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14 January 2006 @ 01:28 am
Fic: 'By Dawn's Light.'  
Title: By Dawn's Light.
Fandom: Star Wars
Rating: (G)
Time Period: Immediate after tPM.
Summary: Obi-Wan reflects upon recent events.

Author's Note: This is the first of a trio of short stories set within the prequel films; the name of this trilogy is 'Behind You'. These stories were written to allow them to stand alone or to read as part of the trilogy.

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

_______________________


Pearled luminosity slips in, its illumination gentle. By the large windows, I stand, hands vanished into the long sleeves of my robe; a solitary figure almost invisible within the shadows’ depths.

Anakin sleeps, after the excitement of the evening. Wide had been his eyes when fountains of tumbling stars and cascading light had exploded in the Nabooian night; he had been thrilled, ensnared in the jubilation of a people now free from the Trade Federation by virtue of their Queen’s boldness; a boldness born of love and duty for her people who had suffered in the Federation camps.

From the edge of my vision, I caught the quiet shifting of feet, all the more easily perceived for the warm brightness of the garb worn. A Handmaiden is the visual impression; I sense, and know, differently.

A flame, she appears in the pre-dawn. Hope, purity; she burns as well as shines with her honour and idealism. The pure light of her people before whose brown eyes, I felt naked; that gaze stripped away the quiet, polite façade assumed in the presence of others to the guilt underneath. Guilt that I lived and my Master did not; his death was still new for me even as his presence was one with the Force.

“Your Majesty, I didn’t mean to intrude.” In the steadily strengthening light, I can see the self-deprecating smile.

“Jedi,” that shrewd brown gaze flickered to where the newly cut padawan braid had been, “Kenobi, this is no intrusion.” Lacking was the regal professionalism of Amidala and plentiful the warmth that mirrored the robe she wore. “Call me Padmé,” a quiet offer. “Now is not a formal time.”

“Padmé,” an almost imperceptible incline of my head. “I hadn’t thought anyone to be here.” To my ears, this room echoed the stories told to celebrate Qui-Gon’s life on the night of his funeral, the solemnity of grief as it was acknowledged by the Council, fellow Jedi, that Qui-Gon was now one with the Force; Master Yoda informing me I was now a Knight and Anakin my padawan amidst the echoes of my defiance, similar to Qui-Gon, as I informed Master Yoda I would train Anakin and fulfil the promise to my fallen Master.

“I came,” I note her hands are almost lost in the oversleeves of her gown as she enters this chamber, leaving the small temple adjoining this room, “to seek counsel from those who ruled before me.”

Solemn words and I step further from the window where I had sought solace from the dawn. My gaze glances to the door from which she had entered.

Endearing, yet brief, a smile curves her lips as she realises where I’d looked. Those eyes, so expressive, are cast down. “None of this should’ve happened.”

A hand lifts, to move the hood of her cloak that hides her face from me. Her eyes were shadowed from the softened light of the newborn sunrise, as she looks up and for a moment in this between time of night and day, I can see the woman she would become, the loveliness contained within those features blurred by the greyling light.

Always in motion, the future is. Master Yoda’s counsel admonishes me and my hand falls, from her face to my side. Blue eyes meet brown; agelessness in those liquid eyes, those features so old and yet so young with the rounded cheek of girlhood. “Could you have foreseen what occurred? Could you have stopped it?”

The cowl of her cloak fell about her shoulders and her hair, for once, wasn’t caught in a ceremonial style. She had been right; this wasn’t a time for formality, as her dark brown hair framed her face with a hint of curliness that brushed her cheek. “My choices led to this.” Urgently soft; I knew she meant Qui-Gon’s death. A heavy weight that was not for her shoulders.

“Your choices led to your people’s freedom, Padmé. You chose to do what you could to stop their suffering.” My hand had risen whilst I spoke, to cradle her cheek; touch, I knew, brought comfort although I know not who I seek to comfort: Padmé or myself. “Qui-Gon followed the mandate given him by the Council.”

“It doesn’t lessen the thought there had to have been a different way.” Her head tilts, into the touch, my hand caressing her cheek. “The Great Peace has been broken –”

A gentle, slight touch of my lips, to hers; I know now whose comfort I had sought, with my hand to her cheek; mine, to feel for a fleeting instant. “A momentary break, Padmé,” warm breath carried its own assurances across her cheek. “You have also brought peace through your actions.’

Straightening, my hand falls only to be caught, by her. “And it was not your fault Qui-Gon was killed.”

“He is one with the Force.”

“A rote phrase.”

“A truth.” An easy counter.

She leans forward, reaching for my other hand and holds both between hers, with a gently delicate touch. “This, Obi-Wan, is not a rote phrase.” Her gaze uplifts, capturing mine. “You will always have my gratitude, for your aid in saving Naboo.” Momentarily, her voice contains regal traces of the Queen she is and not the Handmaiden she appears. “You also have my friendship,” those earnest brown eyes holding me close. “I will always be one step behind you, Obi-Wan.”

One step behind you. An implicit promise in those four words. A promise, of trust and faith. A promise I knew she would not fail. My faith now rests in her hands as she releases mine and the cowl of her flame cloak is brought upward, once again gifting her with anonymity. “Then I shan’t fear what might come behind me.”

Another sweet smile, again short-lived. “I’ll see you, before you depart.” With Council and she would once again be Amidala; it would not be like this, so informal.

“Until then,” I bow, watching as by another door, she departs, the newly made promise left lingering in the air, and my thoughts, as I return to the window to observe the remnants of the dawn.
 
 
 
Brittanystarlit_muses on January 13th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
So...good.
You are a fabulous writer!!!! Everything was so smoothe and flowing. Please keep up the great work, I'd love to read more.
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on January 13th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: So...good.
Thank you, very much, for your kind words - I'm pleased that this story flowed for you; that had been a concern of mine when I wrote this.

As the author's note to this story commented, this is the first in a trio of stories. So, keep an eye out, if you're interested in seeing how this particular trilogy of short 'fics go!
(Deleted comment)
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on January 13th, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
I'm very pleased you enjoyed it, thank you!

I look forward to more...
In the immediate short-term, there will be the rest of the trilogy that this story belongs to.
rabbitmagerabbitmage on January 14th, 2006 01:56 am (UTC)
Ooh, that was lovely! It's so nice to see the little tidbits you teased me with fall together into such beautiful order.

And for the record? I'm glad you left the kiss it. It all flows.
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on January 14th, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
You were a very lovely test audience and for that, I thank you! -HUG!-

I'm glad you liked the end result and I'm still uncertain about that kiss - that was a last minute decision, to leave it in. It didn't seem right to keep it but, I couldn't justify to myself about taking it out.
Pantherapanthology on January 14th, 2006 10:08 am (UTC)
You picked the best of the possible perspectives that you were considering. I don't think it wouldn't have worked so well from any of the others.
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on January 14th, 2006 10:26 am (UTC)
Thank you kindly.

It was the perspective that was certainly strongest after watching the film. The others, when I began writing certainly faded off and when I considered the other perspective, for Obi-Wan? It just didn't fit.

I'm pleased this worked for you.