Title: Universe
Author: Burning Tyger
Author's Note: At Qui-Gon's funeral, I imagined Amidala's thoughts as she glances over at Obi-Wan. A scene seems to unfold...a "Vision of the Future," if you will. And at the end of this vision, she must decide over two possible courses...and each will end with a sense of "what could have been."

Yes, I used to be Tyger, but being the victim of unfortunate circumstances my author account was deleted and my fics along with it. So I will in the near future be reposting these fics, and those of you who have already read them...would you just review them again? Please? It was so cool to check my story and find that one or two or eight people had liked it...
Spoilers: Nada. Nothing. Rien.
Rating: PG13 for...yeah.
Disclaimer: The characters belong to George, the song to Darren and Daniel, and the plotline to me. Any questions? Good.

A/N #2: I know this song is about a love affair, but something I noticed was the use of the word "Imagine" in the third line. I think from that point on, everything else is just in the singer's head, like Darren's going over the course of a whole brief love affair in his mind...


The flames were warm and bright, and they seemed to celebrate the warmth of Qui-Gon's life rather than the chill of his passing. But I was still cold. I just couldn't recall the light of his presence without his death looming up in my inner vision. It hurt to think of such a good friend gone so soon.

And Obi-Wan. Good stars, Obi-Wan; if I hurt this badly only having known Qui-Gon for a few days, I could not fathom his Padawan's sorrow.

I glanced over at him. It was no secret that he was handsome, but staring into the flames with that cold, unimaginable pain...he became a tragic hero, a figure in a Bogliati painting. The firelight and the sadness transfigured the sadness into a desperate sort of beauty, and I wondered if perhaps...


Well I'd like to take you
As I find you
Imagine our clothes
Are on the floor
Feel my caress
So soft and gentle
So delicate you cry for more
You know baby
You know baby does it right
You know baby does it right


****

"I...I just can't believe he's gone," he murmured. It was late, and I had accompanied him to his chambers without being requested to do so -- he looked like he could barely stand on his own.

"I understand." But I didn't, not in the sense he meant. I missed Qui-Gon certainly, but in a battle where so many had died it was easy to comprehend one death. Dealing with that death was another matter, though. "I know how you feel."

"No, you don't!" He jumped up, and I stood back. "You don't know how I feel because you didn't know him for ten years. You weren't his shadow for half your life. You didn't know him like I did, and you can't possibly miss him like I do!"

He was crying. I had never seen a grown man cry, and I felt a stirring of admiration and empathy in my heart.

"Not grown," he muttered, unconsciously intruding into my thoughts. I let it pass. "How can I be grown if I've always had someone there to hold my hand? I can't be responsible for another human being! Good stars, I haven't even had...I've never even been in love."

He had for an instant looked like a cornered kiyzac; now he looked only defeated, a man utterly lost. Perhaps it sounds like a gross impropriety, but I held him. It was the only thing I could do to comfort him.

Well, perhaps not the *only* thing... "Forget about Anakin. Forget about death and the Jedi and being an adult. For one night. Forget about these things, and just be a man."


Universe inside your heart
You gotta let me know so you can be free, baby
You wanted it so much
And now that it's over
You don't know what you want.


We made love that night. Was it wrong to use love as a cure for the pain? I cannot believe love is ever wrong. No one would ever deny that the two of us needed healing. And we found it: in each other.


(Put time
In a capsule
Two minds
Consensual
Entwined
To perfection
If we could...)


We lay together in the afterglow, and I laid my head against his chest. I could hear his heartbeat, so wonderfully and powerfully *alive.*


Cuddle up close
Lay on my chest now
Listen our heartbeats' coming down
If you get tired
You close your eyes now
When you wake up
I won't be found
Cause I know baby
I know you're the nervous kind
So much going on in your mind


I couldn't be around in the morning. By morning, all the good feelings would be wan and dull, and the ache would come back. The sunlight was a reminder that Qui-Gon would never see the suns again, never walk the garden paths he would have been so fond of in life. There was too much going on; too many events swirling through both our minds. It was impossible for us to stay together.

Even if it were just for Anakin's sake, I couldn't stay with Obi-Wan. Did Jedi date? Marry? Would Anakin be jealous if I was to marry his master? And what of my rule? My people?

Exactly, my mind rationalized. Too many things happening around us. I cannot stay.


Universe inside your heart
You gotta let me know so you can be free, baby
You wanted it so much
And now that it's over
You don't know what you want


I awoke before dawn arrived, in the cool gray pre-morning (pre-mourning, I thought) when the pain hadn't returned yet. I dressed, gathered my things, and kissed him gently on the cheek. He stirred, smiled, but didn't wake.

"Matters of the heart cannot be mixed with matters of the state," I murmured sadly. I didn't want to wake him; I was merely trying to convince myself of the truth in those words. I knew he would understand, that he himself might even tell me to let it go. We didn't have a choice. In sudden passionate regret, I kissed him again.

I couldn't stop the tear that fell, knowing that one night was all we could ever have.


Well, let me tell you
This time (this time)
I'm gonna make you mine (I won't let you go)
Cause I know this time (this time)
I'm gonna make sure I look out for me
Cause you know, baby
You know baby does it right, yeah
You know baby does it right
You will only end up lost in loneliness
And wake up with the words already on your lips
So I'll let you go, baby
Ooooh, baby...(yeah)
So I'll let you go


****

I had never touched him, yet that vision had made me painfully, exquisitely aware of the boundaries between us; boundaries that not even we could cross.

And it was better that we not even try.

Standing there in that tower, still gazing into the embers of Qui-Gon's pyre, I made my decision: I was indeed going to let him go.


Universe inside your heart
You gotta let me know so you can be free, baby
You wanted it so much and
Now that it's over
You don't know what you want...

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