Fandom/Pairing: Star Wars/Obidala (Obi-Wan Kenobi/Padmé Amidala)
Written For: 12 Days of Obidala Christmas @ the Obidala Fan Forum
Prompt: Christmas Fic/#015 Pause
Characters: Obi-Wan, Padmé
Word Count: 1,551
Summary: After the battle to liberate Naboo, Padmé makes a new friend.
Author’s Notes: For the second day of Obidala Christmas, I’d like to offer up a couple of deleted scenes from my multichapter fic, To Ignite the Stars. This first one isn’t a deleted scene, per se, in that it takes place before the time period in which the fic begins, but I hope you’ll still enjoy a look back at one of the events that brought Obi-Wan and Padmé together in this particular AU. You know you’re into a fic you’ve created when … you start writing deleted scenes for it. XD This is the second in my series of fics for the Twelve Days of Obidala Christmas at the Forum. As I did with the first one, I've also made this a part of my fanfic50 claim.
Her face was streaked with sweat, her clothes were rumpled and dirty, and her hair was falling out of its elaborate arrangement, but to Padmé Amidala, none of that mattered.
She had won the day. Against all odds, the small band of rebels had managed to sneak into the city and forcibly remove it from the Trade Federation’s control. A few days ago she would have thought the plan utterly impossible, even preposterous, and certain to fail. But they had planned carefully, they had developed contingencies in case of unforeseen circumstances, and they were now being rewarded with the liberation of their planet.
Padmé brushed a stray strand of hair back from her face as she walked down the front steps of the palace in Theed. “This day could not possibly have turned out better,” she remarked to her security chief, Captain Panaka. “I still cannot believe we did it.”
“I must give credit where it’s due, Your Highness,” Panaka replied. “You were responsible for the conception of this plan. I had my doubts, as I believe I expressed to you, but I’ll wholeheartedly retract those statements now.”
“Many things could have gone wrong,” Padmé assured him. “You were right to worry. It’s just our good fortune that the results were favourable.”
They had reached the foot of the staircase now. Panaka turned to the security officers holding Viceroy Gunray and Rune Haako captive. “Take the prisoners to a holding cell and see that they are kept under guard at all times. We will request a Republic transport to be sent for them immediately.”
One of the officers nodded. “Understood, sir.”
“Captain, wait!” exclaimed Padmé as the officers began to walk away. A sudden thought had entered her mind. “Has there been any word from the Jedi? Did they return from the battle?”
Her heart pounded furiously in her chest as she awaited his answer.
Panaka thought for a moment, looking slightly puzzled. “No, I don’t believe so. I can send an officer to check around the hangar, if you like.”
“Yes, please, if you could,” Padmé said.
She had no idea why it was so important to her, and from the look on Panaka’s face, he didn’t either. But Padmé knew, as surely as she knew that war was bad and comfort good, that the Jedi needed to be found. That perhaps, they might even be in trouble.
Trouble. If Obi-Wan’s in trouble, it’s all your fault, an accusing little voice said.
Hours later, Padmé stood in the square.
Her cheeks were now streaked with tears as well as grime.
Thinking of that fact still brought a wrench to her chest. Despite her earlier criticisms, she had grown to like and respect the elder Jedi, and to understand his bond with Obi-Wan. They seemed much more like father and son than Master and Apprentice, although Padmé knew they’d also had their differences over the course of this mission. But they seemed to have patched those up before the battle, and were being just as civil as they’d been when the conflict had started.
Now, Qui-Gon was gone.
Brushing a strand of hair back from her eyes, Padmé spotted a figure making its way across the distant road towards the crematory. Qui-Gon’s body had been laid there for the ceremony to take place at sunset. That wasn’t for hours, though. So who was going to visit there now?
She was going to turn away and go back into the palace; there were many more tasks that required her attention. But curiosity soon got the better of her, and she found herself trotting through the square and peeking around the wall of the crematory.
It was Obi-Wan.
He laid his hand carefully upon the dead man’s forehead, whispering unintelligible words. Clearly they were meant to be a last goodbye, and Padmé had no wish to intrude upon what seemed to be a very private grief.
She turned to the square, intending to hurry away before he realized she’d been there, when she heard a sudden noise behind her. Confused, Padmé looked back to see that Obi-Wan had sunk to his knees, tucking his head into his chest. His shoulders were shaking.
