Web of Illusion
She watches her gentle warrior as he walks across the courtyard and enters the building; often he tarries here at the room of a thousand fountains. Sitting in recompense he seems to allow his shoulders to relax as he closes his gentle blue eyes and breathes deeply. More handsome than ever, she can feel him reach out to the Force drawing on its calming power.
Silently chiding herself she breaks away and moves towards her room. Years it's been since they decided not to pursue a romantic relationship. Decided…not quite the word she would use, for they were hardly given any choice in the matter. At first she avoided him completely, her heart could barely do otherwise. As time passed, this became impossible, so instead she steadied herself against the onslaught of emotions that flooded her whenever they would meet.
A game, of sorts, it had become – or perhaps a dance. She would smile and portray the confidence she didn't truly feel, while he…he always seemed so serene. No longer did his eyes light up when she walked into a room, he had accepted their fate with little effort it would appear. Was his heart so cold then? Or was his passion never as all consuming as she first thought it to be?
So she perpetuates the subterfuge by equally reflecting a composure of tranquility. Strengthening her shields, she appears as one who is in total control of their destiny. But it is all a ruse. No matter – as long as he accepts it as the truth, then she can continue on as if it were real and not the whispered tendrils of mendacity.
He is knighted and her pride knows no bounds. A year later, she too, is promoted and their day to day encounters become less frequent. Until they are united in mission and are together again. She is not surprised when her heart beats faster in his presence, although she must present a façade of indifference to continue the prevarication between them. Does he credit her composure to disregard? Yes, he must.
And so it will continue this way between them. A glistening web of illusion, an impassive smile, a slight nod, a broken heart. For if she dared to step out of the fable even for a moment, how could he perceive her intent as anything but designing? Too long has she embraced the deceit that could only be accepted as genuine. Forever trapped in this unending distortion, she bows her head and sighs.
Dance of Deceit
Breathing deeply he cries out to the Force for strength. Strength to make it through yet another day without the one his heart so desperately yearns to love. He aches with emptiness sitting here in the room of a thousand fountains. For it was here that he first felt the stirrings of his heart in her presence.
A sudden movement catches his eye and he turns to see his fierce maiden as she passes down the hall, so lovely—her golden hair glinting in the sunlight.
He is a fool, for she would laugh at his sentimental thoughts and count them as weakness. And perhaps they are, but he could sooner cut off his own arm than to stop his heart from beating faster at the sight of her.
He stands and slowly makes his way back to his chambers. Has it all been worth it? Giving up the one he felt was made especially for him? He remembers well the conversation with his master. The sudden overwhelming panic when first told that all attachments, including this one was forbidden. How naïve he was to think that the council would make exception in their case. At first he wanted to flee with her as far from the temple as possible; to find their own path away from those who could not possibly understand.
But he knew what being a Jedi meant to her; knew that she would never be happy without that part of her identity. Try as he might he would never be able to fill that portion of her soul with just himself. The hardest thing he had ever had to do is tell her what he had just been told. He had felt her utter hopelessness and dismay, as she turned and walked away for good, without looking back.
The years that passed were filled with melancholy for him. Qui-Gon tried to help, keeping him busy and filling the silence, but nothing could hasten the period of mourning. It all seemed so easy for her. Gone were the stolen glances and secret smiles. She showed none of the distress that tainted most everything he did. He began to question whether she ever truly cared for him, at least to the degree that he cared for her. So he hid his feelings deeper from everyone around him, except himself.
This game he plays has become like a dance, but not one that is joyful or meaningful. It is laden with deceit and denial; a pretense of anything authentic, a life without meaning. So he asks himself again, was it all worth it? And seeing that she continues to thrive in this life of no attachment with him, he bows his head and sighs.