“AFTER THE STORM”
By Scatterheart a.k.a. 2shy
The storm comes without warning, sending a spray of cold water upon the palace grounds. The woman doesn’t notice the rain as it drenches her hair, her clothes, her skin, her shoes. She’s somewhere else in the Universe and she hears the sound of blasters going off and the cries for help that remain unanswered but she cannot reach them.
She doesn’t see the ruins around her or the dull palace it surrounds because her eyes are focused toward the tumultuous sky.
Searching? Perhaps, but searching aimlessly. She wants to leave this place to bring the futile war to an end. But she can’t leave and she strokes her flat belly absentmindedly, not feeling anything that would suggest a twin pregnancy. Then why is she here? For the children she can’t even sense?
She needs her husband but he’s gone, he’s been gone for two whole months, and she needs her friend but he’s gone as well and she’s all alone, all alone by herself.
And she starts to sob silently and her hot tears mingle with the cold rainwater before sliding to their grave in the soft earth.
She’s still searching.
For what? For the little spacecraft that catches her gaze as it flounders out from behind a rain cloud. It lands in the rubble that used to be called a city and the door opens and a ramp slides down, facing the deserted stone building that used to be called a palace.
She sees the man emerge from the ship but he isn’t her husband. He is shorter and his hair is longer and tangled and streaked with blood.
An old friend, a warrior returning from a war he doesn’t belong in.
Why are you out here? he demands, stumbling as he runs to her. It’s raining go back in, Your Highness.
Is my husband dead? What happened to my husband? She grabs his shoulders and shakes him all the while wanting to caress his bloodied face and collapse into him.
And he takes her arms and struggles to calm her and the tears start streaking down his cheeks but they don’t quench the hellfire that burns in his eyes.
He’s not dead! He’s not dead. He’s on Alderaan and he’ll be back soon-
She doesn’t hear the rest of his words because she already knows that it’s over no matter what he says. The two children in her womb will never know a father.
He’s gone… the Dark Side took him.
You cannot lose hope, my Queen! he hisses.
She laughs bitterly at him. There was none to begin with, she whispers.
He crushes her to his chest and she can smell the fear and violence in his Jedi robes. She cries her tears onto him, welcoming the onslaught of rain to come and wash the memories out of their existence.
She turns her face to his and somehow their lips manage to meet in a savagely tender kiss that will never be shared again. And she feels the rain starting to die away and a wisp of sunshine painting dots of warmth behind her closed eyelids.
The sky has cried itself out.
Suddenly he rips himself away from her and he’s into his little ship before she can hold him back. He leaves as abruptly as he arrived, abandoning her to share the rare sunshine with nothing but a shadow.
“No courage to love, too scared to be happy.” ~Bjork “Scary”
Finished January 2, 2001.