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07 March 2006 @ 11:43 pm
Fic: 'A Lesson Remembered, and Learned.'  
Title: A Lesson Remembered, and Learned.
Fandom: Star Wars
Rating: (G)
Time Period: tPM: Immediately afterward.
Summary: Sabé and Obi-Wan speak, during the celebrations.

Author's Note: A special thank you to emiv, for the icon; thank you very much - it turned out better than I'd imagined it would when I requested it.

This story was a challenge for myself. The challenges lay in story angle and character portrayal and development; I hope I don't disappoint on the latter of those. The story angle, the possibility of Sabéwan, is what led to this story. I simply wanted to see if I could understand it, in some way, in order to possibly write it. I'm not promising further Sabéwan, but, I'm also not ruling out the possibility. Sabé was fun to write.

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

_______________________


In the distance, light explodes in the sky rapturously. In this room, the sounds are muted, remote. What is heard in this room isn’t the fireworks themselves nor is it the echo of Master Yoda telling a padawan of newly attained Knighthood. What is heard are the words of the Jedi Masters whose stories celebrated the life of their fallen brother. Qui-Gon Jinn is now one with the Force although possibly not for long. The errant thought quirks the lips of his former padawan who sits, cross-legged, in the centre of the room.

A thought and smile that fade as soon as they occur. Blue-grey eyes study the room, note the place of each piece of furniture, the position of the large windows through which fading sprays of multicoloured lights peek. He can hear the relief threading through the jubilation – their Queen has freed them from the potential reality of life in the stranglehold of the Trade Federation and the Neimoidian Viceroy.

His eyes close. Anakin is watching the fireworks; Obi-Wan had permitted Anakin to stay up and partake of the night’s festivities. After the evening meal and before the fireworks, he had escaped, to be alone.

To release his grief fully into the Force.

His breathing is even and calm. The beat of his heart slows as he begins to descend into a meditative state. With each steady breath, his mind attunes to his surroundings. He senses the connection between himself and the chair behind the nearby desk. He –

Knows he is no longer alone as quiet footsteps approach. He knows through the Force this is not the Queen. It is not a Jedi, nor is it any of the Advisory Council; they celebrate their newfound freedom with the rest of Theed. Anakin is with the Queen and he would run, not walk.

The footsteps stop. His eyes open and first seen are the hems of a cloak and icy green gown that darkens as his gaze travels upward. A Handmaiden, her clothing tells him.

“Are you hiding?”

It isn’t the question that startles him nor the cup set beside him as she kneels, hands resting lightly in her lap. It isn’t the prettiness revealed by the between-light slipping into the room from the moon and stars, from the blaze of azure, emerald and vermilion. Neither is it the intensity of those brown eyes.

A Jedi is not startled, but he is. With his next breath, his mind and senses ascend from the beginnings of the meditative trance and he knows what had surprised him about this Handmaiden. It is her voice; he is accustomed to hearing it with traces of regal authority. It was softer now, with the gentle accent of the Naboo.

“No.” He is not hiding; he is disturbed. He has been interrupted. He has not released his sorrow as he had wished. It is not a skill he has completely mastered, yet, without the aid of meditation.

“You seek peace.”

The scent of the blossom wine rises from the cup she has brought. Idly, he notes the cup is carved from horn though from what creature, he doesn’t know.

“Yes.”

“This is an appropriate room.” A smile, of genuine warmth.

“In what way?” Curious interest prompts the query – one he’d expect his padawan to make. Masters often learn from their padawans as much as they taught; has such lessons from Anakin already begun?

“King Jafan built this room,” hushed, “and the temple to which it is joined.” He can see her face, he realises, as she speaks; the cowl nestles on her shoulders, falling down her back and tendrils of brown hair curl against her cheek. She glances about, from him to the window to the floor to him. “He was the first ruler of the Great Time of Peace,” she continues. “He helped re-establish peace on Naboo.”

“That explains why her Majesty thought the room appropriate for Jedi.”

“And you use it to hide.”

“I seek solitude.”

“Are all Jedi skilled at evading the truth?”

“I haven’t spoken falsely.”

