Fandom: Star Wars
Written For: fanfic50
Prompt: #007 Fade
Characters: Obi-Wan, Padmé, Vader
Word Count: 1,369
Summary: As Obi-Wan prepares himself for death, he is guided by a familiar presence.
Author’s Notes: I really don’t have any idea where this came from, other than that every time I watch A New Hope, I always get the sense that Obi-Wan is watching someone just before his death. His attention is obviously not on the battle, rather, he seems to be looking over Vader’s shoulder towards some indeterminate point. So, my Obidala muse twisted this to believe that it was Padmé he saw, and Padmé he was looking forward to being with upon his death. I don’t often write with old Obi-Wan in mind, since he isn’t really a particularly attractive character to me, but this sort of situation seemed to require it. I like this, it’s nice and tight.
Jedi often had difficulty preparing themselves to become one with the Force. Despite their training, despite all that they might have been told by their Masters during their lives, the instinct of an organism to survive was so strong that many fought death despite their preconceived notions that they would be able to accept it. Obi-Wan had seen it, in many people, on many worlds. He had tried to ease the transition to the netherworld of the Force for beings he had worked with, played with, laughed with, fought with. Most had eventually gone peacefully. It was therefore ironic that Obi-Wan himself now had no one to guide him through this process. Even more ironic was that he hardly needed any such guidance.
He knew it would have been difficult to persuade the boy that this was for the best, so he had not tried. Luke was still a child in so many ways, impressionable and headstrong and unlikely to understand others’ points of view. That would have to change. And change it would; Obi-Wan had foreseen that. But now, he reminded himself, was not the time to think about such matters.
He crept silently along the ramp, mindful of the long drop that awaited him should he slip and the two stormtroopers behind him. Slowly Obi-Wan slid the tractor beam control lever to the left. This would cause one of the power terminals to shut down, removing the beam’s grip on the Millennium Falcon and allowing the future of the Jedi Order, plus the two droids and their escort, to escape. Obi-Wan would not be following them.
He leaned against the terminal, waiting for a long marching line of troopers to pass. He shut his eyes and imagined, in vivid detail, who would be waiting for him. Obi-Wan had dreamed of her ever since he saw her casket wheeled down the main parade route. She had not been able to hold on for him, though he had begged her to do so. “Live your life, Obi-Wan!” she had urged him in the Force after his retreat to Tatooine. “Live it as I couldn’t. Live it for us. And protect the twins. They are our hope for the future.”
And Obi-Wan had done exactly that. Through many long years of exile and meditation, he had often asked his Master, Qui-Gon, if he could speak to Padmé. “Later,” Qui-Gon would always say. “You are traveling a path different from hers. One day, your paths will merge. But until then you must trust my judgment. Now is not the time.” Obi-Wan had respected that, although he had longed, many times, to ask Qui-Gon why precisely now was not the time. But he dared not.
Then, just this very morning, he had woken up to a familiar presence. She was there with him, in the room. He could not see her, but if he reached out into the Force, the aura of Padmé was so strong as to be nearly unbearable. He wanted to see her, be with her, now, but again his unconscious self whispered that this wasn’t the time. The time was soon, but it was not now.
Obi-Wan took several deep, steadying breaths and peered back out into the corridor. The stormtroopers were talking quietly, fidgeting with their blasters as troopers were apt to do when bored. And there – behind them – what was that? Or rather, not what, Obi-Wan realized, but who. A shimmering form, seeming to be visible only to him, for other troopers and droids walked straight through it. He squinted.
Just her name left him breathless, and filled him with hope and arousal and longing. He wanted to touch her, hold her, hug her, kiss her, run his hands through her hair and inhale her sweet perfume and remind himself of all that had been. But, as always, Padmé rested in a form where such actions were impossible. A warm smile lit her face, and she raised her index finger and beckoned.
Almost simultaneously, a bang was heard from the other end of the corridor and, naturally, it attracted the attention of the stormtroopers. “What was that?” one asked, and then without another word passing between them, both hurried off to investigate. Padmé beckoned again, and Obi-Wan understood.
He slipped out of the power generation centre and down the corridor, trailing after an excited Padme. At last, they reached a hall right outside the docking bay where the Falcon rested. Obi-Wan looked to Padmé for instructions, but she had vanished, to be replaced by a towering black figure with ragged breathing.
It was you, Obi-Wan thought. You and your accursed Emperor are responsible for this. But little do you know that events are already in motion to correct matters. You will see, Lord Vader. You will see.
The figure was speaking. “I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the Master.”
Obi-Wan allowed himself a small smile. Padmé had reappeared over Vader’s shoulder, and her image was stronger now, much stronger. “Only a Master of evil, Darth,” he said, and ignited his lightsaber.
The combatants slashed at each other, over and over, their sabers locking several times. Their styles were different, just as they had been during the pair’s younger days: while Vader slashed over and over with the intent to maim and kill, Obi-Wan took a more methodical approach, chopping low and high and turning defense into offense.
Padmé nodded approvingly, growing clearer, but Vader jeered. “Your powers are weak, old man,” he chided. Customary battle banter. Obi-Wan all but rolled his eyes. The Sith apparently never learned that it did not pay to gloat.
“You can’t win, Darth.” Obi-Wan refused to call him Vader; that was an ugly name that represented so much pain and horror. He could not speak it. He would not speak it. Instead, he would glance at Padmé and break into his customary gentle smile. “If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”
Vader’s mask was inscrutable as ever, but Obi-Wan felt an aura of confusion emanating from him. Good. Confusion was what he needed.
He took a last, long look at his surroundings, raising his lightsaber so that it was almost parallel to his body. Padmé waited patiently behind Vader, a serene smile on her face. Luke would not understand, of course. Obi-Wan could sense his presence, very close now. It was a shame he could not speak to Luke, could not tell him that death would be a happy moment after all the pain of his life. That he had someone who loved him waiting, and that his death was a necessary part of Luke’s journey. The child would, had to, learn to go on alone.
Obi-Wan closed his eyes, centering himself in the Living Force. That elusive space that had so often escaped him as a Padawan, but that he had learned to rest in as a more settled adult. Padmé was there, her arms open, beckoning to him, ready to receive him … but he must forget that. He must give himself to death. Embrace it. Obi-Wan Kenobi would die because the life path of another required him to do so. He would die because he had served his purpose in the earthly world, and the Force was now ready to let him retire.
But most of all, he would die because he was ready to die. He was ready to see Padmé. He was ready to kiss her, touch her, caress her, share with her everything that they had not been able to share during their mutual lives. He could see her … he was getting closer to her …
And Vader swung his lightsaber, and Obi-Wan did not resist. He relaxed, and closed his eyes, and felt himself flow away. And then he was there, and he was hugging her, and their lips met and he stroked Padmé’s soft cheek.
He was dead, but through death, he had found life. The most pure life possible. His new existence could begin, and he would not be alone.