Title: Count the Stars
Author: Scatterheart (a.k.a. 2shy)
Summary: Obi-wan and Amidala are stranded on a Forceless planet, and it leads to some feelings being shared. If you don’t like UST (unresolved sexual tension), OAR (Obi-wan and Amidala romance), CD (character death), A (angst) and eventual REFERENCE to sex, I suggest you turn back now!
Started: December 20, 2000
Description: From the mind of a high school student who is dreading Finals Week like the Armageddon. I wrote this after 5 non-completed Obi-wan and Amidala romances. *Wipes self-pitying tear away from eye* So, I tried to incorporate all the little good snippets of my fics and… voila! Here you have it.
Dedication: Denise, who gave me that very funny (and VERY suggestive) Obi-wan action figure for Christmas. My friends who put up with these annoying fics. Ewan and Natalie who did a good job in Ep. 1. And all you awesome Obi-wan and Amidala supporters out there! We’re the only people who aren’t afraid to face the truth…
Count the Stars
By Scatterheart a.k.a. 2shy
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
The first thing he sensed was that it was cold. Not physically cold, since the flaming red sun was shining directly above them from the damp blue sky, and rippling the image of the dense trees and foliage outside of the ship’s cracked window.
No, it was something else.
Obi-wan Kenobi pushed open the hatch of the wrecked ship, and jumped onto soft earth. It was then that he truly felt it.
Or, the lack of it. There was no Force!
He had heard about places like these from his late master Qui-gon Jinn, but had dismissed them as old legends, rumors. How could it be possible to have a planet, singled out from the rest of the Force-bound galaxy, to contain no trace of the energy that made up life? It was a ridiculous idea.
And now, here he was, sweating in the stuffy heat, and shivering in the empty coldness.
He faintly heard the sound of the ship’s hatch being opened again, and a female voice abruptly cut through the quiet murmurs of the jungle.
“Where are we, Jedi Kenobi?”
He jumped, startled, and spun around to find Queen Amidala of the Naboo ease herself from the lopsided hatch onto the ground. She was still wearing the simple civilian’s outfit from their visit to Coruscant, and her long hair was swept up in a single ponytail.
“Obi-wan, of all the places to crash our ship…” she continued, shielding her eyes from the unmerciful sun, “this is the worst you could have picked.” She walked up to him and gave him a congratulatory pat on the back.
He could only nod. This was unbelievable! She was standing not two meters away from him, yet he didn’t feel any trace of her presence. It was as if a metal wall been placed between them, and he was staring at her through a tiny viewscreen.
Strange… almost frightening.
“Do you have a way of contacting anybody, or is the communications system fried?” the girl asked. “Captain Panaka is expecting us back at the spaceport this evening, and I wonder if we can fix the ship on time- Obi-wan? Are you feeling well?”
“Yes, I’m fine,” he grumbled. “It’s…”
She flashed him a smile. “Don’t feel too bad about the ship. I’m sure Panaka will let you squeak by with just an apology.”
“Give him my thanks.”
“I will…” She peered into his face with her dark brown eyes. “Are you sure you’re feeling all right? You seem preoccupied.”
“It’s just the heat,” he insisted weakly, then sighed in defeat. There was no use trying to convince her without the aid of the Force. “And there’s something else.”
Her expression of concern deepened. “What is it?”
“This place… I can’t feel the Force. The Force doesn’t exist on this planet.”
“No Force!” she exclaimed, her eyebrows rising on her forehead. “Isn’t that impossible?”
“I thought so too,” he replied. “Qui-gon told me that there were a few planets in the galaxy that existed without the Force. I never believed him. I always thought his stories were to scare little Padawans into not wandering off alone in the galaxy.”
“I guess he didn’t scare you enough!” She laughed. “You should have listened to him, my little Padawan.”
He glanced at her, slightly astonished at her choice of words, and smiled carefully. “The situation’s not that bad, Your Highness. I’m sure we can fix the ship and speed us on our way to Naboo in no time.”
“What do you think happened?”
“I don’t know. Faulty wires, gas leak, it could be anything.”
