It was easy for him. It was easy to stand on the outside and look in as Anakin fell apart. His heart bared for Padme to see. Obi-wan had it easy because he could just look inside and not get involved, but that wasn't truly the case. Involvement, or attachment, came easily to Obi-wan, even if he didn't want to admit it.
He felt his heart clench in his chest as he thought about her being touched by Anakin. Padme was a regal being. She always commanded attention when she entered the room and she had his attention completely, although she didn't know it.
These were thoughts he knew he shouldn't be having, but he couldn't stop himself from wishing to feel her trembling flesh beneath his as the moved together in a love never spoken out loud. He wanted her to call his name in the anguished throws of a little death, her fingers gripping the sheets on her sumptuous bed as he brought pleasure to her again and again.
These were the things he wanted, but there were things that were never meant to be, even for someone who knew he could get what he wanted, with a little work and attention. Obi-wan was wiser and older, not someone prone to the calling of the heart, as Anakin sometimes was in his youth. Obi-wan controlled himself in a way that often attracted those of both the opposite and same sex, a wild combination of lovers that left him unsatisfied and ashamed of the acts he committed.
The problem was, he always wanted her. From the moment he set eyes on her on the Naboo cruiser, until now, as he watched her speaking in hushed tones to his padawan, where she thought no one would see them or hear them.
Somewhere, buried in her mind, did she want him too?
It was a question he would never ask her. It was a question he would never find the answer to except in dreams where she came to him readily and easily. He knew better than to approach her and risk the station they both had in the eyes of the Republic.
Risk was not something Obi-wan was prone to and he wouldn't start now, even when she was so close and he could taste the temptation on his tongue.
"Something bothering you?" she asked breaking him from his thoughts and he felt embarrassment rising to his cheeks, but willed it away quickly, not wanting her to get a glimpse of how he felt.
"No," he said not committing to much of a conversation. It would be easier to keep her at a distance.
"I know that look," she said putting her hands on her perfectly rounded hips. He could tell now that the baby she was carrying was starting to fill her out in just the right places before her stomach began to protrude. Obi-wan somehow found it the sexiest she ever looked, if that was possible considering how unbelievably beautiful she always was in the trappings of the lavish gowns she wore and the more casual attire she wore on her own time.
Padme huffed at him, acting as though he was a child and she crossed her arms over her chest. Defiant. He stopped a shiver from running up his spine at her absolute control. She was a formidable opponent when it came to hiding his feelings and burying them deep inside. He knew that she would easily draw those feelings to the surface, if only she knew of them.
Just one little ounce of attention could make sure that she would be his, but he wouldn't risk everything for moments of pleasure that would be unable to fulfill his want. The risk was far greater than anything he ever experienced in his life.
"Kenobi I've known you for years," she sighed. "What's bothering you?"
What was bothering him was the fact that she was now carrying Anakin's baby and not his. That she continued to lay with his padawan at night and still couldn't see how much he longed to be with her. Was she blind to everything he had done for her? Did she not recognize that he risked life and limb just to be near her?
"It's just council business," he said and tried a fake half smile, hoping it would make her leave him alone. If she pushed, which she was known to do, he would find himself blurting out everything he ever wanted to tell her. That would get them nowhere except him hurting and her never wanting to speak to him again. The heartache would be too much and Obi-wan didn't want to ruin the few minutes he got to spend in her presence because he called her friend..
"How about some tea?" she asked, heading towards the door to the kitchen. "We can sit out on the balcony and catch up."
Obi-wan nodded, trying to placate her. Really they hadn't seen each other much in the past few months. He had been off planet trying as he might, to negotiate some sort of peace and Padme was always busy with the business of the Senate. Years ago, he lost track of how many committees she was on, but he knew there were many and they often caused her stress. He hoped she was taking care of herself, especially now that she was carrying Anakin's child.
Even saying it inside of his head felt wrong.
"Make yourself comfortable," she said shooing him towards the balcony with the flick of her wrist. "I'll just be a few minutes."
He found a comfortable couch and snuggled into the large pillows that filled it. There was far less comfort in the jedi temple and sometimes Obi-wan just wanted to feel a little pampered. It was human, but not something he would ever admit to anyone. Jedi were supposed to live a selfless life, no matter how much they wished they could have the finer things. It was what they traded for their abilities.
"Aren't those pillows great?" Padme asked placing a tray in front of them. "Sometimes when I can't sleep, I come out here and snuggle with them."
Her admission tore painfully into his heart. Was she acting as though these pillows were Anakin as she snuggled close to them? How he wished it was him on her mind in those moments. It was something he would always long for, but would never be able to attain as long as he was a jedi master. There were roadblocks, no matter which way he turned and no matter what his feelings about her were.
"They're nice," he said taking the cup that she handed to him. It was warm and he wrapped his fingers around it bleeding some of the warmth into his body. He just wanted to concentrate on getting through the next hour with her and not doing anything rash.
"Tell me about your travels," she said tucking her foot under her as she sat close to him. He could feel her knee rubbing against his leg through his robe. How he longed to reach a hand out and touch her, but he held tightly to his cup, willing the feelings out of his soul, with little relief from the way they pained him.
