Author's Note: I'm not sure this works as a story, but I'm sending it out anyway. After I first listened to Aeone's "Message In My Heart", I couldn't get it out of my mind. It was like nothing I've ever heard before, and I wanted to do more with it for Obi and Qui, but this is all that came. (Aside: Aeone is the wonderful artist who sang in TNT's "The Mists of Avalon".) I wish the story was a better offering. If anyone out there listens to "Message In My Heart" and is inspired, please see if you can do better? I know there's a story in there that I'm missing. The lyrics are just words, but when combined with the music, it's haunting. I don't often do song-fics, but this one... well, just listen and you'll see what I mean.

I already know that the title doesn't fit the story. I can only say that it seemed a good idea at the time.



"Will you remember me
with the sunlight shining golden on my hair?
Or will it be when you lay with me,
and I spoke your name as softly as a prayer?
No words to capture in pictures of the mind,
but the ghost of you still whispers in images
I just can't leave behind."


It's ended now, Master. Here I am, in the same Otherworld as you are, but still without you. Sometimes I wonder if you ever existed at all, it has been so long since I saw you, heard your voice, knew you to be part of my reality.

I did all that I knew to do after you died. I trained the boy as you asked me to, but it was not enough. I don't think any Master would have been enough for Anakin.

I saw him fall to the dark and watched our Order die, I held Amidala as she died as well, and I managed to save her children. I hid myself in silence and heat on a world I despised, waited for Luke and Leia to come of age, and kept alive the hope that they would somehow undo what Palpatine and their father had done.

The Force made real that hope; I do not delude myself that I had much to do with the redemption of our Republic, other than that I invited young Luke to embrace his destiny. Follow it, he did, until he saved all of us including his father.

And so now I stand on the edge of forever, Yoda and Anakin once more with me, to smile approval and blessing on Luke whose world has been made whole.

He will establish a new Order, Master. One very different from the one we knew, but one that is in balance. And that is, after all, what you sought. To fulfill the prophecy regarding the One who would bring balance to the Force. I wish that other roads could have been taken to achieve this destination, but we travel the journey the Force gives to us, and it is not always the journey we would choose if left to our own devices, is it?

It's finished, Master. Anakin travels to seek Amidala and her forgiveness, if she will have him, and quite probably to visit Luke later if the boy is receptive. Yoda nods and fades back to wherever he wishes to be. And me?

What is left for me to do, now that all of the duties are finished?

I back away mentally from the celebration on Yavin, leaving Luke to enjoy his new freedom and opportunities, to make peace with the events of the day and plan his future. His world fades from my existence as though it never was -- as, indeed, it never was and never will be for me. I am left on a mental plane of my own making, with emptiness surrounding me and memories obsessing me. I don't know where to go. Where should I go, Master? And if I go, tell me: will you be there?

Will you finally be there, waiting for me after all these years? Or will there still be a terrible emptiness and choking silence to fill my eternity as they filled my life from the day I watched you fall?

My focus determines my reality, so I focus on a forest glade with a heavy log fallen in the center. It is just right for me to settle on as I decide to review the events of my life now ended.

Anakin and I were haunted, Master; he by the loss of his mother and me by the loss of you. We walked wounded through all of our days as master and apprentice, each of us blind to the other's pain. Each of us unable to reach out, to bridge the chasm of despair. It was impossible from the beginning for us to build the same closeness I'd shared with you. We shared a training bond, but Anakin's thoughts and feelings were always as closed to me as mine were to him.

I buried my mourning and my aloneness after Naboo -- absolute necessity under the Council's ever-prying eyes, I used duty to the Order as a shield and tried my best to train the boy as you had ordered, using the techniques with which you had taught me. Anakin, in his turn, buried his feelings of loss and his ever-increasing nightmares of the Sith and hid them from all of us. He used a little boy's dreams and frantic desperation to try and please me and the Council.

I see now that both of our approaches were doomed to failure. With hindsight, I believe that he instinctively sensed that he was failing, but did not know what to do to prevent it. In my pride and personal misery, I did not realize that I was failing as well.