The Queen turned and scrutinized the small Nubian spaceship, which was lodged crookedly between two fallen trees and surrounded by a dense jungle that seemed to stretch on forever. She exhaled softly. “This doesn’t look to bright. You stay out here while I go check what it is.”
She headed to the ship and climbed into the hatch, dropping inside.
A moment later a shrill scream emanated from the inside of the fallen craft.Kenobi panicked, half expecting to see an explosion of steel and fire shoot up in the atmosphere. After a split second of silence his mind cleared and all protocol was forgotten as he sprinted to her. “Amidala!”
“The smell!” she responded, gasping. Her head emerged from the hatch, covered with soot and smoke. “I shouldn’t have opened the door to the engine room.”
“Are you hurt, Your Highness?”
“No, I’m not hurt. I got hit with smoke, and now the whole inside of the ship is covered with it. The engine must have overheated in flight. Help me up, please.” She grabbed his outstretched hand.
He pulled her out, chuckling in relief.
“Do you find it amusing, Jedi?” she questioned between coughs. “Because if you do, I’ll be glad to push you in as well.”
“Spare me. I’m sorry.” He leaned over and wiped the soot from her face with the sleeve of his cloak.
“Hold still! Wait- there.” He stood back. And then he said something that was never meant to escape his lips. “You look beautiful, Highness.”
“Why… why- thank you,” she sputtered, sounding as flustered as he immediately felt. Then she turned and hurried away, but not before he saw a scarlet blush spread over her cheeks.
“We should try to explore the forest, Obi-wan,” she called behind her back.
He thanked the heavens she changed the subject. “What for?”
“It won’t be safe-” he objected.
“You’re the one who’s protecting me.”
She was getting farther away into the greenery, almost covered by the humongous leaves of the trees. “Hurry up, Jedi, before I become lost.”
“It’s not wise-”
“At your command, Your Gracious Highness Worshipfulness All-Wonderful Majesty.” He jogged up to catch her before he lost sight of her, and when he did, she scuffed him playfully in the ear for his comment.
The Jedi were skilled in masking their emotions. Queen Amidala of the Naboo knew this fact firsthand.
The morning after the ceremony she saw him, strolling through the palace gardens alone. Dried tears streaked down his face. They were the only tell-tale sign that he had cried himself to sleep the night before.
She stayed behind a pillar, not wanting to disturb his private contemplation, but he turned anyway and smiled at her.
Of course. He was a Jedi.
He said a good morning and thanked her profusely for letting him stay at the Theed palace until all the celebrations were over. He said that the little boy Anakin was very fond of Naboo, and he was going to bring him back in the future for visits.
He said many appreciative things while his eyes burned with grief and hate.
Nobody else mourned for his slain master but him. Everybody danced. He cried.
She knew he was yearning to leave the place that took Qui-gon’s life, and she couldn’t blame him at all.
So, trying to comfort him, she gave him a small, quick hug, bid him farewell, and left him.
And she figured that was about the time she began to love him. It was a very gradual thing, starting out as a small girl’s attraction to a decidedly good-looking man. Or did she love him first and then realize he was so beautiful?
She couldn’t tell now, it had happened a decade ago, and it felt as if she’d loved him forever.
She never put any words to her emotions. When she thought about him, she didn’t say to herself, “I love Obi-wan Kenobi.” It was just… him. That was it.
He left Naboo in a week and she bottled up her emotions after he went away.
For seven long years he stayed on that blasted planet, Coruscant, and when he returned for some minor diplomatic treaty, the bottle of emotions burst open, washing over her.
She couldn’t even talk to him about politics without stammering, blushing furiously behind her concealing face makeup.
(Just perhaps, just perhaps it could happen?
Stop being absurd! You know who you are, Amidala.)
Yes, she was the damn Queen of a planet! Her love was one way, and sooner or later, the planet would break her heart by arranging some political marriage with another nation.
She had no self. She was Naboo.
(But you wanted this.)
She hoped Obi-wan would leave soon, to abandon her inside the misery she wound around her being.