"Not much to tell," he said sipping the hot liquid. "Things didn't go as planned. They never do when you have Anakin with you."
That brought a smile to her lips and her eyes seemed to drift away from their conversation and somewhere where she lived a happy life with Anakin. He knew she would always love Anakin. He was so hard not to be attracted to, spontaneous and wearing his heart on his sleeve. That was attractive for the kind of fiery love that he knew Padme deserved and longed for in her life. Obi-wan would never be able to provide that kind of fire to her, but he would love her with everything he had. He already did. His love was a smouldering fire, that would only blossom in the moments they were alone, hot enough to burn them both.
"There is that look again," she said smiling at him. "If I didn't know better, Obi-wan, I would say that you are thinking about a woman."
He frowned, peering down at the tea in his cup and hoping she would drop the subject.
"I think so, but I know you would never tell me," Padme laughed trying to get a rise out of him, but he felt panic rising inside of him. "That is not the way of a jedi master to be all starry eyed over a woman. It's okay, I know you are a human too. I know that at some point in your life, you have had these feelings. It's nothing to feel ashamed about, please don't be embarrassed around me."
As he looked up at her, maybe it was the way she was smiling at him or maybe it was his subconscious mind making decisions for him, but whatever it was, Obi-wan found his lips firmly planted on hers in a kiss he somehow decided to steel without her consent. Her lips tasted as sweet as he always thought they would and he wanted to linger there, but knew he couldn't. This was a mistake. Everything he was doing was a mistake.
Quickly he pulled away from her and put his cup back on the tray, turning to stand, but her hand caught his, urging him to stay. He easily followed her request and stayed seated, although he felt uncomfortable being so close to her now that his lips had done all the talking.
"That was …. unexpected," she said, her fingers ghosting over her lips as Obi-wan tried to avoid her eyes.
"I - I was wrong to do that," he said apologetically trying to make amends for his actions, but these were his real feelings and he shouldn't apologize for feeling for her. They had been through alot in their friendship.
"Why didn't you do it years ago?"
Obi-wan lifted his eyes to meet hers. She was smiling and he felt a smile creep to his lips, unsure he heard her correctly.
"I have waited for you to act as though you saw me as anything, but a Senator you were forced to protect or a Queen you had to rescue," she said quietly, breathlessly, causing hope to rise inside of Obi-wan. "Anything to acknowledge that I existed at all."
"You have always existed …"
Suddenly tears were in her eyes, glistening in the low light the traffic provided on the balcony. His thumb traced her cheek bone as he tried to will away those tears for her. What they were for, he believed he already knew. He waited until she was able to catch her breath and explain to him.
"All this time," she started her voice choked with the tears that threatened to spill down her porcelain cheeks. "You have watched as I have loved another, merely in your place, but still. And now…..And now…."
Her voice trailed off as she began to cry, her hand resting gently on his knee. Obi-wan pulled her close to him, letting her cry against his shoulder because he knew the words she was trying to say, but he also knew that it was difficult for her to admit it to herself, let alone anyone else.
"It's okay," he said trying to comfort her as best he could. "I know about the baby. I've known for some time now, probably before you. That baby sings in the force and it's a beautiful song to hear. Your child is very content."
Padme held him at arm's length, her eyes studying him. There was a joy there, but also sorrow. Obi-wan never wanted her to feel as though she betrayed him. That wasn't the reason that he revealed this to her, but to merely make her know that she would always be loved, no matter the outcome with Anakin or anyone else, for that matter.
"What do I do?" she asked quietly. Obi-wan wasn't sure he was the best person to give advice because he wanted her to run away with him, but knew with a child between them, the bond with Anakin was something he would never be able to break.
"You don't have to do anything, Padme," he said honestly, taking her hand to reassure her that he would always be there, but he would be fine.
"What about you?"
"I will always be here. I will always love you, no matter the circumstances you find yourself in. There is nothing that will make me leave your side."
It was the only thing he could really give her. There couldn't be a commitment and he couldn't put himself in a situation where he hurt Padme and Anakin. He could only stand by and make sure that she was safe and that the baby was cared for by those who loved it the most.
Obi-wan, although he thought about it many times, could not be selfish when it came to Padme. Her wish was to be with Anakin and to have his child. He would never stand in the way of what she wanted.
"This is his baby, I can't leave him," she said, her eyes pleading for him to understand her position. "And now you know that Anakin has gone against the jedi teachings."
Obi-wan shook his head. "I've known for a while, Padme."
Obi-wan tried to smile. He had to reassure her and himself.
"Let's just say we didn't have this talk," he finally said and sat back against the pillow again, taking his cup from the tray as though nothing transpired between them in the past few moments.
She nodded in agreement and looked down at her hands.
Although he knew nothing would come of this, Obi-wan would always know that he had told her. He had been honest and when he went to be with the force, there would be nothing he would regret about his relationship with her. There would be no strings that made him return to her after leaving his corporal body.
This was the end of one chapter in his story, but she would forever live in his heart, unable to be replaced by anyone. Still a secret he would carry around with him until that moment when he was released from this body and free.