There was nothing left of me after Naboo. The Sith had burned through you, and your death had burned through me. You had joined the Force and my own spirit had gone with you. I clung to your last touch and your last request: I focused on training the boy whom the Council had deemed dangerous. I set aside my worries after your death, took up your cause, and won Anakin as my Padawan.

Once, I saw the winning as a triumph. Later, I saw the winning as damnation for every last one of us.

I breathed a prayer to the Force the day I took Anakin as my Padawan. I asked that you be allowed to return--in dreams or in a somewhat more corporeal form, it did not matter, so long as you were there to help me train the boy. A new-made knight, I had no experience in solitary missions and no knowledge other than that which our experience together had imparted. I knew nothing about training Padawans, much less how to teach The Chosen One who had skipped every foundation lesson which Yoda had to offer from an Initiate's arrival onward. I needed help, but did not feel that I could ask the Council or the other masters for that help. In truth, I wanted no help except yours. Also in truth, no other masters volunteered for the job. They watched and judged and critiqued and constantly found us both wanting, but they never offered to help.

So perhaps, to some extent anyway, responsibility for our collective damnation was webbed throughout the Order in some foul, pathetic way.

In my innocence and obstinance, I saw no reason why you could not return to do as I asked. The absence of your body surely did not mean the destruction of self-awareness or the dissolution of you soul. The shedding of such crude matter could not mean that our love had died. Yes, I had felt our bond shatter with your death. Yes, I had seen your body burn on the pyre and didn't feel you anywhere nearby. You had gone to join the Force, but the Force is everywhere and in everything. Surely you were strong enough in the Force to gather yourself and return to help complete Anakin's training? Surely you could also return to complete mine as well?

Surely you would not leave me alone?

We returned to Coruscant and Anakin began his classes. I was sent on solitary missions while he worked to catch up with his age-mates, worked to be worthy of the title of Padawan and to join me in missions. I see now that he was left too much alone during these lessons. At the time, all I could see was my own pain.

For I was in pain. As the weeks passed, I came to realize that no matter how much I meditated or begged or pleaded, you simply were not going to appear. There would be no guidance from the man I had loved more than I loved being Jedi. Everything I had known with you had dissolved into the Force, and I was left as alone as Anakin was.

That realization hurt much deeper and far longer than any physical injury I had ever suffered. Having you gone was like having part of my soul gone. It was misery, and the emptiness within was scarcely bearable.

Whenever I thought of you thereafter, my heart took to skipping beats to the point that I had difficulty breathing. It didn't hurt, not precisely. My vision darkened at times, but I always recovered--physically, at least. I didn't seek a healer's attention, for inside of myself I harbored the hope that one day my heart would simply stop beating. That I would be delivered without further incident into the Force and there, perhaps, I would find you. While I could not actively seek my own death, I did nothing to hinder it either. And I was never a risk to someone else, only to myself.

Had I not promised to train Anakin, I believe that I would have embraced death on some mission battlefield or other, supposedly martyred in service to the Order when in reality my death would have been a welcome suicide. But death was not an option. You had asked me to stay, Master, and I'd promised that I would.

Your absence broke my heart even further in those early days. With every action, no matter how minor, and with every breath, with every moment of my being awake, I thought of you. I wondered where you were and if you could see me. I wondered if you hurt as much as I did at our separation, and if you approved of what I was doing with Anakin. I heard your voice in my mind a hundred times a day, guiding me on missions, directing me out of danger and back into the boundaries of safety. Your boundless wisdom saved me, but all of the words I heard came from past lessons, learned at your side. Not once did I hear your voice as though you were beside me again in the moment.

I came to believe that you had forgotten me. That you had left me behind.

In our archives there are legends of Jedi masters appearing to knights who were once their padawans. In the early days after Naboo, I had faith that I would be one of those knights. I thought that death would have no dominion, that our bond was stronger than that.

