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06 December 2005 @ 03:38 am
Fic: 'This Dance Is Done.'  
Title: This Dance Is Done.
Fandom: Star Wars
Rating: (G)
Time Period: Between tPM & AotC.
Summary: Obi-Wan attends a Senatorial gala.

Author's Note: Thanks must go to rabbitmage for sharing a song with me that reinspired me to continue. I'd started, lost the thread of the story and the song was shared. Thank you.

Disclaimer
All characters contained herein are the intellectual property of Lucas; I am not affiliated with nor endorsed by him.

_______________________


Amongst the glitterati, I saw her; an exotic bloom, for her gentility of manner and natural grace, in direct contrast to the practiced ease of those her senior in this microcosm of the galaxy. Upon the edge of the crowd, I skirt, hands lost within the long sleeves of my robe; sombre dark earth-coloured garb that concealed my tunic underneath. Alone in this gathering, I was unmasked; there could have been no hiding my identity even if I had so wished it, as Jedi.

“Jedi Kenobi!” The greeting almost lost in the chatter, the music, the laughter that rings hollow. “So pleased you could come!” No doubt he had been informed of my presence by the aide whom had greeted guests upon arrival.

I turn, my lips curved in a faint, and polite, smile. “Senator Paddie.” My head is inclined; a slight gesture of respect. “An elegant gathering.” Of politicians with humble words of promise to support even as their thoughts lie in other, unscrupulous directions.

“Thank you,” he smiles and stands to my side as he glances over the gathering. A masque, for its gaiety and most fitting, for does a mask not hide intent, conceal true purpose? “I had not thought the Temple would acquiesce to my request.” Quieter, to conceal from those nearest his lack of confidence for display of such would present weakness – weakness that would be exploited by his colleagues.

“Master Yoda asked me to attend personally.” A request for a Jedi representative at a gala and I had been available, having recently returned from a mission.

Relief as palpable as waves rushing the shore wash the short distance between us. “I am pleased to hear so, Jedi Kenobi.” A distracted statement, almost lost within the cascade of sound that surrounds; it is only by grace of nearness that I hear it.

My gaze studies the dancers; the musicians, I note, are human. She is lost to my sight. Abruptly, my attention returns to my host. “I’m sorry, Senator, for my lack of costume but you did request a Jedi representative. Your intent would’ve been lost if I had attended, costumed and masked.” Blue eyes regard the Senator calmly. Another smile, polite; another slight expression.

“Of course,” he begins until his attention is snapped into service. “That isn’t one of my serving droids,” he mutters and looks to me, apologetically. “I must attend to this matter, Jedi Kenobi. The duties of a host never end.” Wryly spoken before he sweeps away, his gold over-tunic lost within the other rich hues worn by his guests.

Patience, Obi-Wan. How often do I chide Anakin for his lack of the same?

Once more, my hands are lost within the voluminous sleeves and I realise I had been drawn away from the edge of the gathering during the brief conversation, drawn farther into the crowd. My clothing stands in sharp relief, in its simplicity, to the festive garb of the Senators and their aides. A shadow to their light is the idle musing as I pass a Senator masked as a Jedi; the lightsabre attached to the leather belt is no more than a toy.

A smile, a nod to those who recognise me, greet me with the same as I pass. An upward glance to view the singer as lyrics now joined the music – a Rutian twi’lek whose lovely voice softened a harsh note of the underlying melody – revealed her.

Along the curve of her cheek, a delicate spray of stars glimmering in the intimate light as she smiled; brown eyes shadowed by the half-mask worn, deepened by the reflected light from the glasses of Tallian wine that captured the quiet illumination of the room. A laugh of diplomatic delicacy for the joke from the Senator on her left. She has grown, from beautiful girl to breathtaking woman. Her cheeks were no longer rounded from girlhood yet her eyes contained the idealism and honour of her youth.

How long had she been on Coruscant? A question to which the answer shouldn’t matter …

… yet I found myself wondering, regardless.

A sidestep, to avoid collision as a Senator and their consort darted past, a trail of scent in their wake of Whyren’s reserve; only the absolute best, for the Senator. A glance toward her; she appeared at ease, amongst such company.

Mind yourself, Obi-Wan. I was forgetting myself, like a padawan in their eagerness to learn what secrets their new Master would teach. So chastened, my breathing resumed normalcy, although I hadn’t noticed any interruption; a lapse in attention that would not be allowed to occur again.

Unease threaded through my awareness as a glass was slipped into my hand by a serving droid painted in Senator Paddie’s colours. The glass was placed in the hand of another, passing by; the droid had only been following its protocols. A quick study of those nearest: content, deviousness, relaxation, drunkenness. None exhibited the unease I sensed. Unease and discomfort, entwined so closely the two emotions were almost inseparable. Had Senator Paddie anticipated this reaction from - ?

No. A swift response to a barely formed query but I had gauged the Senator’s intent for requesting a Jedi representative: appearance. With a Jedi attending, he showed support for the Order and subtly enforced security – who would act against him, with a Jedi nearby?

A wry quirk of my lips as I concentrated on the sensations unexpected in this gathering, wading through the miasma of greed, lust and frivolity; there are those who would act, Jedi attending or not. As I move through the crowd, the thought rises unbidden that the presence of a Jedi might goad some to action, to show their lack of fear of the Jedi. Or use the opportunity as a publicity stunt. My suspicions of Senator Paddie’s motives lie in this direction also; it was good publicity for the Senator, due to appearance.

“M’lady, if I may?”

A smile for the inquiry; dignity keeps relief from visible demonstration. “Jedi Kenobi,” a short pause, to ascertain if she is mistaken; her smile deepens as my head is subtly inclined, “it would be my pleasure.”