Then, wonder of all wonders, he didn’t leave. His apprentice Anakin Skywalker was fully trained, and took the Jedi Master’s place on Coruscant. This left Obi-wan to drift about the galaxy on various missions made by the Senate, before finally settling by her side in Theed.
There was nothing she could do. It was a ridiculous idea to tell him flatly to go away, and she didn’t wish to. She loved him no matter how hard she tried to pull herself out of it.
“How does it feel like to be Queen?” Obi-wan Kenobi asked the young woman who lay beside him on the soft grass.
The cruel sun had dropped below the horizon hours ago, offering them relief from the unbearable heat. The trees encircling the small clearing blocked out a breeze and two bluish moons softly lighted the sky.
It was the Queen who had found this place not far from their ship. They had sat in the shade for hours, talking, and when night fell like a feathery blanket, they gazed at the stars in the heavens above, counting each twinkling jewel as it winked at them with secrets untold.
She shrugged, her shoulder brushing against his. “It’s very… Queenly. How does it feel like to be a Jedi?”
“You have to listen to the Queen.”
She giggled. “Really? You never listen to me, Obi-wan Kenobi.”
“Then I have committed a serious offense, Your Majesty. I may suffer very harsh consequences.” He propped himself up on an elbow, and turned to look at the stars that glistened in her eyes instead. “Do you put people in prison for not listening to you?”
“No. There aren’t any prisons in Naboo.”
“No prisons! What will they do to rebels like me?”
She pretended to think, and turned her face to his. “I don’t know what they do to rebels like you,” she murmured at last, quietly.
He bit the inside of his cheek as he tried to analyze the sudden change in her tone. A thin veil of emotion had settled over her features. Without the Force, he couldn’t tell what it was, or what he had said to make her feel this way.
“Your Highness?” He tucked a strand of chestnut brown hair that had fallen in front of her face behind her ear. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” she protested, a little too loudly, too quickly. “I’m just tired. That’s all.” Her face flushed a deep red as she moved away from him and sat up. “You’re not a rebel, Obi-wan.”
He moved to sit alongside her, decided to drop whatever he wanted to say. It didn’t take the Force to see that she was keeping something from him that was so much deeper than their surface conversation.
Her eyes shimmered unnaturally with sudden moisture, and she averted her gaze to the sky.
“Your Highness, I’m sorry.”
“Whatever I did,” he said. “Look- I know you want to be home right now, and I’m sorry I crashed the ship on this forsaken place.”
“Please don’t apologize.”
“I have to, Your Highness.”
“Why do you do this to me?” she whispered. “Why do you have to be so stubborn? Why do you have to be so loyal?”
She said the last few words so softly he wasn’t sure he heard right. For a few moments he stopped, watching the moonlight dance on her beautiful face, and listening to the hard beating of his own heart.He didn’t know why he was so nervous. There was something… something had started between them like a neglected spark bursting into flames. “Your Majesty, tell me what’s hurting you.”
“You can’t tell me?”
She shook her head furiously, and focused her gaze on his. “You think you’ll understand just because you’re a Jedi?” she demanded. “You’ll never understand…”
And then she jumped to her feet and ran into the night, leaving him bewildered and aching for her.;>
It was happening. She had always thought her walls were infallible, too high for anybody to climb. But a small crack had started near the base, and was gradually spiraling upwards. The oceans behind it trickled through the crack and landed in a growing crimson puddle on the other side.
She shuddered. There was a children’s story she once heard before about how a single crack in a wall had destroyed a whole kingdom.
He located her huddling at the base of the Nubian craft, knees drawn up to her chin and rocking herself back and forth.
Hell, he really did it this time. He hesitated, didn’t want to disturb her.
“Master Jedi, I know you’re here.”
He took a deep breath. “You might consider getting some sleep, my Queen. It’s rather late.”
“I can’t fall asleep.”
“Neither can I.”
There was a long silence. Somewhere in the distance, a lone bird let lout an eerie, haunting cry.
“I acted very rash, Obi-wan, and I shouldn’t have.”