“There is peace to be found in the joy of a people celebrating their freedom. Even Masters Yoda and Windu attend and yet, you sneak away to this room.” A gesture encompasses their surrounds. “You have had plenty of time to seek solitude and only now have you sought it, amidst revelry.”

Her gaze is disconcerting. A golden and violet cascade of stars briefly illuminates the room. He doesn’t flinch from those brown eyes and their innocent wisdom; her perception contains Amidala’s clarity, but it is different and perhaps the difference is in its focus that, at this very moment, is him.

Another stray thought: he wishes this girl were Amidala for then he would know the appropriate responses. He doesn’t know what is correct in this situation – there is no place for diplomatic answers that utilise polite evasion seeded with truth in this conversation; her question about evasion had proven that. There is no mistaking whom she is; her likeness to Amidala, even without the ritual make-up, is striking. The Queen’s protector and loyal bodyguard.

Her close friend.

“If everyone is occupied with the festivities, there is no possibility of distraction.”

“There is always the chance of distraction. Am I not representing that element, presently?”

Where is the comfort of his outer robe? He is naked, dressed only in tunics and trousers, without the security of the robe. It is lying over the desk in front of the large windows; it would have been extraneous to his meditation.

“Why did you come?” Time, now, to turn the questions from him, to her.

“The Queen noticed your absence and sent me to ensure your well-being.”

“You may tell her Majesty I am well.”

“Are you?” Earnest, her head very slightly cants to the left. “I will not lie to my Queen.”

Physically, he is well; his answer was true, from that point of view. Her question prompts him to look beyond the physical. He had come here, for himself.

“You miss him.”

“He is one with the Force.”

“That doesn’t mean you won’t miss him, Jedi Kenobi.” In the stillness, in the quiet between them, his name is almost a caress. There is a musical beauty in that voice, so different from his. He remembers what he had learned of Naboo before they had initially departed for this mission: the Nabooian love of beauty and peace, their belief in the innocence and purity of heart of their leaders, the traditions that were entrenched in their culture. “You’re afraid.”

“A Jedi does not know fear.” For that leads to anger which becomes hate. Fear signifies attachment to an object, sentient or place. Master Yoda’s teachings are well remembered by every youngling, padawan, Knight and Master; he has influenced the lives of generations of Jedi.

“I don’t believe that.”

The fireworks have stopped. Neither knows when this happened, only that it has. Shadows lengthen in the room. A sweet scent lingers between them, potent in the darkness.

“It is considered one of the first steps to the dark side.”

“I was afraid during the battle. When we fled Naboo for Coruscant. Does that mean I have begun to tread upon the path to the dark side?”

No rote phrase, no recitation of old lessons would serve as an answer. He is a Jedi. A Knight and he knows his duty with its limitations and choices. “No.” It is the only answer that feels right.

“Then don’t be afraid to admit you will miss him. Even Jedi have feelings.” Wistfulness pervades her expression; it is in her eyes, her voice. It causes the forming half-smile to be lopsided.

“Jedi –”

A finger is lain against his lips; he didn’t see her hand move although he had sensed the motion. “Do not know fear,” she finishes for him. “But they feel it.”

Her finger moves away and she replaces it by brushing her lips against his. Unexpectedly, his lips part as she leans forward, as her eyes close and his head tilts. The sounds of jubilation are no more as her fingers slide along his cheek, trace along his jaw. Reality consists of this moment, of the heady fragrant wine that sits to the side of them.

Reality is a Jedi’s first kiss.

Several moments pass before their lips separate, before their breath is caught. Instinct had taken over; he had followed the Handmaiden’s cues of touch.

Her hands return to her lap.

“I will inform her Majesty you are well.” Rising, brown eyes meet blue. “Do not be afraid to feel,” a whisper before she walks away and his gaze follows her from the room before it rests on the cup of wine she has left; its scent is one that will invoke the memory of this night.

Finally, his eyes close. His breathing evens, becoming steady. Rhythmic.

Qui-Gon had always bid him to be mindful of the living Force.

Perhaps it is a lesson he should remember, more than he does.
 
 
 
Mya Scarlet: p&p keiramya_scarlet on March 7th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
This is a gem! I love the pace of it and as always it's so easy to visualise. Just wonderful. On the second reading I could imagine it being read out by an actor, someone with a lovely voice because it's really quite poetic. I often listen to a radio programme here in the evening called "Book at Bedtime" and this is just the kind of thing I would love to hear.