Padmé bit her lip. What should she do? Go back to the palace as she’d planned? Tell someone else so that they could comfort him? Comfort him herself?
You’ve been wanting to talk to him in an unofficial capacity ever since the Jedi arrived here, the little voice reminded her. Now’s your chance!
Somehow, this wasn’t the opportunity Padmé had had in mind.
Almost before she knew it, she was kneeling beside the younger Jedi, placing her hand on his shoulder.
“Master Kenobi?” Padmé whispered.
He looked up, tears visible on his face. When he saw who it was his hand came quickly up to brush them away. “Your Highness,” he stammered, “is – is there anything I can do for you?”
“No, it’s fine, it’s fine,” she replied, slightly wrongfooted. “I was just wondering if you’re all right. I was very sorry to hear about Qui-Gon. I know how much he meant to you.”
It was Obi-Wan’s turn to look surprised. “I – I’m fine. Just, er …” He coughed. “Wanted to make sure everything was in order for the ceremony later.”
Padmé nodded. “Yes, yes, of course. I just thought you might want to … well, talk to someone about what happened. A friend.”
Smooth, Padmé, the voice mocked. You’ve barely spoken to him in a week and now you’re expecting him to think of you as a friend?
Obi-Wan didn’t seem to notice, though. “I appreciate the sentiment, Your Highness. I suppose, too … I just wanted to, well, say goodbye.” He paused again, and looked quickly away.
She let him, keeping her own counsel as his shoulders again shook slightly. This time, though, he did not turn back to her, curling once more around himself.
Padmé wasn’t sure what possessed her to do it. But suddenly she was leaning towards him, touching his shoulder and then … enfolding him within her arms.
“Obi-Wan,” she whispered, “come here.”
To her surprise, he did not resist. She had expected him to pull away, expected him to reel off the Jedi Code principles prohibiting attachment, expected him even to say that she had no business here, no right to intrude like this. But he did none of those things.
Instead, he slumped into her arms, sobbing quietly.
Padmé was shocked for a moment, but only a moment. She let herself relax, clutching him tightly and patting his back occasionally, trying to murmur soothing words. But she sensed that her intent should not be to soothe him, or to try and make the pain go away. I could never do that. But maybe, just maybe, I can offer him comfort.
They remained there, unmoving, until the first rays of the sunset began to touch the crematory.
The following day, Padmé was dressing in preparation for the victory parade when a knock came at her door.
Sabé hurried to answer it, then turned back to her mistress. “It’s Master Kenobi, Your Highness,” she said. “Shall I let him in?”
“Of course,” Padmé replied. “Please leave us, and tell Sio Bibble and the other officials that I will be down momentarily.”
“Yes, m’lady.” Sabé finished applying a last touch of makeup to Padmé’s face, then left the Queen and the Jedi alone.
“Your Highness –” Obi-Wan began, but Padmé cut him off.
“Please, call me Padmé,” she requested. “I think we can both agree that we are beyond the honorifics at this point.”
“All right … Padmé,” he said, and she decided she liked the way her name rolled off his tongue. “I just … I wanted to thank you. For yesterday. For … for being there, and for caring. I didn’t expect anyone to come and find me, but I am grateful that you did.”
“It was nothing,” Padmé answered, and she meant it. “I’m not sure what compelled me to do so. I suppose I simply thought you might want the support of a friend. Even though we aren’t close,” she quickly clarified.
Obi-Wan nodded. “Nor am I sure, but I do know this: it wasn’t an accident. When you reside within the Force, you see that there is no such thing as fortune. Clearly, we were meant to meet in that circumstance.”
She wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that. “Er – oh. Do you … do you know why the Force willed that to happen?”
“The future is always in motion,” he replied. “It isn’t possible to see at this point. But what is possible is that the Force has something in mind for us. A political alliance, or perhaps a point in the future in which we will assist each other …”
“Or a friendship?” offered Padmé.
He smiled, the first genuine smile she had seen him wear since before the battle. “Yes. Or perhaps a friendship.”
“I think that sounds nice,” Padmé said.
“As do I. Could we – write to each other? On flimsiplast, for security reasons, of course. But if you don’t mind, I should very much like to send you letters.”
“I’d like that, too,” she replied. “I’d like that very much.”