A Pain Like No Other

By Jilly Harris

Disclaimer: I don't own them, so don't sue me.

Now Viceroy, we will discuss a new treaty. Those words were echoing over and over in Padme's mind as she stood with the Viceroy, watching him. He was fidgeting she could tell, even as the new treaty was being drawn up.

Padme jerked as she felt a scream and unimaginable pain rip through her body. She felt her face crumble as she looked around. "No," she whispered to herself.

Captain Panaka noticed something was wrong with Padme. "Your majesty are you all right?" he asked.

Padme looked at him. "I must find the Jedi," she said suddenly.

"But the treaty," Panaka said.

Padme's face grew frantic in looks. "The treaty can wait a moment, I must find them now!" she said. Panaka looked at her face and knew there was no arguing with the Queen. He nodded and led her to the door.

~~

Padme ran into the power room, hearing the hum of the lights and power modules there. She was sure she felt the pain come from this area. But where were they? Then she saw them. "Oh no," she whispered. She slowly walked to where she saw Obi-Wan on the ground, rocking Qui-Gon in his arms. Padme got closer and knelt in front of them.

Obi-Wan had felt her presence before she even arrived. He didn't look up, even as she knelt beside him. He saw her tiny hand reach out to cover his where it lay on Qui-Gon's still chest.

"He knew," she whispered.

Obi-Wan was shaking slightly. "He did," he whispered to her. "No! Leave him be!" he cried out when the medical technicians that came with Padme tried to take Qui-Gon from Obi-Wan.

Padme felt almost helpless, unable to help him. She finally reached out to touch his hand. "Let them take him Obi-Wan," she whispered.

Obi-Wan shook his head, rocking his fallen master in his arms. He bent over, pressing his forehead against Qui-Gon's. Padme bit her lip. She almost thought that she was going to have to make the technicians force Obi- Wan to relinquish his master. But he finally, and very slowly began to let go of the body.

Obi-Wan watched the technicians take Qui-Gon from his arms and put him on the stretcher they had brought. Padme moved closer to him, and put her hand on his shoulder. He slowly turned his head to her. "He can't be gone," he whispered.

Padme bit her lip. She didn't know what to do or say. She gently cupped Obi- Wan's cheek with her hand. "I'm sorry," she whispered in return, her voice catching.

Obi-Wan wrenched away from her almost violently as he got up. "No!" he screamed in pain-filled outrage. "He can't be gone!"

Padme rose and walked closer to him. "Ben," she said softly.

"No," Obi-Wan said. Tears rimmed his lower lashes, keeping a tenuous hold onto him.

"Ben," Padme said again.

"No," Obi-Wan whispered. He shook his head when her small hand closed around his wrist. He snapped his arm away. "NO!"

"BEN!" Padme shouted. Obi-Wan looked up and saw tears streaming down her lovely face. "He's gone." Her voice caught. "I'm sorry."

Obi-Wan shook his head then his face crumpled and he fells to his knees, sobbing. Padme knelt beside him and wrapped her arms around him, rocking him as he sobbed for the loss of the man he had seen as a father.

~~

"M'lady," Eirtae said as she came into the Queen's chambers late that night. It was well past midnight, but the young Queen was still awake. Though she had changed into something more comfortable then the clothes from earlier, she was still dressed. Beside her on her bed, sound asleep, though fitfully, lay Obi-Wan, his belt on a nearby chair along with his long robe. His head was settled in Padme's lap as his body shuddered every once in awhile in a silent sob and a nightmare on the verge of making its self known.

"Yes, Eirtae?" Padme said softly.

Eirtae looked sadly at the Jedi fast asleep. "How is he?" she asked softly.

"He's exhausted, he insisted on speaking with Master Yoda earlier," Padme said.

"Why so soon?" Eirtae asked.

"He had to take care of things first, it is what Qui-Gon would have wanted," Padme said.

"Chancellor Palapatine and the Jedi have made arrangements for a funeral service tomorrow for Master Jinn," Eirtae said softly.

"Thank you," Padme said. She looked at her handmaiden. "Go rest, we all need it."

"You too, m'lady," Eirtae said. Padme glanced down as she left. Her fingers gently stroked the soft hair on Obi-Wan's head, touching the spot where his Padawan braid had once been. She leaned her head back, her eyes closing.

~~

Obi-Wan was numb as he watched them light the pyre that held Qui- Gon's body. He turned and looked at Anakin who stood beside him.

"What happens to me now?" the little boy asked softly.

"Council has granted me permission to train you," Obi-Wan said. "You will become a Jedi. I promise." Anakin nodded solemnly and looked back at the still figure of the man that had so much faith in him.

While she did not look at him, Padme was standing close enough to Obi- Wan to seek his hand out. Covered by the robes they both wore, his hand tangled around hers tightly, finding strength in her presence.