I'm so glad you wrote this! Will there be more?
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on March 7th, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
I love the pace of it and as always it's so easy to visualise.
The fact that you can visualise it makes me very happy indeed. It was clear in my head, as I wrote it, but (as always) I wasn't certain if I managed to convey that image of them in that room.

On the second reading I could imagine it being read out by an actor, someone with a lovely voice because it's really quite poetic.
Again, thank you. Oddly enough, when I was asked to read it to my usual beta audience, I could imagine it being read by Keira - just that clarity of her voice, although I was probably influenced by P&P, for that.

Will there be more?
As I said in the author's note above, I'm not ruling it out - I don't like to limit myself by ruling out possibilities. But, I'm also very uncertain as to whether there will be more; in some ways, this 'fic was awkward to write and while that awkwardness will fade away on its own in time, right now it makes me hesitant to consider more.
Armchair DM: Igor & Carson: Waitingarmchairdm on March 7th, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC)
Oooh...
Oooh... I like this. I like Sabe. I think she's actually one of the harder characters to write for. Obi, as usual, you nailed.

It's very sweet, and touching, and intriguing in a way I haven't seen done before.
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on March 7th, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh...
intriguing in a way I haven't seen done before.
Intriguing in what way?

You knew I was going to ask that the moment I saw that comment.

Thank you, for the kind words.
Armchair DM: Igor: A Rod Of Silencearmchairdm on March 10th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Oooh...
It's hard to explain. But I think too often I've seen fic with Obi, whether it's Padme, or Sabe, or someone entirely different, turn into the romance angle. Yours is the first in a while which had, potentially, a strong friendship between Obi and /Sabe/ develop.
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on March 11th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
Re: Oooh...
I can direct you to a LJ community devoted to this particular pairing within the SWU.
"MJ": Obidalalondongirl27 on April 4th, 2006 01:09 am (UTC)
Ok, I'm late in reading this, but . . . wow. Truth be told, I've never read a Sabewan fic before. This is actually my first. And it's so vivid! I could actually see everything as it was happening. I love it when writers go into this much detail. It's really great, F.J. I'm looking forward to reading everything else that's in your journal.

I could never picture Obi-wan and Sabe together, if I focused on the movies alone. After reading this, I can see the possibilities . . .
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on April 4th, 2006 03:28 am (UTC)
Ok, I'm late in reading this,
There's no such thing as being late - simply being delayed! Or simply haven't come to it yet. I'm glad you found this and have enjoyed it.

Truth be told, I've never read a Sabewan fic before. This is actually my first.
I read a few in my research for this, although, really, I shouldn't've read them, so that I could keep my writing of this pairing untainted, so to speak.

And it's so vivid! I could actually see everything as it was happening. I love it when writers go into this much detail.
And here is where I blush, as I did with the above comments. Thank you, very much for the kind words.

My honest concern when I've been writing the Star Wars fanfiction has been with the details. I either tend to get descriptive, or I don't. With all the SW fanfiction to date, I keep feeling that I've been quite sparse with the description, so to read that someone can see everything happening as it happens? That makes me exceedingly happy.

I could never picture Obi-wan and Sabe together, if I focused on the movies alone. After reading this, I can see the possibilities . . .
Honestly, neither could I when I initially saw the films. However, I still can't even after writing this story and with my understanding of the characters themselves. In too many ways, it doesn't seem all that feasible. To be honest, this'll likely be the first and last time I write a 'fic involving this pairing. I'd have to seriously consider the story before writing it.

However, I'm exceedingly glad that my attempt at understanding the pairing has opened your eyes to the possibility of them. It's an story/character angle that is interesting and due to the obscurity of Sabé, I can see the ease with which you could do it as well.
"MJ": Obidalalondongirl27 on April 5th, 2006 11:08 am (UTC)
And here is where I blush, as I did with the above comments. Thank you, very much for the kind words.

