru glanced her husband's way then waved away Ben's concern.
"Oh, don't worry about him. He'll come around. He's not a bad man, he's just protective and careful. I'm sure you can understand."
"Of course," Obi-Wan nodded, "but he doesn't want me..."
"Nonsense. I've talked to him. He has agreed to let you come in. He's stubborn, but he can be reasoned with. Now come on. You can clean up in the back, and breakfast will be ready soon."
The small family had gathered around the breakfast table; Cliegg at the head, Beru sitting to his right, baby Luke in a little cradle next to her and Obi-Wan on the opposite side.
Owen's attitude toward Obi-Wan was a coolness bordering on barely contained irritation, but he said nothing amiss and tried to be accommodating. Beru's loving chides and remarks to her husband reminded him of what he had lost. Not only the temple, the Order, his best friend, but her.
Despite the somewhat uncomfortable breakfast, Obi-Wan had enjoyed the visit and especially being able to see Luke.
After that day, he was a regular visitor to the Lars household. Breakfasts some mornings, and then many evening meals spent with them. Eventually Owen had begun to soften toward him and after awhile they had begun a guarded friendship.
Obi-Wan reflected on all of this as he sat at his little table with his tea.
He had not been back on Tatooine for long, having spent the last month helping Ferus escape the Empire. Nothing had pleased him more than finding Ferus had proven himself a Jedi, even though he had not worn the outer symbols of the order in years. Even more pleasant had been when Ferus had found other Jedi, including Garen. Garen was sick, but he was alive. Obi-Wan was grateful for that and the two old friends had spent several hours talking about the Order and everything that had happened.
Obi-Wan finished his tea and then sat on a stool he had placed outside his front door. He gazed up at the stars dotting the night sky; the stars he had spent so many years traveling.
Now he was home...his new home and he expected to be here for the next several years, watching over Luke and training him, if Owen would allow it.
As he gazed at the black night with the stars so far away and the moon just beginning its ascension, his mind wandered over the events of the last several months.
He thought about the temple that had been attacked and burned, every Jedi inside, including the younglings, slaughtered. A pang twisted him inside as he thought of the man responsible.
His best friend, his former Padawan.
Turned to the dark side, now more machine than man, having lost his flesh and almost his life on Mustafar when he had fought his former Master to the death.
Obi-Wan had thought that after Siri had died, he would never experience such heartbreak again, but witnessing what Anakin had become was unbearable. Obi-Wan had come to terms with Siri's death, but the guilt and remorse of what had happened to Anakin would never leave him, he had thought.
He had come to Tatooine a bitter, broken man. Owen did not want him around? Well, he had no intention of letting himself care about anyone again. Everyone he had cared about was dead or turned. He would do his duty and watch over Luke, but he would not open himself to anyone again.
But then Beru's gentle gesture of friendship and Owen's eventual acceptance of him had begun a slow thaw of the bitter chill that had settled over his heart.
And then finding and helping Ferus, and finding Garen alive as well as other Jedi had completed the thaw. Obi-Wan could care again; he could love again and he had finally come to terms with what had happened to Anakin.
Qui-Gon had even paid him another visit right after his return to Tatooine, but had told him there was yet a little more, and then he would be ready.
Obi-Wan had sighed in frustration. What was there yet to do?
Patience had always been a friend to him and breathing away the frustration of Qui-Gon's words, he had reached once more to that lifelong friendship.
Obi-Wan yawned and stretched on the little stool in front of his hovel. He would need to go to bed soon, but he wasn't quite ready yet. He settled on the stool again and his thoughts turned to Master Yoda.
Yoda had finally told him Siri's visions. Visions she had when she had been only thirteen, in the caves of Ilum.
Her visions of the temple burning, of two men with sabers fighting on a molten planet, of Obi-Wan alone on a desert planet, of her own death on a battlefield. Obi-Wan had been distressed when he realized that Siri had seen all of this and had never told him.
Yoda had convinced him that it was necessary. Siri's knowledge gave her the courage to follow the path set before her, and to encourage Obi-Wan to follow his.
He sighed deeply.
He missed his master, who had been such a source of wisdom and guidance for so many years.
He missed the temple, the Order, all the masters and the quiet bustle of Temple life. He even missed Coruscant, which had now become the center of the most evil Sith spawned Empire in the history of the galaxy. He missed his friends, all dead now except for Garen hiding on that asteroid Ferus had found.
And he missed Siri. He missed her every day of his life. He had missed her all those months when he and Anakin had been chasing around the outer rims. It had been good to get back into action, but the nights still held loneliness when he remembered her. Sometimes during those months he had still dreamed about her. He had accepted her death and had been able to move on, doing his duty, but he knew that the empty place in his heart would never quite heal.