As the weeks turned into years, I realized that it was not to be. Whether the Force had demanded it of you or whether our legends were wrong, I would never see you again in this life. I would never again know your touch or your kiss, your calloused hands upon my skin, or your face flushed with passion and your breath hot against my forehead as you sank into me.

For whatever reason, you had forgotten me.

I never forgot you.



"Will you remember me
as a small and precious gift that you have lost?
Or will it be that the holding back of every truthful thought
is the highest cost that we can pay?
Where is time a healer
of the broken people's lives?
In my every breath, it comes out death or silence;
I know I'm not alive."


You were the most precious thing in my life, Obi-Wan, and I failed you.

I failed you first by dying and leaving you to kill the Sith alone. Next, I failed to learn quickly enough how to function without a body within the Force. Failed at gathering my scattered thoughts, my scattered being, to return to you. I was weaker than the smallest crechling after death, unable to function as you needed me to.

With my last breath, I stepped outside of time and space. Outside of our physical world. I was born to a different world where thought and emotion created reality, and where the focus on the living Force I'd maintained for all of my days was totally worthless. The unifying Force was needed here, you see? I had to see the threads of five skeins of reality--woven throughout your world and my own--and then weave myself within that reality, taking care to manifest as if I were still alive because that is what you needed. What you wanted. What we both wanted.

I could not do it. I, a Master well-trained in the Jedi arts, supreme in his pride, was helpless as a new-born baby. I had to learn all over again how to crawl within the Force, and then to walk, and only then to run, to reach out to you all over again. I had to learn how to step back inside of time without a body, yet function as if I had one.

I was too slow, my Padawan. Far too slow.

By the time I could focus on where you were, Anakin had been claimed by the Sithmaster and was moving toward betraying the Order. I saw this clearly in the unifying Force, even as you were blind to it. I tried to reach you, to warn you. But while I had finally learned how to focus and could watch you, I could not yet manifest to you. I could only touch your emotions and push you to think of me. I could move through you and even use your own eyes to watch events unfolding around you. But I hadn't the power to gather the boundaries of my soul. I could not mold the substance of my new world within the Force into any semblance of the body I had possessed during our time together. In short, I could be sensed, but not seen. Not heard.

It was not enough. Not nearly enough. And so, I failed.

I raged against death and against the Force, against my own ineptitude. You needed me to be with you, yet I could not manage to be more than a wisp of thought moving against your mind.

By the time I had learned to manifest in such a way that you could have seen me, Anakin had turned, Amidala had given birth, and you were battling your way across a galaxy that was Sith-bent on your destruction. Your focus was far from the moment in which I had to manifest; you were too busy fleeing Vader and trying to stay alive.

I was too late to do anything but watch and pray. One prayer -- a selfish one -- was a whispered wish that you be killed in battle and be allowed to join me. Another begged that you successfully escape Vader's wrath and preserve Anakin's legacy of hope within those two souls conceived in love and born surrounded by blood. As always, the Force heard my prayer of duty, and so it was that in the prime of your life and long out of my reach, you were forced to bury yourself on Tatooine.

You took a few books with you--archaic things from my own library, snatched from my quarters before they made you leave them. They were books you'd never read, packed tightly in one trunk that you dragged halfway across the galaxy, covered with an old blanket from a bed we'd both shared. Relics of our life together, journels containing the scattered thoughts of your distracted, idealistic Jedi Master. Thoughts of the living Force, scribbled when I was so much younger and much more naive. Thoughts filled with wonder and optimism in a Jedi knight's world that is now long dead. These were your only companions, and I grieved for you.

You carved out your meager existence there in the Jundland Wastes, riding out the storms of the Sith with more patience than I ever had. You bowed but did not break to sand and sun and spent long hours pouring over my books. But you never again reached out in meditation to me.

You stopped reaching after Anakin fell. With that, my doorway to you was closed. Once more I could watch, but you would not hear me and could not see me.

