Say Good Night

by Kaly (


Rating: PG

Archive: MA, others please ask.

Classification: angst

Warnings: angst, h/c

Spoilers: some for TPM

Summary: Qui-Gon goes to comfort Obi-Wan after Anakin's fall.

Feedback: please, do.

Notes: This was originally written as a favor for a now defunct zine last summer, so I'm sharing it with y'all. Not implied slash or pre- slash this time, which I seem to tend toward, actual slash. (if you know me, that means something *g*)

Thanks: It's been a while, but Kim and James were the two who betaed this fic, at the time what felt like to death ;)

Disclaimer: If I owned 'em, Obi wouldn't grow that beard till Ep3... ;) Making no money here. Move along.

I find myself standing beside a window in a small, dirty room and wonder briefly in what part of the galaxy I am. When I see the man who lays in front me, I find that I do not care where I am, or why. He's tangled in ratty sheets, highlighted by a shaft of moonlight arcing through the grimy window. That pale iridescence serves only to draw attention to his strife-sharpened contours.

Unaware of my presence, the man to whom I gave my heart -- and indeed my soul -- great many years before, slumbers on unaware. I am tucked away in the shadows, standing safely where he cannot see me. And, either gift or curse though it may be, neither can he feel me standing so near.

I was drawn to this place, a nameless planet in an overlooked quadrant, as I often am -- by him. My love has fought so long to ignore and push away his feelings. It is only here, and now, on the eve of a great journey that begins with the end of everything either of us held dear, that the emotions which have long struggled to surface are finally doing so.

How greatly things have changed since I left him behind. Looking at the beloved face before me, it is as if I can view a monument to those changes in the lines around his eyes. His youthful features, which so often held a smile just for me, are wary and worn.

He moves in his sleep, rough, jerky movements that tangle the thin sheets that are draped over his body. I know of his pain -- the fate of Anakin mere weeks before and the uncertainty of Amidala's unborn children. And yet those would seem inconsequential to some compared to the rise of a blackness that threatens to tear the galaxy apart a system at a time. My love has borne all of these trials, undeterred if never unmoved, with a strength that will forever make me proud.

When I was alive, I fought and bent the Code when it was his best interest that was at heart. Yet since my fall, I feel as though I've done little more than stand idly by. There were times I failed him, hurt him, and he me. From these times came a devotion I never dreamed I might know. All the proof I needed was the look in his eyes when we would lay together, safe and warm in one another's arms.

Now, after years of separation, forced and yet not always so, I am not quite as willing to acquiesce to rules or code. My love has been tempered by fire, and there is far more to come. I blink quickly, as a plan comes to mind.

When he once again tosses in his sleep, I move from my shadowed space near the window. A half dozen steps and I am next to the tattered bed where I fall forward onto my knees and into a familiar resting position.

He stirs, but doesn't wake and I smile faintly. I reach out, and am surprised to see my hand shaking as I touch his cheek lightly. The sensation is eerily similar to that I felt as I lay dying in his arms.

Somehow it is as surprising to me as it must be to him when he opens his eyes. I feel something inside me clench when those green eyes open and I want to fall within their depths. A shaky smile pulls at my lips, and I'm filled with a sense of purpose and power that I have not known in a very long time.

His mouth opens, closes and opens again. Suddenly he moves to sit up, pulling away as he does so. A lance of pain tears at my heart, but even while it does, I understand his reaction. I have been gone from his life for so long, while he has not been missing from mine, that his doubt is more than expected.

I dropped my hand when he pulled his cheek out from under my touch with his movement. When I finally feel him seeping into the Force around me, I grasp those tendrils of emotion so long denied to me. His confusion and hesitance pulls at me. A sadness fills me at that and I close my eyes briefly, wanting nothing more than to ease away the pain.

Even still, underneath the conflicting emotions I can feel his trust in me. It is himself he does not trust -- he wants to believe but does not believe what his own eyes show. Oh, my Obi-Wan, if I might have been able to spare you such doubts.

Smiling, I try to hold onto my vaunted Jedi patience -- at least what little of it remains now that I have another chance to hold my love. My time with him is so very short, but I can't speak. For all the emotions churning within me, I feel just as much from him. Besides this, I know my padawan; he needs to make the first move.

His eyes search my own almost frantically and after several long moments I feel a sensation I haven't known since I fell to the Sith. When his mind reaches out to mine, I scramble to lessen the vast shields I have developed during my many visits to his side. When I at last feel the familiar tingle of our bond, so much greater than the impressions I felt moments before, my eyes clinch shut and burn. It is true that those who pass into the Force no longer have bodies, but the sensations -- laughter, tears -- they remain.

His eyes widen, and I easily feel the trepidation and doubt slide away. When he finally finds his voice, it is rough with sleep and tears.

"How? Why?" He blinks quickly, daring a glance around the room before again staring straight into my soul. "Why now?"

I need to soothe the pain from his features, but for the moment I remain where I am. Close enough to touch, but not. "No longer could I ignore your pain for the sake of duty." I am surprised, for some reason, to find my own voice -- years removed from true use -- unchanged.