Now, on Tatooine, he thought of her every day. He reached into his robe and found her warming crystal. The same crystal she had pressed into his hand the day she had died. He had not handled it much, it being too painful of a reminder of what he had lost, but now he held it in his hand, feeling its warmth, turning it over and gazing at it.
The force suddenly stirred in him. It urged him to look more closely at the crystal. He moved indoors and held it up in the light of his lantern and peered closely at it.
There seemed to be lines in it. He wondered at it as he had never noticed that before. Pulling the force around the crystal, he concentrated on it and the lines in it became more defined. Astonished, he focused on the crystal more intently and suddenly a hidden compartment opened up.
Obi-Wan disembarked from the public transport, stepping out to the surface of Corellia. He pulled his cloak more tightly around himself and yanked the old hat more firmly over his head. He did not wear Jedi robes, but the clothes of a worker, a transient looking for work.
He scurried away from the milling crowds, who largely ignored the seeming vagabond, eyeing him with disdain.
Finally alone, he took his data pad out and looked again at the address.
He walked toward the center of town, where the library was.
Two hours later he stood before the door of a house. He pushed down a twinge of nervousness. He had no idea what he would find here, only that when the crystal had opened up to him and revealed it's contents, he knew the force wanted him to follow this lead.
He gingerly knocked on the door once. He started to knock a second time, but instead dropped his hands. His hand brushed against his lightsaber hidden inside the cloak at his side. He kept his hand near it and ready just in case he had mistaken the hidden message.
Long moments passed, and Obi-Wan was beginning to think he had been mistaken after all when he felt someone approach the door. It opened a crack.
A female voice called from the inside.
"Hello," Obi-Wan began. "I..."
What does he say now? The message in the crystal gave no clue who he might meet. Since it came from Siri's crystal, he took a chance.
"I knew Siri Tachi."
The was a long silence inside the door. He could feel a curiosity mixed with sadness from inside, but he said no more.
Finally the door slowly opened to reveal an older women, thin, dressed in a tunic trimmed in shimmer silk. The woman was just a little shorter than Obi-Wan, shoulder length graying hair tucked behind her ears, bangs hanging across a brow furrowed with worry and not a little fear. Her eyes were a bright blue, keen and observant.
"Not unlike Siri," he thought to himself.
She had been staring at him, and then her eyes grew wide, as if recognizing him.
"It's you," she said, and her hand went to her mouth as she gasped. She faltered at the door and began to swoon, and Obi-Wan stepped forward, taking her by the elbow and putting an arm around her to steady her. She did not resist.
When he was sure she could stand, he started to back away, but she shook her head.
"Come in. We have a lot to talk about."
Obi-Wan stepped inside a room furnished in the comfort of a home that had enjoyed prosperity a long time ago.
Worn furniture that had once been of the finest material dotted the room, interspersed with a few side tables and a couple of lamps.
Obi-Wan removed the hat and bowed. "I am Obi-Wan K..."
"I know. I've been expecting you," she said dismissively.
His glance rested on one wall with pictures. A happy family hung in a holopic on the wall; a young smiling woman, a man with blue eyes and sandy hair, standing proudly with his family. A little blonde haired girl stood next to him, her hand in his and the woman held a baby in her arms.
Obi-Wan's heart stirred with emotion. He stilled himself as he said softly, gazing at the young woman in the picture who looked so much like...
"You're Siri's mother, aren't you?"
The woman nodded, standing next to him and looking at the picture.
"I am Samantha Tachi. Siri is the baby in my arms. This picture was taken two months before she went to the temple."
Mrs. Tachi turned away. She beckoned Obi-Wan to sit as she went to her kitchen in the back. A few minutes later she returned, carrying a tray with a tea service arrangement. She set the tray down and proceeded to pour a cup for Obi-Wan and then one for herself.
"I didn't want her to go. I begged my husband not to do it, but he felt that we would be doing her an injustice not to allow her to be trained in the Jedi arts with her abilities. It broke my heart, but in the end I agreed."
Obi-Wan stared at his tea, troubled. He had never considered before what a sacrifice parents made to give up their children to the Jedi. He thought of his own mother. What did it do to her to let her son go? This was the first time he had ever considered this question, and for the first time he wondered if the temple had been right in taking babies and children from their families. He thought of those dead younglings in the temple. What would their parents say if they knew the fate of their young ones entrusted to the Jedi? What could he say to them?
He looked up from his tea and found her gaze piercing him. He felt ashamed and wanted to look away, but he held her gaze.
"I don't blame you, Master Kenobi. You was her friend. For that I'll be eternally grateful."
Obi-Wan nodded and sipped his tea, and then found his hand trembling a little when she asked the next question.
