Title: Telling Sweet Lies
Author: Amy Fortuna (amyfortuna@yahoo.com)
Rating: R (see warnings below)
Archive: Please ask.
Feedback: Actually, I am rather interested to know what you think, as this isn't my typical story. Does it work for you? Or did you run screaming?
Summary: In the midst of destruction, a Jedi knight contemplates.
Notes: If you're at all squeamish about potentially squicky material, read the warnings at the end of the story. I mean it.

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It seemed that my hands were the sky as I covered you, my body the earth and sun and air. The wind and the wonder of it whipped through me. And I smiled.

I cradled you to myself, your small head against my hands, protected. "You are safe," I whispered into the roar of fear. "Be still."

I could not see your eyes but I felt your mouth move against my skin. "I will." I did not hear the words, but they resonated through my body.

And I felt like a world-conqueror, then. You so delicate in my hands, and my body your shield. I closed my eyes, feeling the flames lick hot against my neck.

"Fear not, help will come," I sighed as the wind swept me, still holding you, into worlds unknown.

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In the silence of my pain, I dreamed awhile of you, of your blond hair and bright eyes, so trusting when you looked at me. In a former life they called me Qui-Gon Jinn, and I was a Jedi.

I do not know your name. Though your small body is crushed against mine, seeking the safety of my larger frame, I do not know who you are, only that you are far too young to be caught in this horror.

But the whirl of wind and flame sweeps me up, and I think of you as you might have been, if times had been different, if we had been different.

If the Jedi had only listened to common sense, instead of relying on the Will of an untrustworthy Force that repays devotion with slaughter and honor with chaos. If the Jedi had only taken a moment out of contemplating the knit fabric of the universe to watch the knit fabric of their government, we would not now be caught here, last of the survivors.

You could have been my padawan. Instead the one who was my padawan lies dead on the hot floor, flesh slowly being consumed by fire. How I wish I could have spared both of you this death and this meaningless life.

For what purpose is there to this wholesale slaughter in the Jedi Temple? I wish I could ask why here and now, why this generation, but there is no answer. There will never be an answer, for all generations equally deserved it.

You are less than six years old and you are living your last moments cradled by my body. No, no, we cannot say this is fair, but what is fair? The deaths of the children on Nare, is that fair? The destruction of Alderaan, is that fair? The slavery on Tatooine, is that fair?

The flames licking at your body and mine do not know justice. They only seek revenge, doing the bidding of their commanders.

The Sith. It still seems like a legend to me, the tale of beings caught in evil so deep they can never be redeemed, using the Force in fear and anger against their fellow creatures.

But they are not legend. They are very, very real. The heat lapping at the base of my spine attests to that.

And they caught us unprepared. Even Master Yoda was not expecting this. He too, lies dead somewhere in this building, this ruin smoldering down to ashes, leaving behind a black hole in the glory of Coruscant.

I never saw their faces. I never knew their names. I only know they hated us.

I don't know why.

You stir slightly against my skin, huddling away from the heat that reaches out to taste you too. I cannot sense my body, and I dare not move, for fear that again I will struggle against the pain I would feel.

You don't make a sound. I admire your bravery. You would have been a Jedi to be proud of.

I cannot help but move. The agony bites at me as I struggle closer to the wall, knowing that I'll live only a few painful seconds longer because of it.

In the light of the flames your eyes glitter up at me and I slowly slide again into what might have been.

You could have been my lover. The thought makes me gasp, not because I am shocked at it, but because it feels so right.

Tied to you, bright spirit, I could have made kings bow before me. I keep on telling myself sweet lies, thinking that this is what could have been, what should have been. What is not.

I think of you, grown up, laughing, the soft curves of your lips beckoning me. I think of you, braid hanging down over your shoulder, blue lightsaber caught timeless in the Seventeenth Movement. I think of you, in Jedi whites, your eyes looking straight and solemn into mine as I cut your braid. I think of you, your body under mine in a far different time and place, and a different fire raging around us.

I think of you:

--the taste of your mouth--

--the feel of your skin--

--the wonder of your love--

and I no longer feel any pain.

I do not even realize that my body has been left behind when I greet you, a smile of welcome gracing your lips, in the fiery stillness of death.

END

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Notes, Warnings: Main character death. Possible chan-slashy elements (depending upon interpretation?) Very much AU.