Tears in Heaven
Disclaimer: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is the property of Lucasfilm Ltd.
The day that Anakin had turned was almost the worst one of his life. The only one more tragic was the day his beloved master had died at the hands of a Sith. Now the boy that his master had had so much faith in was Sith as well. Obi-Wan's guilt was like a wild creature; it was eating him alive.
I've failed you, beloved, he cried silently as he stared out the port of the transport whisking himself and a pregnant Amidala to the relative safety of Alderaan.
No, Obi-love, you haven't. There, on his bunk, was the blue-tinged figure of Qui-Gon Jinn. Anakin is the chosen one. Destiny has simply decided to play its hand in an odd way. You are not responsible. You haven't failed anyone, least of all me. I'm so very proud of what you've done, beloved.
"Master?" the heart-broken Jedi Knight sobbed, not quite able to believe what he saw and heard.
No longer your master, Obi-love. Just one who loves you and who feels your pain. I don't have much time. It's hard to make myself appear like this, although I have always been with you. I am always as close as your own heartbeat, love; you know this, don't you?
Without realizing he'd moved, Obi-Wan found himself kneeling before his love. His head was gently guided into a very real lap, and at the first touch of ghostly hands the dam burst. Years of pain, loneliness and hurt poured out as those strong hands stroked his now shoulder-length hair and back lovingly.
Finally the tears abated, and he looked up to see a soft smile dancing on Qui-Gon's lips. You look rain-drenched and beautiful beyond measure, Obi-love. By the Force, how I miss you.
"I miss you too, Qui-Gon. I want to be with you. It hurts too much... I don't think I have the strength to go on," Obi-Wan whispered hopelessly.
But you must, Obi-love. This is why I've come. Amidala needs you. Her unborn children need you. It is they who are the key, Obi-Wan. Anakin was the one of the prophecy, yes. Chosen to create two beautiful children who will be so full of light and hope that they will drive the darkness from the galaxy. They will be the builders of the new order that is to come. Their light, their hearts and souls will be forged in great fire and pain, but they will triumph. From them the Jedi will be reborn.
You must hold on a little longer, beloved. They will need you to set them on the path. I will be with you the entire journey, I promise. I will hold your heart safe and protect you when you sleep. I will be waiting on the other side when your task is done. Before you know it, we will be together again, this time forever. I promise. I love you forever, Obi-Wan. Never forget that. Never forget that I am always with you.
"Qui-Gon!" Obi-Wan cried, bolting up in bed. Beside him, Amidala stirred and woke. Seeing the unrelenting pain in her dear friend's tortured eyes, she simply held open her arms and let him cry, his head buried against her breast, her heart breaking anew.
Theirs was a friendship that had begun so many years before as respect and had grown through the fires of the Clone Wars and the Jedi purge, through their own shared guilt for failing one they both had loved. They had begun to turn to one another to stop the chill of evil that had entered their lives from freezing them still. It was a need to feel human warmth and love, nothing more. Not the true love that burned in each of their breasts for those they could no longer have. Not true passion, just pure friendship.
How many times over the last months had he held her when she woke up crying out the name of a man who, for all intents and purposes, was as dead as her friend's lost love. How many times had they clung to each other as grief had threatened to swallow them whole? So much pain, she thought sadly. So much loss. Each of us has sacrificed our loves to the dark.
"It will be all right, Ben. You'll see. It will all work out in the end. Our loss won't be in vain." The two survivors clung to one another, each needing the touch, the connection to something real and alive. To one who understood how soul shattering a broken heart could truly be.
"I pray you're right, Padme. By whatever remnants of the Force that remain, please may you be right."