“No, I was the one who was rash. Some things are none of my business-”
“It is,” she insisted.
“Obi-wan…” She got to her feet and found him in the shadows.
It was suddenly very warm, getting harder to breathe. When her eyes met his, flames that he could not comprehend burned in their depths.
Flames- yearning… for a thing that was just out of reach.
“When you go back to Coruscant, let me come with you,” she whispered urgently, grabbing his arms. “Or any other damn place the Senate sends you.”
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing from the Queen of Naboo. Impossible. “You know that can’t happen! You’re the Queen! I can’t take you anywhere,” he hissed.
“Then why did you take me to Coruscant?”
“It was a diplomatic mission, Your Highness. You wanted to check how the people were doing after the treaty was made, and you wanted to pass by unrecognized. The only reason I came along was because I didn’t want to see you in danger!”
“So that’s the only reason.”
“Obi-wan, in the morning, fix the ship and take me as far away from Naboo as you can.”
“I can’t do that.”
She whimpered, leaning her head against his chest. “I know.”
“You’re the Queen, Your Highness. You need to govern your people,” he explained gently. “And I’m a Jedi.”
“And if I no longer wish to be Queen, would you care for me then?”
His head spun. They had been avoiding this for months, no- years. And he immediately knew the answer to her question because he had known it for as long as he knew her. It was only now that he could see clearly, without the Force blocking his emotions away.
He tilted her face to him and answered her without words.
On the last night they could be together alone, Obi-wan Kenobi saw the young Queen weep for the first time. They lay in each other’s arms as the sun rose above the hills and pierced through the heavy curtains of the palace window.
Amidala stirred, nuzzled against him. “What time is it?”
“Very early. Go back to sleep, Majesty.”
He felt her tense at his words and she quickly leaned over him, a frantic expression in her eyes.
She remembered. “It’s the day, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” he whispered.
There was no more to say. By the end of the afternoon she would no longer be Queen Amidala of the Naboo, but Queen Amidala, wife to Anakin Skywalker. And there was nothing they could do about the arrangement.
She was Queen to the benefit of her people.
When the sleek Nubian rescue ship had landed on that Forceless planet several moons ago, she’d warned him as they boarded, told him about how she’d eventually break his heart. His heart was already broken then, and there was nothing else anybody could do to break it more.
He kissed her mouth gently as if it was their first time.
Then they made love bathed the sun’s warm rays, and when she rested on top of him, feeling his wild heartbeat pounding against hers, he could see a single tear quivering on her cheek before she wiped it away with her hand.
She had lost Obi-wan. She had lost her husband. She had lost her twins, her planet, her youth, her courage. There was no more to lose except her pain.
So she lay in her bed, letting the darkness overtake her, and pretty soon, she lost that too.
The lightsaber swung in a flashing arch, caught his side and passed through.
He felt the slightest burn of pain at the contact, but then it was gone, and replaced by a feeling so light it seemed as if he was floating.
He was floating! The image of the darkly clad Anakin faded away, and he shot up into the air, welcomed by a spectrum of color that engulfed him.
He could hear music coming from all around him, wrapping him up in a swirl of joy.
Was he still alive? Oh, yes! More alive than he’d ever been! He was twenty years old again, no, ten!
And he laughed joyously at all this, opening his arms to the great light that eased his pain and suffering.
He knew that voice. It came from all directions, calling to him. Time stopped as she appeared, surrounded by a halo of love.
He could see her clearly now, radiating in her grace, receiving him with outstretched arms.
“Dear Jedi, how I’ve missed you.”
“I missed you, my love. For decades I’ve missed you.”
She grinned, beckoning to him. “Come here, you rebel.”
He floated to her and wrapped her up in his embrace.
And the energy around them crackled and shone and carried them far beyond the stars.
Finished: December 25, 2000, 2:38 PM. Christmas Day!!
Don’t act like there’s no tomorrow
You should use the pain and sorrow
To fill you up with power
Life’s both sweet and sour ~Bjork and the Sugarcubes. “F*cking in Rhythm and Sorrow”