Perhaps my previous silence was too deafening. Perhaps you'd lost faith in my continued existence. Whatever the reason, I still tried to reach out to you. Even though I'd learned how, it was no longer enough to manifest at your side, even had you allowed it. And so, I tried to project through the shattered remains of our bond, tried to whisper love and encouragement and everything else under the twin suns. I told you what I planned when we finally met, assured you that we would not be separated forever. I tried reaching for you in the night, when you lay staring up at the rough ceiling you'd carved from the rock using nothing but my lightsaber as your tool. Tears trickled from the corners of your eyes during those long nights, but you never shared your thoughts or your words with me. After awhile, I stopped talking. We then lived together in your silence and our aloneness.

I was there, Padawan. I was.

You touched our broken bond sometimes, probing it with your mind as a child will probe the raw and bloody place where once a tooth had been. I felt the probe and reached back in quiet desperation, but you never felt me.

We're in the same world again, now. Our duties have ended, and the Force has stopped tugging on our braids, our robes, even at our dreams. We've earned the right to be together, finally. To be happy, even.

It's your turn now, to learn how to maneuver in this world so different from the one we knew. Now, you are the one who must learn to crawl before you can walk or even run toward me. I will be here when you do, and the aloneness will end then.

Inside of my own aloneness, I wonder: will you ever hear me?



"Where is my existence
in the fragments of your life?
Does the image of my face linger with you
across the great divide?
There's a message in my heart calling out
from across this land.
Will you ever hear me?
There's a story in my soul waiting for you to know:
love lies here."


//Think of him and he'll be there,// I tell myself.

I cringe at the thought, wrap my arms around myself and bury myself in my cloak. //I thought of my Master so often, and he was never there.//

//Try it, just once more,// the voice urge, wanting to encourage me.

I know that voice. It was with me on the journey to Bandomeer, before my Master told me irrevocably that he would not take me as his padawan. That nothing I did could change his mind.

Hope died then. As it later died in the Council chamber when he cast me aside.

As it died again when I saw him impaled by the Sith.

As it died again when he asked me to train Anakin and gave me no chance to tell him how much I loved him. Needed him. Would watch for him.

As it died again when Anakin turned.

As it died again on the edge of a volcano when I was forced to consign my own Padawan to the boiling fire.

As it died again in the silence when his screaming had ended.

Was I--No, *am* I such a failure that you cannot bear to be with me ever again, Master? The love we shared was deeper and more real than anything else I ever knew in all of my days. Did all of that love die on Naboo?

//Reach out, just once, and he'll be there.//

And what if he's not? Again. What if the silence is forever?

//What if it's not? What if he is there?//

I close my eyes against the spark of hope that trembles inside of me. Hope I thought long dead. Surely it must be dead.

You were my friend, my father, my mentor, my lover. You were everything, from the time you called me Padawan and bid me walk two paces behind your left shoulder. I was contented to have it so. No, I *craved* having it so, which made losing you all the more bitter.

//What if he hears you? What if he answers you?//

What if he is there?

Then... I'll be happy.

I tentatively reach for the raw place in my mind. I poke at it cautiously and reach a bit beyond it.


The raw place sparks, and I jump back mentally. My eyes fly open and I fall off of the log. My butt hits the forest floor hard, and I wince to learn that Otherworld dirt is just as hard and unforgiving as planetary dirt.

A large hand reaches out to me, wavers before my gaze, palm up. The callouses are familiar, the shape of the fingers moreso.

"Let me help you up, Obi-Wan."

It's more question that statement, and those fingers are trembling. I suppress a whimper and raise my own shaking hand, half afraid I'm imagining this because I want it so badly. I slide my fingers across that broad palm and begin to weep when his hand closes and I am pulled to my feet as effortlessly as when I was thirteen.

Those hands are around my shoulders now, sliding over my back, and then I'm being crushed against a barrel chest. I am smashed against a robed chest that smells of wool and spice and home.

Gods... I'm home....

I am crying. My fingers are in his hair, kneading and tangling and hanging on for dear life. My face is buried in his tunics and my eyes are squinched shut. I am terrified that when I open them, he will be nothing but an illusion left to melt between my fingers.

