Tears in Heaven - Epilogue
Disclaimer: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is the property of Lucasfilm Ltd., and the song Tears in Heaven is copyright by Eric Clapton.
Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
The small hut in the Ewok village was full to overflowing. Brother and sister had refused to be apart, and the brash young general was not about to be left out of the fun. Neither was the Wookie... or the droids. So they all crammed into a single hut to get some much-deserved sleep. After all, they had just helped to defeat an Empire.
Leia Organa clutched her twin brother's hand tightly, her head resting on his shoulder, as if afraid to let him go. Han Solo lay on the other side, spooned beside her so that she was neatly sandwiched between the two men she loved most.
Luke Skywalker smiled, even in sleep, a sleep that for the first time in recent years was not haunted by the specters of the past. He had a family once more... and his father was redeemed. Life held great promise now, and he looked forward to it with hope. It was time to rebuild, and he, his sister, and his best friend would be three of the architects of the future.
The large blanket being used by the little family had slipped down to rest about Luke and Leia's waists, leaving only Han covered by its warmth. The twins shivered slightly in the chill night air, both too exhausted to wake up enough to fix the situation.
A soft blue light appeared and began to shimmer and shift until it coalesced into the shape of a young woman with dark chocolate hair, soft brown eyes and porcelain skin. She delicately pulled the blanket up and gently feathered a kiss over each of the twins' brows. See, Ben, I told you it would be worth it, the ghost whispered.
Another shape appeared beside her, and before her eyes the years fell away from the form, revealing a young man with short, sandy-blonde hair and a padawan braid dangling over his right shoulder. You were right, Padme. They were worth it. Brushing the blond hair out of the eyes of a young man he loved like a son, Obi-Wan Kenobi smiled. It had been worth it. Their sacrifices and their tears had borne something greater than anyone could have imagined. It had given birth to a new hope, a new beginning.
It's time to go, beloved, a roughly gentle voice whispered through the night. Yet a third shape materialized, this one directly behind Obi-Wan. Strong arms wrapped around his waist, and a bearded chin rested on his shoulder to watch the sleeping youngsters for a moment. Time to let them go, Obi-love. You've done your part. They've found their destinies. The rest is up to them now.
Yes, Master, came the teasing reply. Reaching down to touch his son's and daughter's faces one last time, Obi-Wan grasped Padme's hand briefly. See you soon, dear friend.
Holding each other in a loving embrace, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi shared a brief, beautiful kiss, full of the promise of time immortal... and slowly faded away until nothing more than their memories remained.
You can come out now, Ani, Padme whispered to the shadows. They would have welcomed you here with open arms as well.
I know, love, but I thought Master Obi-Wan deserved a private moment with you and the twins. He was more their father than I was. I just helped to create them. He gave them their destinies.
Their strength and courage came from you, Anakin Skywalker, never doubt that.
Chuckling softly, a tow-headed youth linked his arm through the young queen's. Maybe so, my heart, but they have your temper. And your great capacity for love. They'll be fine now, Padme, you'll see. We'd better go. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are waiting for us so we can finish our journey together - just like we started it.
Kissing each of his children on their brows, he touched first Leia's then Luke's face. Sky blue eyes lingered on his son for a long moment. Thank you for saving me, my son. Thank you for saving us all, and thank you, Leia, for the courage of your convictions and your resolute heart. I shall always love the both of you.
Padme repeated her husband's actions, kissing each of her children softly, touching them one last time. You are in our hearts, little ones. See you soon. We love you. She turned to the last figure lying silently in the great bed. Take care of them, General Solo, and yourself as well.
Anakin Skywalker embraced his wife lightly as they too faded from sight to join their friends on the path to their final destiny.
"Mother," Luke sighed, feeling her love cocoon him.
"Father," Leia murmured, a gentle, forgiving smile lighting her face.
Han Solo opened his eyes and smiled. One day he would tell them what he had seen and heard that night. One day when the wounds had healed some, he'd tell them just how much they were all loved. And by how many.