For a moment he looks as if he will not believe me. "Duty. Always duty." There is an edge to his voice that I have long known, and never liked. Again he looks away before pulling his knees up to his chest and wrapping his arms around them. He sits perfectly still for a long moment before moving in a sudden flurry of movement outward as if he suddenly cannot stand living in his own skin.

"Have you any idea what it is truly like to live, now, alone in Palpatine's empire?" Obi-Wan punctuates the words by flinging his arms out beside him, gesturing around the room, his voice so low I can barely hear him -- almost a growl.

I nod, recognizing the strain his living as the last of the Jedi in his unsteady voice. "I am sorry that it fell upon you, my love, to face such misery. Yet in no other could I, nor anyone, find the faith to believe the man to be far ahead of the task. You are a great Jedi, Obi-Wan."

He doesn't respond, once more pulling in on himself, but I know he has heard me. "I have tried to be what you wanted me to be. Yet with Anakin I still failed, and it is everyone else who will live and die to pay for my folly."

He takes an unsteady breath, self-deprecation is pouring off of him in waves and I reach out instinctively to soothe him. He presses on, his eyes turning icy. "We are alike in the most horrible of ways, now, Qui-Gon. We have each lost an apprentice." I fight a wince at his mention of Xanatos, but that pain is far removed now. It is the man who sits before me, suffering his own loss, who saved me from that pain. After a long moment's pause, he continues speaking, his voice bitter. "Only my failure will wreak his vengeance upon a much grander scale."

The fall of Anakin is far too recent to expect Obi-Wan not to feel it's wrath. I recall far too easily the abysmal result my former Padawan's turn caused within me. However, under the circumstances, my legacy is bearing onward far better than I.

"We each play a role, my Obi-Wan. If there is fault to be had, it lies far more easily with me than it does with you." He flinches, wrapping his arms around up drawn knees, but doesn't try to share the blame. My padawan has not been the youth I helped raise for many years, and this silence only serves to remind me. "The endless expanse of the Force allows retrospect with some clarity, my love. It is indeed possible that each of us were powerless to stop the plays of fate upon us all."

He is silent, and I reach out and lay my hand on top of his feet -- the sensation a shadow of the physical connection I remember and crave whenever I cannot have it. All is silent, broken only by the soft breaths Obi-Wan takes. I am contemplating what I might say next, to try and make things better, when he speaks.

"I've missed you." Obi-Wan meets my eyes, and the need to hold him magnifies exponentially with the act. Before I can think, I am beside him on the small bed. He reaches out a hesitant hand, touching my face. I see the faint blue glow of my cloak against the pale white of his tunic, but pay it little heed as I pull him into my arms.

A long sigh escapes me when my love falls into my embrace, his arms wrapped tightly around my chest. I have no idea if Force ghosts should be able to feel anything on this plane, but I am not fool enough to waste precious time thinking about it.

The bristle of his beard scratches at my throat, and I cannot help but smile. The sight of my Obi-Wan with a beard is still a surprise even after several years. Although I've watched as he changed, in my heart he will forever be my youthful Padawan.

"And you will always be my Master, Qui-Gon." His whisper is amusing at the same time it is surprising. That he could read my thoughts now, is fitting in a way.

I run a hand along his hair, all the while holding him tighter with the other. The emotions that are surrounding us both are primal -- each of us needing and taking from the other as much as we possibly can.

"I have always been with you," I say, breaking the magical silence that had enveloped us. "I always shall, my love."

He pulls back, searching my gaze. "I've dreamt about you. That you were nearby, watching over me. I used to wake, first hopeful and then sad that it was but a dream. Cruel tricks dreams can play. Sometimes I would dream that you were near, seeing me and An . . ." He swallows, unable to continue and I cup his cheek in my hand. Of all the pains I've been forced to watch him endure, this torment is the last I would have wished upon anyone -- most especially him.

I try to smile, but the effort is unsteady at best. Rubbing my thumb along his cheekbone, I lean forward and brush my lips against Obi-Wan's, a hesitant fleeting touch. Pursuing the contact, he presses his mouth more insistently against mine. Sighing softly, his tongue slips into my mouth before quickly retreating, mine follows in a familiar dance.

When the kiss ends, his forehead leans forward to rest against my own. I am forced to close my eyes when he says, "Stay with me. Here. Now. Don't leave again."

Oh, my Obi-Wan, how I wish that might be so. "This stolen time is all that we might have now. Be it for better or for worse, I am with you now. In this moment."

"Live in the moment," he says, a hint of his familiar smart aleck smile turning his lips all the while a bright moisture shines in his eyes. "Never were truer words spoken than in this moment, Qui-Gon."

I smile, unable not to do so. "It would appear that you have taken my lessons to heart, although you were rather slow to warm to the idea of that particular adage before."

"Never before had I known a single moment into which I would gladly fall and never return." What power of thought I had held onto was lost to me with his heartfelt statement. "Only now -- in this moment -- is there such thing as a single span in time which is worth living in forever."

It was always possible to read Obi-Wan's heart in his eyes, so expressive were the swirling depths, but never more so than while he was speaking those words. My own soul warmed at the passion in those eyes.