"Tell me, how did she die?"
He carefully set the cup on the table and folded his arms. "What makes you think she died?" he asked.
Mrs. Tachi shrugged, brushing her bangs away from her eyes.
"Siri told me that if she didn't return after the war, it would mean she had died and that I should expect you to come. When I realized it was you, I knew."
Her piercing gaze returned to Obi-Wan.
"I need to know. How did she die?"
"We..." he gulped, trying not to choke on the words. "We were in a battle, she...she ran into a house where a mother with her children were trapped. She died saving their lives."
Mrs. Tachi sat a little straighter. Obi-Wan could see the tears in her eyes even as her chin lifted and her trembling lips parted in a proud smile.
"She died a hero's death then."
Obi-Wan nodded. "She died a Jedi."
"You were there?"
"I was. I held her as she died. She gave me her crystal." Obi-Wan ran his hand over his eyes, hoping Mrs. Tachi wouldn't notice the emotion he was fighting to hide, but his hand shook as he tried to pick up the cup again. He left it alone.
She sat still, watching him. He felt her scrutiny, and was ready for her rebuke. Why didn't you stop her? Why didn't you save her? The same rebuke he had given himself time and again since her death.
But her next question took him completely by surprise.
"You loved her very much, didn't you?"
Trembling hands or not, he lifted the tea cup and took a drink. He set it down again and said, "Yes."
"I can see that you did. I'm so glad. I never agreed with the Jedi's policy against love and marriage. I always hoped Siri would find love despite the Jedi code."
Mrs. Tachi sipped her tea thoughtfully.
"She loved you too, you know."
Obi-Wan nodded. "I know."
"She would have done anything for you. In fact, she did."
Obi-Wan nodded again, wondering what Mrs. Tachi was getting at. "She told you about me?"
"Oh, she told me everything about you, Master Kenobi." Mrs. Tachi looked at him pointedly.
Changing the subject, he asked, "I mean no disrespect, Mrs, Tachi, but how did she come to be here?"
"She had a need about two years ago. Your Master Yoda gave her the file on how to find me. She spend quite a long time with me."
Stunned, Obi-Wan sat silently, mulling over what he had just heard. Master Yoda gave her the file and let her find her mother? It was unheard of. What need did Siri have that would have caused Yoda to do that?
As if in answer to his question, Mrs. Tachi rose from her seat and went to a desk. She took out a key and unlocked a drawer. From it she drew a holocorder.
"Here, she made this for you. It will explain everything."
Heart suddenly pounding, Obi-Wan took it from her.
"She wanted you to look at it here. Excuse me, I'll leave you alone with it."
With those words, Mrs. Tachi silently left the room, closing the door quietly behind her.
Obi-Wan stared at the holocorder, his heart in his throat. Siri had left him a message.
Finally, he gripped the little machine and opened it. A miniature holoimage of Siri popped up on the four dimensional viewer.
Tears stung the corners of Obi-Wan's eyes as he saw his beloved Siri, alive and vibrant on the disc.
"Obi-Wan, my love, if you're seeing this then I'm with the force and you are at my mother's house."
She was sitting on the edge of a bed, dressed in a tunic that was not Jedi. Her hair was pushed behind her ears and her eyes were bright as she "gazed" at him. Obi-Wan soaked in her beauty, heavy with knowledge that this was only a holoimage.
Her hands went up in a gesture of uncertainty.
"I almost don't know where to begin. I have so much to tell you. I guess by now Master Yoda has told you everything about my visions in the cave of Ilum when I was thirteen. I asked him to tell you if everything...if everything I had seen had happened."
"All those things I saw, the temple being attacked, you fighting a saber wielder on a fiery planet, and then later living alone on a desert planet...I guess all that happened. Of course I have no way of knowing for sure, these events are still in the future for me, but if they did happen...Obi-Wan I'm so sorry."
"I hated knowing that you would have to suffer so much, but the visions seemed to impress upon me how important it was that you not know about them in advance, and that you survive the war."
"Why was I shown? I spent years trying to discover why, and also why in the visions I was told that I could be a part of your future if I chose to be. I wondered, how can that be if I'm dead?"
"Recent events are beginning to show me. Our love, for one thing. I firmly believe the future Jedi will not be entrenched in the same code as we were. There needs to be marriage, love, families. I think you and I have proven that we can love and still be Jedi."
"I believe you are to teach future Jedi this lesson."