My honest concern when I've been writing the Star Wars fanfiction has been with the details. I either tend to get descriptive, or I don't. With all the SW fanfiction to date, I keep feeling that I've been quite sparse with the description, so to read that someone can see everything happening as it happens? That makes me exceedingly happy.


By all means, blush away because it's true. :) I've read a few Obidala stories on FF.net that left me a bit disappointed because they were rushed. The authors wrote plenty of chapters, but I felt, for the most part, that they were just trying to get to the end as fast as possible. But in this short story, you managed to focus on lighting, Sabe's clothing, her eyes, the way her hair fell . . . and the list goes on. I really wish more fanfic writers would take a breathe, slow down, and write in a similar style as you've done here. Some do, but not all.

Honestly, neither could I when I initially saw the films. However, I still can't even after writing this story and with my understanding of the characters themselves. In too many ways, it doesn't seem all that feasible. To be honest, this'll likely be the first and last time I write a 'fic involving this pairing. I'd have to seriously consider the story before writing it.

However, I'm exceedingly glad that my attempt at understanding the pairing has opened your eyes to the possibility of them. It's an story/character angle that is interesting and due to the obscurity of Sabé, I can see the ease with which you could do it as well.


Yes, I'm still not a Sabewan fan either. I guess what I meant to say was that fanfics like yours leave me with a better understanding as to why some people love this pair. However, if it weren't for the existence of Sabewan fanfic, I don't think I could understand the possibilities of this pair very much. Then again, maybe there's something in the SW novels that I don't know about and some people saw. Or maybe if I were a huge Keira fan it would be easier for me to daydream about her and Ewan as a pair(?). I'm not sure if this would change things for me, but right now, I'm still only an Obidala follower.
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on April 5th, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
But in this short story, you managed to focus on lighting, Sabe's clothing, her eyes, the way her hair fell . . .
I had an exceptionally clear and vivid picture in my mind that I tried to convey. It seems I managed to do so better than I had envisioned.

and the list goes on. I really wish more fanfic writers would take a breathe, slow down, and write in a similar style as you've done here. Some do, but not all.
Some of this might be due to the fact that for many fanfic writers within this fandom, Star Wars is about the action and excitement. There aren't many moments like I tried to capture here. For many, it's about the snappy dialogue and the action. For others? Well. This could devolve into a long-winded discussion about the many likes and dislikes and faults of fanfic writers - of which I have many.

I guess what I meant to say was that fanfics like yours leave me with a better understanding as to why some people love this pair.
I'm glad I was able to impart this understanding for you. I wrote this 'fic and I still don't get it. I came to the end of it and was still very 'Huh?' about the pairing in general.

I think it's one of those pairings that comes under the title of 'to each their own.' I can't see it, but for those who can? I admire them and will probably stay with Obidala as my primary pairing, myself.
ladysavitiriladysavitiri on May 18th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
Hmmmmmm . . .
I normally don't drop ooc, but I didn't want to simply leave an anonymous comment, as I think that's rather cowardly.

I've been browsing your journal and most particularly your writings, since finding it in one of those "Way leads onto way" kind of internet meanderings.

You write well - grammatically perfect, spelling is scrupulously correct. You're possibly over-descriptive, but I know I have been accused of that myself.

But the thing I find most interesting is your almost complete emasculation of male characters. I know Jedis are supposed to be pure and noble, but that does not mean sexless, surely. You have Obiwan, and to a lesser extent Anakin, behaving like . . . well, like a twelve year old's view of a boyfriend, and a naive twelve year old at that.

Or perhaps, since your overall maturity as evidenced in your writing puts your age at over twelve, that most wonderful and "safe" of things - a male gay friend, who will give you nice warm and fuzzy male attention without any of that tedious groping and touching stuff.

I enjoyed the first one, perhaps two, of these "sweet" pieces, after which I rather lamented Obiwan's lack of testicles and pleaded in vain for him to be allowed to grow a set. When he didn't, I'm afraid I rather gave up.

It became too much of a one note song after that. It's almost a set piece - Jedi approaches Padme, fawns over her sycophantically with a subtext of forbidden "love", only it's more like "like" than love. Love has edges, it's rough and tumble, it's not neat and pretty - in fact it can be damned ugly. But that's what makes it attractive - it's not at all predictable, so you never know what's coming at you around the next corner.

