"None of us is completely in control of our heart." Obi-Wan said. "We do what we can, what we will, what we must... guided by our ethics and responsibilities. It can be lonely."

"Have you ever...?" she bgean, unable to finish.

"Yes." he said, and offerered nothing more.

"The Cestus Deception", by Steven Barnes

"Tell me."

"I can't." he said softly, looking away from her. "We... can't. We're at war, Siri."

Her green eyes glowed with unshed tears. "I tell you I love you, on the eve of our destruction, and you can't answer me? The war's over, Obi-Wan. We lost."

"The war, perhaps. But we're not done fighting." he answered, and she heard the hope in his voice.

She cast her gaze back out to the stars rushing past their small ship. "Then it was just me." she whispered, hugging her arms to herself.

He stayed quiet behind her.

The silence irritated her. Whirling her chair around, she stood and lifted her chin to look right into his eyes. The height difference would have been comical, had the situation not been so tense. Siri stared angrily into his calm cerulean eyes, her own viridian ones flashing with emotion.

"What?" she asked, the softness of her query clashing with the unbridled emotion she was conveying.

He understood, simply. "It's impossible. I can't."

She sneered at him, but he could see the pain inside. "Do you find me so repulsive? Is that why, Obi-Wan?" Her voice continued to rise with raw passion.

He towered above her, as his eyes flashed. "Siri..." he warned her, turning around.

She was crying now, exhaustion and loss affecting her more than she realized. "Why!" she asked, one final time.

Obi-Wan swung back towards her, and with surprise she noted the moisture in his gaze. "Because the moment I give in to loving you, is when I would never let you go. And I have a mission I need to accomplish, Siri." He sighed, half-collapsing into the co-pilot's chair.

She sat down accross form him, shock in her features. "I could stay." she suggested quietly, after a long pause.

"In another life, maybe." he remarked, wistfully.

Silence divided them again.

"Do you ever dream?"

"Of what could have been?" he asked, but already knowing the answer. "Sometimes."

"What do you dream of?"

Obi-Wan smiled sadly, his gaze taking on a faraway look. "You and I, a farm on some backwater world. A son, a daughter. Animals. A pipe dream, nothing more.

His gaze met her own. "We could still..."

"I'm sorry." He said, shaking his head.

She turned back to the stars, and shivered, a cold filling her from the inside. A warm hand gently grabbed her arm, and she turned to him.

"Sit with me?"

Siri Tachi crawled into Obi-Wan Kenobi's arms, and they stayed still for a long time, as the stars shot past and they came closer to their destination. The boy would sleep for a while longer, so they remained there, and dreamed together of a life they could have had.