Siri paused as her fingers twisted the edge of her tunic. Her head dropped for a moment in contemplation, and then lifted again to face the holo-recorder. With a quivering voice she said,
"I love you so much, Obi-wan, and I always will..even if I'm in the force. Do you know how difficult it was sometimes to keep these visions locked away in my mind, even from you when our bond was the strongest? Yet, I knew it had to be this way. Masters Yoda and Adi agreed that your knowing could have changed the course of what apparently must be. You know how Master Yoda is,"
Siri rolled her eyes and grinned. "Always what the force wills. He wouldn't even get the younglings out of the temple because he had visions that their future would be more dangerous if they escaped their fate. He told me that 'uncertain, we are, that the temple will be attacked. Yet, very dark, the future is. Much danger for the younglings there will be, if take them out, we do. Leave their fate in the hands of the force, we will'. "
I wasn't sure I agreed with him, but who can argue with Yoda?"
Obi-Wan paused the holo for a moment and reflected on what Siri had just said.
Yoda, of course, had turned out to be right. Already, dark force sensitive hunters like Malorum were on the loose taking prisoner force sensitive children from all across the galaxy. Children were disappearing into the bowels of the empire, taken forcibly from their parents. What was being done to them made Obi-Wan shudder. When he had been with Ferus they had heard rumors of cruel experiments, that Jenna Zan Arbor had been hired to conduct these experiments. They had heard that the Emperior wanted to build an army of force sensitive warriors, trained in the dark side.
Some of the older children had escaped the experiments and instead had been simply taken into training for battle, but many were being killed outright; those who fought against the cruel treatment or those who hadn't been strong enough to withstand the treatment.
He also knew that if any force sensitives who had been trained in the temple were found they were immediately executed, usually at the hands of Vader. The temple younglings would likely have faced death anyway, but was this a reason to leave them in the temple to face the fate they did? Yoda had known this to be a possibility. Obi-Wan found this out when Yoda had told him everything, but like Siri, he hadn't been sure it had been the right decision, especially when he had observed their dead bodies sprawled over the temple floors.
He and Ferus had discussed trying to rescue the captured children and take them to a safe place. Ferus was still contemplating that when Obi-Wan left him. He had cautioned him to be careful. There will come a time when a true uprising will come, when it will be time to fight the Empire. He felt that young Luke will be a part of that uprising and had been trying to urge Ferus to be patient.
This is why Obi-Wan had exiled himself on Tatooine, to lay low, protect young Luke, watch over him and see that he grows up, able to fight the darkness. Obi-Wan hoped in his budding friendship with Cliegg Lars, that he would eventually be allowed to train him.
He continued the holo and the still image of Siri came to life again.
She stood up and knelt before the holo camera, almost in awe and the radiance that lit her face made her unspeakably beautiful at that moment. Obi-Wan was enraptured.
"Obi-Wan, something happened." There was a quiet sense of awe in Siri's voice.
"Something wonderful. I thought before that the greatest gift I could give to you was to give myself to you. It was the most meaningful thing I could do, and you in turn gave to me. I will always cherish that night, but what I soon realized was that was not the greatest gift."
She smiled then, her eyes shining with a love that set Obi-Wan's heart aflame.
"The greatest gift came later. I needed help. I went to Master Yoda and Master Adi. Master Yoda gave me the files on my history and sent me here, to my mother. Here..."
Obi-Wan leaned forward, eyes fixed on Siri, heart thumping at what she was about to say.
"Here, two months ago, I..."
Obi-Wan felt the door open behind him. Tears pooled in his eyes as he began to guess what she was about to say.
"I gave birth to our beautiful daughter!"
It was then he sensed a new presence in the room, a new, very young force presence that took his breath away. He stared at the holo image of Siri, astounded at what she was saying. It couldn't be true...could it?
"I named her Misi Samantha Kenobi. Obi-Wan, she is so beautiful, and very strong in the force. Mother began calling her Sami, the nickname she had as a child. It grew on me, so thats what I've been calling her."
Siri's image disappeared for a moment, and when she returned she was cuddling an infant in her arms. She gazed lovingly at the small bundle, then back up at the camera.
"Misi means "gift". She's a gift from the force and she is how I am a part of your future."
Siri became serious as she gently rocked the whimpering baby. Tears welled in her eyes.
"If I'm not here, it will be up to you to protect her and train her. Obi-Wan, you must survive, so you can train our daughter and the future Jedi. Yoda said the galaxy will become very dangerous for force sensitive children."
The baby's whimper grew a little more insistent and Obi-Wan swallowed a lump that had formed in his throat.
That was his daughter Siri was holding. More had happened that night than just the consummation of their bond. A new life had begun. His mind reeled, flooding with the sudden realization of fatherhood, the implications...and the danger.
He watched as his beloved Siri, the mother of his child, gaze lovingly at the infant in her arms.
"Oh, Sami, are you hungry?"
Siri shifted and loosened her tunic, exposing herself. She grinned into the holocarmera. "Nothing you haven't seen before." She nestled her baby to her breast and his daughter latched onto Siri and began to feed, making contented baby grunts and suckling sounds as she clutched Siri's tunic in her little fist.