"We're together now, Obi-Wan. Everything will be all right." His voice vibrates in my own chest, and his accent is more pronounced, as it always is when he is under stress.

He is raining kisses at my temple and down my cheek, nuzzling with his nose in an attempt to reach my own nose, and then my mouth. I burrow closer against him, sobbing aloud now, kissing his throat and his collarbone and anything else I can reach. The torment and terror of the past forty years comes crashing down on me and I scream against him, muffling the mourning and the loss.

His fingers are in my hair, stroking and stroking, just as I remember from years past. His voice whispers nonsensical reassurances into my ear as I continue crying. So many tears, washing away so much pain. I want nothing more than to lift my face and look up at him, but I cannot. Not yet.

All I can do is cling and cry. Conduct unbecoming for a man, never mind a Jedi, but perhaps he'll understand. He always did in our life... before.

"My Obi-Wan," he murmurs, over and over. "So brave and true. So strong for so long."

"Not strong." I howl against him, bunching his robes in my hands. "Master... gods, you left me, and... and... it was so hard for so long."

"I was there. I was." He's pulling back and cupping my face in his hands, and only now I see that he is crying too. We crash to out knees in the dirt, still holding on to each other. The sight of his tears cleanses me, washes away my uncertainty and doubt, my insecurities and sadnesses anchored in the past. "I tried to reach you for years. By the time I could, it was too late. You'd closed yourself off."

I blink up at my Master and remember the shields I'd erected, the desperate walls meant to keep out any mental probe that Anakin might send. "I... had to," I tell him. "It was the only way to endure. I couldn't reach out. And besides, you weren't there. "

He smooths the furrow in my brow, and my eyes devour him. So much of him is the same... His intelligent blue eyes, filled in this moment with sorrow and uncertainty; his aquiline nose, so strong and so broken, so scarred and so beautiful to me; his silvered hair, neatly trimmed beard and the crinkles at the corners of his eyes. His arms so warm and strong around me. Even the body under my hands is the same as I remember.

"I was there, Obi-Wan," he repeats on a whisper, and I see the truth of it in his eyes. He's been locked inside this misery just as much as I have, unable to do anything but watch. "My discovering Anakin led to all of this, and I am so very sorry."

"It was the will of the Force," I whisper, trying to reassure him as much as I need reassuring. "Your finding him, and his finding Palpatine. That you and I were not together, that we walked alone."

"I believe so. And I also believe that you are stronger and better for it. But no more, Obi-Wan. We are together, and that is forever."

"Forever." I try out the word, whispering it across my tongue before trying it again. Words have power, and I want this one to be imbued with as much power as I can heap upon it. "It's finished, then?" I swipe my tears away with the back of my hand.

"It is finished, my Padawan." My Master's eyes crinkle before he takes my mouth in a tender, salt-tinged kiss.

I return the kiss and finally understand that, after all we went through, all that remains is love. My Master's voice fills my mind as if it had never left. //Will it be enough, Obi-Wan?//

I tighten my arms around him. //It was always enough, Master. I've never wanted anything else.//

He doesn't dissolve into mist. A few minutes more into the beginning of our eternity together, and I am dissolving into him.




Return to Story List || Contact

DISCLAIMERS: Blood Ties and its characters/teleplays are the property of Tanya Huff, Insight Film, Chum TV, Kaleidoscope Entertainment and, their associates and license holders. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series and their characters/teleplays are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, 20th Century-Fox and, their associates and license holders. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and all character names are the acknowledged trademarks of George Lucas and Lucasfilm. Lord of the Rings and all character names are the acknowledged trademarks of the J.R.R. Tolkien Estate and/or its licensees. Character and other creative elements from these respective works are used on this site without permission for entertainment, not-profit purposes only. This site contains only fan-produced fiction and artwork which intend no copyright infringement.No money is collected or made off of anything on this site. Everything here is fictional (this means it never happened). Any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental. By entering this site, you agree to hold the author and website owner completely blameless and liable for absolutely nothing.