A/N: This was supposed to be written a month ago, as a continuation of the Satine Lives AU on my tumlbr that I wrote for a three-sentence fic prompt, but since I've been terribly busy, here we go. Set right after the end of ROTS, with everything the same except Satine's continued existence.

(Also because, you know, anything in connection to Luke Kryze will always be awesome)


The Question, Twenty Years Late

Eirian Erisdar


The war is over.

Satine stands alone on the palace balcony, and watches the afternoon sunlight glance off the glass towers of Sundari.

The people of Mandalore go about their ways in peace; Ahsoka, Rex, and their men have seen to that. Their last act as general and captain was to break the Siege of Mandalore, and return the system to Satine's governance.

And then, in the midst of their post-battle laughter, came the order.

Satine remembers the minutes after the first declaration of order sixty-six with mind-numbing clarity.

There was confusion as the troopers not under Ahsoka's direct command turned blasters towards her, and Ahsoka's men reflexively raised theirs in return; there was blasterfire, and agonised screaming, one voice but from the mouths many men, brother, brother, why are you doing this-

Satine had wondered, later on, when Ahsoka and Rex and their surviving men have been rushed onto her fastest ship and sent blasting off into unknown space - whether her dream of two krayt dragons, brothers, tearing each other to pieces on black sand was truly simply a dream.

It had seemed too real.

Below Satine's trembling feet, the palace walls are decorated with frescoes of dying Jedi, crushed under Mandalorian soldiers' boots in millenia of war. And beyond this biodome, beyond Sundari, Mandalore is covered with dust ground from a billion soldiers' bones.

The war is over, but at what cost?

Soon, Satine knows, the newly-self-declared emperor will send fresh troops to Mandalore, and ask for her sworn fealty.

It will fill her lips with gall to swear it; but she will have to. To do otherwise would be to condemn her people to extinction.

Her hands clench white and bloodless around the durasteel railing, and she fights the urge to lose her very insubstantial lunch over the balcony side.

Obi-Wan was on Utapau when it happened.

The holonet had been very vocal about his death.

She had not felt anything when she saw. She knew, in a way, that ten thousand Jedi had perished. That statistic, she could comprehend.

She could not, and cannot, comprehend Obi-Wan's death.

The balcony doors slide open behind her, with hiss of compressed air. It sounds like the gasping breaths of a dying planet.

Satine closes her eyes against the afternoon sunlight, treacherous moisture prickling at her eyelashes, and waits for her attendant to announce the arrival of an Imperial Senate messenger, who will rip Mandalore from her like a child from her side.

But then, suddenly:

"Hello, there."


Shock. Disbelief.

Satine turns in place.

Joy.

Utter, complete, rage-filled urge to slap the red-gold beard off that smirking face.

She stalks towards him, hands still clenched into fists, moisture that had welled in her eyes for another reason entirely suddenly breaking free into a torrent of furious tears. She might be snarling. She doesn't care.

"Obi-Wan, you-"

He lifts calm, tired eyes to meet her tear-streaked gaze and says, with a little catch of humorous grief in his voice, "Shh, my dear, you'll wake the baby."

The-

Satine slides sharply to a stop, and stares at the little bundle in the crook of Obi-Wan's arm.

"This is Luke," Obi-Wan says, with that same strange lilt in his words. "My- my nephew."

That raises many questions, but she does not voice them. Satine raises a finger, and brushes it along a pink cheek soft in slumber.

"Satine." There is something new in Obi-Wan's voice, now.

She looks at him, and reaches out gently to lower his hood. There is ash in his hair, and black sand speckled in his beard. His tunics, she notices for the first time, are scorched and worn. Her hands skitter over his cheekbones, his chin.

Obi-Wan smiles at her, a shadow of the cocksure grin that had stolen her heart across a campfire, almost two decades ago now, in the year of Mandalore's civil war. "I'm not sure how to do this, and I'm probably doing it wrong," he begins. "I know I'm supposed to have a ring, at least. I don't. I've come to your doorstep with nothing but a scarred lightsaber and a baby." His lips twitch, sardonically, as if realising the ridiculousness of that statement. "But if you'll have me?"

That last sentence washes over Satine's ears without entering them for a moment.

"You're asking," she says. It isn't really a question.

"Yes," Obi-Wan replies, gaze steady. "I'd kneel, but I'm holding Luke, so it would be somewhat awkward."

"I..." Satine's hands are frozen on Obi-Wan's face.

"I once said I would have left the Order, had you said the word," Obi-Wan murmurs, slipping a hand out from under Luke's weight to clasp her hand where it rests on his cheekbone. "I know now why you did not - and I am asking a burden of you, to do this. I am asking you to raise a child not your own, and to marry a man who is a death sentence walking, for all the Empire's intent. Forgive me for asking, but I think I have to."

He falls silent with the air of a man awaiting either his pardon or his exile.

"What of attachment?" Satine says, softly.

"We were fools. Attachment, in the end, is simply valuing something above our service to the Force; it was something I did not teach, nor understood well enough, until now. And in the end, it brought about this horror." There is shame there, in those whispered words; sorrow, and grief.

Satine traces the lines of Obi-Wan's face with a perceptive gaze; there are lines there she had not noticed before, like the faint lines that edge her face in the mirror each morning, now.

But there is also a smooth, unmarked face, sleeping quietly between them.

Satine leans forward, and presses her lips to his cheek.

"Yes," she says.

He makes a sound, something between a hiccup and a sob. Joy, and grief. The next moment, he has pulled her into an awkward embrace, one arm around her and the other holding the child, their child now, between them. She reaches out instinctively to support Luke's head.

"Satine," Obi-Wan says. It is all he needs to say.

The Empire will be sending visitors, Satine knows; today, tomorrow, in a week, in years and decades to come - but for the present moment, this is their joy, and it is complete.

END


A/N: Aaah, good old obitine is always like a nice shot of Corellian brandy. I've crossposted this to my tumblr (same url as my penname here, but without the space in the middle). You can find more obitine there! Reviews are welcome, and thanks for reading. The next parts of Silent Measures and The Silent Song might take a couple weeks to be written, because it's exam time for me - but thank you to everyone who has been reading. 3