This simple act of pure motherhood by a woman who had always been a dedicated Jedi, who had only let her guard down the few times they were alone together, who had loved him and who he had loved all his life, caused Obi-Wan to gulp back a choking sob.
It made him wonder why she didn't tell him! Why wasn't he there for her?
As if hearing him, Siri looked up. "I know you, Obi-Wan, and right now you're wishing you could have been here. I wish it too. And I know you're wondering why I didn't tell you about this before. Well, if everything happened as I saw it in my visions, then you should understand. You had a war to finish, I didn't want Sami going to the temple and you didn't need the distraction. I decided to leave her here with Mother and leave a message in my crystal. I had it altered so that I could. I'm confident that at the right time you will find it."
"I will leave a holo image of you with mother and for Sami to look at so they will know you. Sami is very strong in the force, I'm sure she will recognize her father when she sees you."
She rocked the infant gently as Sami suckled. Siri gazed down at her daughter and gently kissed the top of her head.
"I love you, Sami, and I love your Daddy." She looked up, tears in her eyes again, her voice breaking with emotion.
"I am a part of your future Obi-Wan, through Sami. She is part of the future Jedi. Protect her. Train her well."
"I'm counting on you, my love."
The holoimage faded. Obi-Wan was struck by the same words having been spoken a couple years ago after Siri had died, when she had appeared to him in a dream. He wiped his hands across his eyes and felt the moisture on his cheeks.
He felt again the strong force presence in the room. He turned to find Mrs. Tachi standing in the doorway,a little girl nestled in her arms. She looked to be about two years old. She had apparently just awakened from a nap. Her head rested against her grandmother's chest and her sleepy wide blue/gray eyes stared with wonder at the man standing before her. Her curly blonde hair framed a cherubic face, and Obi-Wan approached her slowly, struck by how much like Siri she looked.
The child lifted her head from her grandmother and whispered in an awestruck little voice, recognition lighting her eyes.
Choking a gasp, Obi-Wan nodded and reached for her. She reached back, leaning out of her grandmother's arms. Obi-Wan caught her in his arms and closed them around her, holding her tightly and burying his face in her hair, he let his tears fall.
After a moment he lifted his face to Mrs. Tachi.
"Thank you for caring for her."
"She's my granddaughter, Master Kenobi."
The warmth of his little daughter as she nestled in his arms and contentedly rested her head on his shoulder felt so natural. The immediate bond he felt with her filled him, he felt not only his daughter, but also Siri and the empty place in his heart began finally to heal.
Obi-Wan considered carefully his next words.
"Mrs. Tachi, I do hope you realize I have to take her back with me, to where I am living."
He sensed her stiffen, but felt he needed to continue.
"She's my daughter, Siri wants me to protect her and train her and it's too dangerous for her here. There are men hired by the Emperor to look for force sensitive children. Where I am living she will be safe."
Mrs Tachi stiffly nodded. 'I understand, Master Kenobi. Siri warned me to be careful when taking her out. She told me things might be more dangerous for her. It's a lot to put on an old woman having to be so careful, but she is my granddaughter and she is all I have left. I lost my husband in the war, my other daughter, Siri's older sister, was killed years ago in a speeder accident, and now Siri is dead. Sami is all I have left."
Compassion stirred within Obi-Wan. Here was a woman who, like him, had lost everyone she had loved and now here he was, taking away her only remaining family.
Before he could answer, Mrs. Tachi cleared her throat and his attention went back to her.
"And since you are also the only family I have left as virtually my son-in-law, I have the obvious solution."
Lifting her chin, her sharp eyes daring him to disagree, she stated,
"I am coming with you."
A beautiful post with all what Siri is revealing.
Waiting for the next update
Thank you Earlybird....hope you will enjoy the next part...sorry for taking so long to post it.
As you may have noticed in the last chapter and in the following chapters Obi-Wan's experience will be quite different from the Canon exile (the movies)...although I love the canon story of Obi-Wan's experience also as it showed his courage, character, nobility and patience to wait almost 20 years, watching over the hope for the future...but as stated from the start, this story is (mostly) AU. So enjoy!
Chapter 29: Leaving Corellia
The spaceport on Corellia buzzed with the noise and confusion of beings disembarking or loading onto the various transports heading to worlds all over the galaxy. The bustle seemed no different to Obi-Wan than the many, many times he had been ready to embark on journeys over the years, except for one major difference.
Now there were Imperial Stormtroopers standing guard at every port, watching for any signs of disturbance, especially by suspected force users.