My arm is offered as her hand rises to accept it and I glance to the head of her security; not Captain Panaka, as blue eyes meet brown and hold. An acknowledgement of her safety in my care and he does not glance away; I feel his careful gaze upon my back as we walk through the press of bodies to the dancers. Already, whispers begin: is that Senator Amidala with a Jedi? They will wonder at the friendship: how could she know a Jedi so familiarly that they dance? As my hand settles upon her waist, her half-mask is discarded and her identity confirmed.

“Is it really you, Obi-Wan?”

A soft chuckle, as the throaty alto of the twi’lek begins; a slow ballad, perfectly suited for conversation. “Am I so changed, Padmé?”

“Very distinguished and grown, Obi-Wan.” Laughter tinges her voice and my smile genuine at its presence. “You’re not the padawan I knew.” The padawan she knew perhaps wouldn’t’ve been so adept at rescuing her from the drunken blandishments of the florid Praesiltyn diplomat whom had caused her unease.

No longer a fresh-faced padawan thrust into Knighthood but a Knight who falls too easily into familiarity he should not. “And you are not the Queen,” murmured and she hears, so closely she is pressed to me. Features no longer softened by childhood study me closely, an awakening realisation in her brown eyes that is reflected from mine. “… I knew.”

Music fades, the laughter and chatter quiet; the deliberate release of breath becomes the only sound as we slow. For this frozen moment, we aren’t Jedi and Senator but Obi-Wan and Padmé. The half-mask in her fingers relaxes; her cheeks flush a dawning pink. We circle, to the music of our breathing.

“How is Anakin?”

With an almost deafening surge, glasses clatter, shrill giggling explodes in my ears with the simple query. In her eyes, I see she had felt the same as I. “He is well.” A normal conversational tone. “He is impatient,” quietly dry, “but that is the way of youth.”

“You speak as though you were elderly and hunched over a gimer stick, Obi-Wan.”

“To Anakin,” blue eyes connect to her gaze, “I am so old, with my counsel of patience and responsibility.”

“You are not so old,” a sweet whisper, “only changed by time and experience.”

“As are we all,” the only response I can utter in reply. She is changed yet, not. She has grown from girl to woman but her heart has remained honourable, as I saw in her eyes. My hope is Coruscant will not corrupt her idealism as it has so many others. I remember the Queen she had been and the news that her people had tried to change their constitution for her continued reign. She is beloved.

I hope she does not become a politician.

The song ends. She curtsies as I bow – a half-motion from the waist.

“Thank you, for the rescue.”

“It was my pleasure, m’lady.”

Her mask is resumed and with a last glance, vanishes into the crowd. My gaze trails after her, for a final glimpse.

There is no emotion; there is peace. A reminder as I turn, away from the dancers and the breath I had held … is released.

My arms have folded, my hands hidden in my sleeves as I follow an unmarked path to an exit.

For myself, this dance is done.
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on December 6th, 2005 03:20 am (UTC)
Thank you.

I wasn't very certain that it would pull together and work - so I'm very pleased that you liked it so much.
emiv: Padme at the Homesteademiv on December 6th, 2005 01:42 am (UTC)
Absolutely stunning. You paint a vivid picture with words. Good word choice, and-though I am not a big fan of first person-in this piece, it worked well. The attraction between the two is very subtle, unspoken, but definitely there. The dialogue was realistic and flow naturally.

The first line is a great hook; it really gets the reader into the story. I love Obi-Wan/Padmé stories, especially when they are in character and realistic, as they are here. The very premise made me smile. Well Done.

-EmiV
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on December 6th, 2005 03:24 am (UTC)
Thank you, very much; I'm pleased that it worked for you.

I'm not usually a fan of first person, myself, and had intended to write this in third person; yet, when sitting in the park with a notebook? Suddenly, it's first person and present tense.

This is the first story that I've written where Obi-Wan has been a character; I've usually written narrative from Padmé's perspective so in that respect, this story was a challenge. If he's realistic for you? That's truly made my day.
generale_kenobi on December 6th, 2005 09:21 am (UTC)
Beautiful story!
I loved the romance and your descriptive language. Well done!
Also, it is very nice to have another Obidala shipper and writer around here. We are too scarce, especially compared to all the slash writers out there.
F. J.morethanacandle on December 6th, 2005 09:53 am (UTC)
Thank you, for the kind words on the story.

The obiwan_padme community does have some good fiction posted in that community, if you check their memories.
not_lost_yet: Twin treesnot_lost_yet on December 17th, 2005 09:35 am (UTC)
Lack of sleep precludes more intelligent comment
I actually found this both interesting and well written. The former for me, perhaps more of an accomplishment than the second? I like the formality of the language (both dialogue and description), given the setting it works well in a way that a different style wouldn't.
I'm not ordinarily a fan of first person perspective (nor I must confess, that particular set of films) but this actually works quite well for me, despite that. Honestly, for me to actually enjoy reading that given my lack of interest in the area? It's got to be good
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on December 17th, 2005 09:51 am (UTC)
There are days you concern me with your lack of sleep.
Thank you, for your kind words - incoherent from lack of sleep or not!

I might have mentioned above, I hadn't intended to write this in first person; I was sitting in the park one afternoon and when I wrote down the initial jottings that I built some of the prose from, it was in first person. It seemed to fit, so I ran with it. You're the second person to have mentioned this aspect and so, I'm really glad - for that tense and tone - that it worked well.

For you, I'd agree with the former; I hadn't anticipated your reaction at all.
kenobifan: sweet Obidalalealynnkenobi on June 22nd, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
The words flow from your pen beautifully..

I'm in awe.
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on June 23rd, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
Truly, there's nothing to be in awe about; I merely set pen to paper and see what comes forth. So far? It's been pure luck that they've turned out so well, I assure you.

And a great deal of research.