Rather than allow me to reply, he again pressed his mouth to mine, his tongue tracing the very edge of my lower lip before I opened my mouth and allowed him inside. One of us moaned softly, but I cannot say for certain which. When the kiss was but lingering, I drew his lower lip into my mouth, unwilling to let go just yet.

The kiss, as all must, ended and when I once more stared into his gaze he seemed resolved and yet as determined as I ever remember him being. "Let us live in the moment, my Qui-Gon." He took my hands in his own, tracing the backs with his thumbs. "For as long as this moment may last, let us waste no time on regrets."

And so, we live in the moment. I nod, slipping one hand from the soft grasp and touch his face. "I do love you, my Obi-Wan." My voice is a rough whisper, scratchy to my own ears.

His eyes shimmer with unshed tears. Seconds pass before he starts to say something, before thinking better of it. Instead, Obi-Wan pauses, brushing his lips across mine. "As I do you," he finally says, his warm breath fanning across my face. "I never stopped, even when I thought you truly gone from my life."

"I will never be truly gone." Pulling him into my arms once more, he presses his face into my chest. Completing the motion, I press my cheek against his hair. "No matter what may lie ahead, you will never be alone, my love."

He presses a kiss to my chest, at the juncture of my tunics, and I kiss the top of his head. "I will do my best, Qui-Gon. Still, I would much prefer to see you." He pauses, turning just enough to look up in my eyes while hugging me tighter. "To hold you. I always loved most simply being able to hold you."

Again I kiss him, exploring his mouth slowly, breaking only when I know Obi-Wan needs to breathe. One advantage for me, I suppose -- breathing isn't required now. "It would seem that, to some extent, I have been fortunate these past years." He looks confused, the burrow between his brows creasing. I smile, and brush my finger over the well-known indention. "Ages before I longed to hold you in my arms, I would watch you sleep. The love and pride of a parent in time turned to the love and pride of a man, but during both, I watched you sleep."

He titled his head to the side at my words. Twining his leg between mine, he pulls us closer, though I would have doubted it possible before. "They weren't dreams, were they? You were there."

I smile -- unsurprised at this turn of events. "Yes, my love. You must have somehow known I was there. As I said, never were you alone. Whenever you needed someone, I was anywhere you might be. I often watched upon your slumber, and longed for you to know of my presence."

"Will I wake tomorrow and find this to be just another dream?" He nuzzles my neck and I sigh softly.

I blink, unsure what the Force might make so. I take a deep breath, and find myself hoping that he will be proven wrong. He glances up at me, waiting for my answer. "I hope not, my love. But this, as everything else, is subject to the will of the Force."

He nods, and I recognize his expression as begrudging acceptance. "As it is always, so it would seem."

At some point words become unnecessary, and we are content simply to hold one another. We lay along the bed, facing one another with legs and arms tangled. I find myself relishing his solid presence next to me as much -- or more -- than I ever did. Hands reach out, touching and stroking, kisses are pressed against whatever skin is within reach.

Neither of us risks closing our eyes, wanting to see as well as feel everything we can. I recognize the cloudy green of his eyes whenever my hands stray over a sensitive spot. We aren't relearning one another -- we know one another. It is as if the time that has past was days, not years.

Even with our limited time, nothing is rushed nor taken for granted. The passing of that time is marked by nothing more than his heartbeat and steady breathing. Those same breaths are how I begin to realize that he will soon be unable to stay awake, no matter how hard he is trying.

His eyes are staying closed longer each time he blinks, and his mouth is parted with unwanted slumber. I smile, brushing a lock of hair away from his forehead.

The hurried and chaotic events of the past weeks and months have taken a toll on my love, leaving him drained and weary. I know it is not willingly that he would sleep now, but rather that his body is winning the fight against his mind.

"I find that I do not want to say good bye," he says, fighting the sleep that longs to overtake him. He closes his eyes for a moment, and I press a feather light kiss to each eyelid. "Good bye is too final."

Running a hand along his back, I seek to help soothe him somewhat. I cannot help feeling much the same. "Then we shall say good night, not good bye." Pressing my lips to his chin, he sighs drowsily before sharing another soft kiss.

"Good night it shall be then." One hand is wrapped in my robe, the other touches my face briefly as a single tear tracks down his cheek. "I love you." The breath from his words tickles my cheek.

As sleeps hold finally takes him, I kiss his forehead and wipe the moisture from his face. "And I you."

There is little night left, and I find myself holding onto him until the bright pink streaks of dawn blot out the moonlight, filling the room with the daylight's brilliance. For what time I have left, I embrace him. Watching him sleep peacefully in my arms, I am searching as if to memorize his face.

"Remember," I whisper, knowing somehow he will hear my words. "You may not see me, but you are never alone."

The familiar sounds of early morning outside the window are beginning to pick up when I release my hold on Obi-Wan. I carefully move from the bed, and draw the covers over him. I have time for one last kiss pressed to his lips before I begin to fade.

A lone tear falls as I slip from this realm and return once more to whence I came.

"Good night, my love."