Obi-Wan watched the troopers as they randomly examined the parcels and bags being carried onto the flights, but he was mainly concerned with the Imperial Hunter standing watchfully over the complex. The troopers were under strict orders to report to him if they spotted what they suspected to be a force user, but it was the hunters themselves who were the most dangerous as they almost always had some force sensitivity themselves. They were beings whose abilities were not strong enough to have been brought to the temple, but they had been found and recruited right after the clone wars had ended and had been trained to pick up on the force sensitivity of others.
Their main target was children because the Emperor thought they would be easier to manipulate and train into dark services for the Empire. Obi-Wan cringed when he thought of the fate of these children who another lifetime ago would have been brought to the temple now being tested, experimented on and trained to fight for the Empire.
He glanced over at Mrs. Tachi holding Sami close to her as they waited. He could not and would not lose his daughter to the Empire. He would get her to Tatooine safely and there raise her and train her, as Siri had wished. She and Luke would train together, he had decided. Owen had all but agreed to it.
He had been grateful that Mrs. Tachi had been diligent to protect Sami after he had left. It had been with great reluctance that he had agreed to leave Sami with her Grandmother for a while longer so she could get her affairs in order and so he could build a room for his new family.
He had been away for a month, but it had seemed like a year to Obi-Wan.
It had taken nearly every credit he had left to buy materials from local building vendors, the rest he had hewn from rock cliffs and hauled with back breaking effort back to his home, where he took sand mixed with a solution purchased from vendors because water was too scarce on Tatooine, and painstakingly built, brick by brick, a little room addition to his one room hovel.
He had spent a few evenings with the Lars after the long, hard labor and Beru nagged him into finally telling them what was going on.
He had given a lot of thought about whether he should take them into his confidence or not. He weighed the dangers, both for them and for his daughter on letting others in on his secret. After meditation, he had come to the conclusion that the Lars already carried a great secret in keeping Luke and in not turning in Obi-Wan for the price on his head, perhaps he could trust them with this as well.
This was confirmed one night when Beru and Owen had set him down after putting Luke to bed.
"Ben, we know something is going on with you. Ever since you came back, you've been a different man. You seem happier, but you've also been very busy."
Owen nodded in agreement. "I've been watching you lug those heavy rocks and materials to your place."
At Obi-Wan's raised eyebrows, Owen gave him a sardonic grin. "You're not the only one who watches, Kenobi."
"Look," Beru said, taking Obi-Wan's hand. "I know you lost an awful lot in the war, but now we're the closest thing to a family you have. Confide in us. You can trust us, Ben."
Obi-Wan looked at the two people sitting across from them.
He searched the force. Yes, he could trust them, he decided. And he would need to trust them.
"Very well," Obi-Wan cleared his throat. "I will tell you, but just like with Luke, this is a secret that must be kept. You can never tell anyone else."
They nodded, Owen soberly as if wondering if he really wanted to know, but Beru leaned forward, her eyes wide and eager.
"It's a very long story, one that took place over several years. As you know, the Jedi had a code against attachment. Jedi don't marry or have families."
Beru nodded sadly. "I've heard. I always wondered about that..."
"Hush, Beru, let the man speak," Owen cautioned, giving his wife a soft nudge with his elbow. Beru glanced at her husband and fell quiet.
Obi-Wan closed his eyes and continued. "There was a woman...someone I grew up with in the temple. It seems that the force had plans for us beyond the code. We loved each other and the force approved. We were bonded, much as a couple is bonded in marriage."
"Oh," Beru gasped, her hand flying to her mouth, "You're bringing her here!"
Obi-Wan shook his head as Owen shot her a warning look again, but Beru couldn't quite contain her excitement.
"No. She died in the war, in my arms."
Deflated, Beru grasped Obi-Wan's arm sympathetically.
"Oh, Ben, I'm so sorry," but Beru's curiosity could not be contained. "Then who are you bringing here?"
"Siri's mother, and...and...our daughter."
"You have a daughter with her?" Beru was delighted.
Obi-Wan nodded. "She's about two years old. Siri hid her from me until the end of the war. She had given me her crystal when she died, making me promise to keep it. I figured it was only so I would have something of her to keep, but a few weeks ago at home, I noticed something unusual about it. Using the force, I opened it and inside was a hidden message. I followed her message and found my daughter."
Obi-Wan couldn't help the grin playing at his lips at the mention of Sami. His daughter. Siri's daughter.
Beru squealed in delight and threw her arms around Obi-Wan.
"Oh Ben I'm so happy for you. That is the best news! You'll have your daughter here!"
Obi-Wan nodded, patting Beru's shoulder. "It's more than that. She is very force sensitive. Siri left me a message at her mother's house. It's dangerous out there for force sensitive children. Here, like Luke, Sami will be safe, and I can train her, just as Siri wanted.