I know he's a Jedi, but he's also human - if he's going to feel something, then let him *feel* it, for goodness' sake! Don't make him pussyfoot around it like some limp imitation of a man - the Obiwan of the original movies, even after life had kicked the hell out of him, had more spunk than your version of his younger self.

And Padme was ruler of her nation at a young age, and then a Senator. She's got more balls than your version of Obiwan has! The affair between her and Anakin was doomed from the start, because she was a strong woman and in the end he turned out to be a weak man. That being so, she is not going to be all gushy mushy school-girly about anyone, especially not a Jedi Knight who she knows is more powerful than that.

I note that you set challenges to yourself, but generally they aren't real challenges - just to produce more of the same. But I'll check back occasionally, just to see if you do mature as a writer.

Good luck to you, and be well
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on May 18th, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
Re: Hmmmmmm . . .
It would depend upon one's definition of challenge, as to whether they're real or not, and one's own perspective upon what comprises a challenge and what does not. After all, what some consider a challenge, others do not - as is obviously the case here.

Thank you, for taking the time to leave your comment; I enjoyed reading it and seeing my writing from another perspective.
(Anonymous) on February 25th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
sabewan story
i just found this story and i really enjoyed it. i'm always on the look out for new obi-wan and sabé stories.
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on February 25th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
Re: sabewan story
Thank you, very kindly, for your comment.

It was a difficult story to write so to hear that you enjoyed it is really good to hear!

There is a Sabé/Obi-Wan community on LJ that does get some new stories to the best of my knowledge; it's been a while since I checked it so it might no longer exist.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on August 1st, 2008 12:22 am (UTC)
I am so EXTREMELY sorry if I've offended you any way, hon. If I have just tell me and I'll promptly keep quiet. I just thought that, for once, I'd leave some critique, because it is a great way to help an author improve. :D
Let’s address this first: there’s nothing to be sorry about, trust me. It’s okay to leave critique to give someone something to think about.

I think that you can't depict how much two people care for one another unless you show their faults in each other, their bitterness, their confusion, and their ultimate reconciliation through pain and fear that eventually leads them back to one another.
This is a valid opinion; one I respect and utilise in writing that’s not shown here. However, when it comes to the Star Wars universe, it’s one that gets used more often than not. I didn’t write the stories that I have for Star Wars to be a counter against that, to be something different; it’s simply not something I felt I had to explore when others were exploring it in quite some depth and very well, in some instances.

When it comes to exploring Obi-Wan for more masculine responses, so to speak, that’s also done in a lot of other fanfiction; I remember one Obidala fanfic where he was drinking whiskey and being extremely bitter – for that story, it fit. But, again, it’s something that’s been done and is being done and I didn’t feel, with the Obi-Wan of the stories I posted, that it needed to be done again. I took the parameters of what he is, what he’s trained to be – he’s a Jedi – and decided to look at that, from a more innocent perspective.

What needs to be said about the Star Wars stories on this journal is that they were a challenge for me – I didn’t feel I could write descriptively and I wasn’t certain I could create, as I did in this story, the dual atmospheres: the excitement occurring outside and the quiet within the room where Obi-Wan and Sabé are. So, they were written to challenge that perception within myself that I couldn’t do a great many things with my writing very well, especially descriptive writing, and each story hit the mark on challenging those perceptions.

They were also written in response to another situation where everything became remarkably seedy and the stories were used to show it didn’t have to be seedy or remarkably cheap.

I just think that you should branch out, and perhaps see the story from a different view, work at it, tug it, pull it, shape it, mold it, into something that is equally compelling and even more magnificient than it already is. :)
Or perhaps put said work in a place where others can see it?

With regards to this particular story, there was wondering as to whether I could even write this story in terms of story development and characterisation; I was looking at another branch of the Star Wars fandom at the time.

I think it's a great course to follow when writing, because then you can easily step outside your comfort zone when needed, and maintain your own style.
Part of me wants to laugh when I read this as everyone assumes what’s put in the journal is my style; who’s to say that this style of writing isn’t me stepping outside my usual trends to look at something from a new perspective?

Honestly, thank you for commenting; the comments were unexpected, especially right now, and thought provoking.