Chapter Seven (Epilogue)

The long shadows of Tatooine's setting suns slowly crept across the barren desert plains, creeping upon the two toddlers playing in the sand. Their guardian and protector, Obi-Wan Kenobi stood close by, leaning against the stucco entryway of his moisture farm, watching the children levitate small rocks toward each other. He instinctively strengthened the Force shields around them, protecting them from any Dark influence who would seek to destroy them.

His thoughts suddenly turned inward. His life had not at all turned out like he had expected. All of his years of Jedi training, preparing himself for a lifetime of galactic servitude and committment to the Jedi Order were fading into a memory. A memory of a life that no longer seemed his own. How could he find contentment here on this heap of scorching sand? A giggle from Luke who played beneath his feet pushed away that nagging concern. A small smile appeared on the bearded Jedi's face, slowly disappearing once more as the gray-green eyes looked off into the distance.

So many Jedi lost, killed at the hands of the Emperor and his new apprentice -- Obi-Wan's former apprentice. That knowledge still cut deep into him like a saber. But he had fought this battle before, and won. The Force, with the assistance of his former Master had shown him the way to victory. Without Qui-Gon's help, he was not sure he would have made it through those dark days of his life. Indeed, it had been Qui-Gon, posing as Quinn, the Force being sent to guide Obi-Wan away from the Dark. The short time he had gotten to spend with his former Master again was cherished. He had missed his friendship.

Once again, Obi-Wan's face brightened into a smile. A soft touch on his arm brought his attention downward to look into a beautiful pair of dark brown eyes that playfully sparkled in the setting sunlight.

"Was that a smile I saw?" She teased as she felt his strong arm reach around her and pull her tight up against him.

Obi-Wan responded with a chuckle and dropped a kiss to the top of Padme's head. "Getting used to being a farmer, I guess." He replied.

Padme had initially been concerned when Yoda had told them of their future. She and Obi-Wan were to establish a moisture farm on Tatooine under the name of Lars, posing as distant relatives of the family she had met here. She had worried about the happiness of Obi-Wan, hebeing restricted to the mundane life of moisture farming, but one glance at the children playing under his watchful eye, and the happiness that she felt radiating from him as he held her, began to ease her worries. When Obi-Wan's other hand reached to smooth across her now six-month pregnant belly, her fears dissipated entirely. They had both resolved to be happy, if not only for the fact of being able to be together, but for the children he had so willingly accepted into his heart, and for their own child soon to be born.

Padme leaned into the strength of his arms and sighed contently with Obi-Wan's own sigh accompanying it.

/There is no chaos, only serenity./

A familiar and soothing voice whispered to him along the Force and he looked up, not at all surprised to see the blue Eternal Force apparition of Qui-Gon Jinn. A smile once more showed on Obi-Wan's face, communicating without words his understanding and appreciation to his former Master. Qui-Gon returned the smile, nodded briefly, and then vanished.

Complete contentment, for the first time flooded him as a vision of his and Padme's future began to play out in his mind. As impossible as it may seem, he had found peace on this distant and isolated planet. And as his embrace tightened once more around the woman in his arms, he realized that indeed, it was a wonderful life.

Author's Notes: That's all folks! Thanks for the reviews, they keep us writers going! Writing this didn't turn out to be as painful as I thought it would be. I might have to write more of this angst stuff in the future...but not too often. : )