"Train her. You mean, to be a Jedi?" Owen asked gruffly.
Obi-Wan nodded. He could see by Owen's expression that he wasn't enthused by the idea, but said nothing. Instead Owen examined Obi-Wan quizzically.
"The woman you're bringing here, that's ..her..what's her name?"
"Siri." Obi-Wan supplied.
"Yes, Siri. That's her mother?"
Obi-Wan nodded, wondering why that should be of any interest to Owen.
"And you said that your force basically...how did you put it...bonded you two, like a marriage?"
"Well, yes, something like that," Obi-Wan said.
Obi-Wan and Beru looked in surprise at Owen as a soft rumble was heard from him. They quickly realized he was chuckling.
Beru finally said, "Now would you mind telling us what is so funny, Owen Lars?"
He shook his head, and pointed at Obi-Wan.
"Him. The great Jedi General, Obi-Wan Kenobi, has a mother-in-law."
Beru looked indignant, hitting him on the arm muttering, "Oh, you.."
After Owen's mirth had subsided, Obi-Wan told them of his plan to return to Corellia and bring Mrs. Tachi and Sami back with him.
The next day, after Obi-Wan had done his rounds, he had set to work continuing to build the room addition.
After awhile he sensed someone approaching. On his guard he turned, his hand at the ready near his lightsaber, but it was Owen, carrying tools in his hand. He stopped, stared at Obi-Wan a moment, then bent down to pick up a stone. He stood up and looked again at Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan nodded thanks to him, and together the two men set to work.
When he saw the Lars' again just before departing for Corellia, Beru had made him promise to bring his daughter and Mrs. Tachi by for tea as soon as he returned.
He had only been back on Corellia for a few days. When he arrived at Mrs. Tachi's house and had enjoyed the warm affectionate embrace of his little daughter, he had learned that Mrs. Tachi's house had been sold and she was nearly ready to depart. She had given Obi-Wan some of her deceased husbands clothing and disguised as a business man he had purchased the tickets necessary for their trip.
Now they waited in long lines for the public transport that would make several stops in the Outer Rims Arkanis sector, including Tatooine.
"Daddy, hold me," a little voice said softly. He glanced over and Sami had stretched her arms toward her father, her face earnest and her eyes speaking volumes to him. He had put a force shield in her mind to make it harder for the hunters to detect her, and he knew she was confused and frightened by the sudden dampening of their bond.
He took her to himself and embraced her.
"Don't be frightened, Sweetheart, Daddy is here," he whispered to her.
She tightened her hold on him and in a timid voice said, "But I can't feel you, Daddy."
"I know, but it's only for little while. Trust me, OK?" He pulled her blonde head back to look into her wide, confused eyes. He subtly sent a wave of comfort to her and her eyes relaxed. She threw her arms around his neck and nuzzled her head under his chin.
"Ok, Daddy, I twust you," she said.
Holding her tightly, he was ever alert for any sign of the Storm Troopers or the Hunter.
Mrs. Tachi stood nearby, her arm lightly on his elbow. She had put on a brave face when they had arrived, but he knew she was nervous. This was a particularly busy day, and lines moved slowly because of the presence of the Empire, which only increased the tension.
Obi-Wan could feel the nervousness and outright fear in the people as they waited, watching the Stormtroopers warily.
As they moved forward, Obi-Wan watched as children were singled out and their parents questioned. He watched their faces as they fearfully answered questions about their children; if they had displayed any unusual talents typical of a force sensitive. If any parent displayed more than a little fear, they called the hunter over who examined the child. None so far had been found to be force sensitive, and the hunter waved them away with disgust. The relief of the parents was palpable in the force.
Obi-Wan had shielded himself also, and with only a faint flicker could sense the emotions of the people around him. He dared not do more, but with the hunter looking so closely at so many children, he felt he must do more to protect Sami.
"Excuse me, Mrs. Tachi, I'll be right back," Obi-Wan said as he moved out of the line.
"I think you can call me Samantha, Ma..."
At Obi-Wan's warning look, she closed her mouth. She had nearly spoken his name. She blushed in alarm at her near blunder.
Obi-Wan grinned, assuring her that no harm had been done.
"I'll be right back, Samantha, Sami seems to need changed."
"Oh, I can do that," Samantha offered, reaching for Sami. "I'm so sorry, she is nearly trained but occasionally has a lapse."
"Understandable in this situation," Obi-Wan assured her, "but let me take care of it this time, ok?"
Samantha nodded and handed him Sami's bag. As Obi-Wan moved out of the line, a few of the waiting passengers glanced at him holding his daughter so protectively. They smiled in understanding and not a little worry.
He went into the nearest fresher and making sure they were alone, he quickly checked her.
"Daddy, I not wet. I can use the fwesher."
"Of course you can, Sweetheart. Daddy just needs to check something."
She nodded solemnly. "Daddy scared of the bad man?"
Her large blue/gray eyes gazed at him with concern and trust, but no fear.
"Not scared, but I must protect you. I need to make you sleep for awhile, do you understand?"
He kept his voice very low, barely above a whisper, but she understood.
Sami nodded. "It's allwight, Daddy, I'm not scared."
Obi-Wan warmed at her innocent trust. "No you're not Darling. Ok, are you ready?"
She nodded, and he bundled her into his arms again, and then placing his hand softly on her head, he strengthened the shields in her mind, dampening her force sensitivity even more, and then with a gentle force suggestion, she fell asleep. He cradled her and went back to join Samantha in the line.
"Oh, she's asleep now?"
Obi-Wan nodded. "Yes, I'm afraid the tension here has exhausted her."
Samantha nodded. "I can understand that. It's exhausting me too."
After a little longer wait they moved to the front to board the transport. Obi-Wan had hoped they would be able to slip by unnoticed.
"Halt! All children must be examined before boarding."
Indignant, Samantha demanded, "For what purpose, may I ask? My granddaughter is only two and she is exhausted."
"That is not your concern. We must see the child." the attending Stormtrooper demanded.
Obi-Wan gazed at the trooper with near disgust. Barely eight months ago these clones had fought alongside the Jedi. He had considered many of them friends. So much had happened he had barely the time over the last several months to reflect on the betrayal of his closest Clone friend, Cody.
Now they were bitter enemies. Obi-Wan pushed back the regret welling up within him and held his daughter more closely.
He kept himself calm and holding Sami firmly in his arms, he observed the trooper warily.
The trooper eyed the child suspiciously. "How old did you say she is?"
"She just turned two a month ago," Samantha said defiantly.
"Has she ever demonstrated any unusual talents?"
"Like what? She's a child, for stars sake!" Samantha huffed. With a glare she stood her ground against the trooper, every bit as defiant as Siri had ever been. Obi-Wan smiled to himself.
"Have you ever noticed small objects floating in the room? Is she unusually observant? Does she seem aware of things before other people are?"
Sami was all of this and more, and Obi-Wan could feel Samantha's bravery begin to weaken. He decided to take over.
Coloring his voice in pompous disgust, he declared,
"If you mean does she possess force abilities, I can assure you she does not. I would not have my child display such vulgar propensities. I would not allow it."
"Nontheless, we must have our authority examine her," the trooper declared.
At those words, Samantha softly gasped and gripped Obi-Wan's arm in alarm.
He risked a glance at her, his eyes pleading with her to trust him. She gazed into his eyes, and with a barely noticeable nod, backed slightly away.
Risking further exposure, he moved his hand very slightly toward the trooper as softly and with authority he said,
"This child is not what you are looking for."
There was a tense moment of silence, and then the trooper finally said, "I don't think this child is what we're looking for."
"We are free to board the transport without further delay."
"You are free to board with no further delay," the trooper intoned.
Nervous relief motivated Samantha, and she grabbed her bag and the trio had begun to walk toward the transport when a stern voice cried out.
"Just a moment! Stop those people at once!"
Obi-Wan turned and saw the hunter hurrying toward them, his face a mask of fierce anger and determination.
Samantha gripped Obi-Wan's arm, knuckles white as the blood drained from her face.
Calmly, Obi-Wan placed the sleeping child into Samantha's arms. then pulling them behind him he turned.
The hunter was storming toward them, his finger pointing accusingly at them, his cheeks puffed out and face crimson with the affronted sense of his own importance.
Obi-Wan did not move as the man neared them; he watched as the hunter's greedy, eager eyes raked over the child cradled in her grandmother's arms.
Disgust was a burning taste in Obi-Wan's throat. He swallowed and pushed down the angry defiance that welled up inside him.
Yes, he would protect them, but he would not allow fear for his daughter to incite him to action other than as a Jedi.
His thoughts flashing briefly to Luke and to the woman and child behind him.
He hoped it would not come to it, but his hand hovered near where his lightsaber was hidden.
Determined and ready, Obi-Wan faced his accuser.
A tense situation for Obi-Wan.
Love how he is protecting his daughter and his interaction with Beru and Owen
I apologise for missing posting. I lost track of this story. I don't know why I did, because I really enjoyed it.
A lovely story and a happy ending to his grief over losing Siri,
Thanks Geri and no problem..I haven't been the best at keeping up with the chapter myself lately....just a couple more chapters nad it's finished. Next one coming right up.
Thank you Earlybird, yes, very tense...just wait until you see what happens next!
Next chapter coming right up!!