Disclaimer: Not mine. None of it.
They met in the midst of a storm. It was the first time Shmi ever witnessed the rain on Tatooine. It ravaged the land, destroying everything in its path; what it didn't kill it poisoned with disease and famine. She lost everything, from her home to her family. Without any money or valuable skills in trades it was only a matter of time before she would be forced to take extreme measures as a means of survival. She did not lose hope; she knew she would find a way to evade slavery or worse prostitution.
It was the last time Qui-Gon would ever see his beloveds smile or feel her fingers against his cheek. Her passing was the most painful experience of his life; one that left him struggling between taking the high ground and succumbing to the darkness that ate at his heart. He thanked the Force that their son, Obi-Wan, never witnessed his mother's suffering or of the disease that ravaged her health and finally claimed her. It was incredibly painful for him; Qui-Gon could only imagine how their son would have taken it.
He was here to answer Tatooine's desperate plight and because the Order required it of him.
"I'm here to help," he said upon meeting the young hardened woman who was trying her best to provide food for those who suffered from the fever. Lack of supplies and ingredients made it nearly impossible but she found a way.
"You're here to escape," she replied holding his gaze with a peaceful calm he had only seen in his son. For a supposed soul-reader the man before her didn't hide his surprise well, or the sadness in his eyes.
She took his calloused hand into her own hardened palms (a perfect fit) and unwittingly stole his heart. Qui-Gon wondered how such a simple gesture could mean so much. She would later wonder how he always knew just what to say without saying a word at all.
It was the first time in years that the stars shone in the Tatooine sky. It was the first time Shmi learnt how to love and make love. It was the first time Qui-Gon learnt how to let go and love again.
"I can't promise anything," he breathed sadly between heated kisses as weather worn fingers lovingly explored his muscular body.
"Then don't," she murmured before moaning her pleasure as he worshipped her petite form with hungry lips.
Neither spoke another word; their souls spoke volumes through each kiss and caress shared. Crying out one another's names to the night sky they celebrated their love and embraced a freedom that only their hearts could fully understand. Somewhere far away a planet died and a star sparked to life filling the night sky with its light.
With heavy hearts and dry eyes they parted ways by morning. As Shmi watched her beloved walk out of her life she couldn't help but smile. Qui-Gon had told her that Jedi never lied; she knew better.
He promised he would one day return and she knew in her heart that she would hold him to his word.
Naboo was nothing like Tatooine, its beauty and lush greenery amazed Shmi who sold what little she had for the small metallic ticket that would ensure her journey there. She couldn't afford to make it to Coruscant she didn't mind for Naboo was good enough for her. What mattered most was that their unborn son would grow up in an environment that wasn't as unforgiving as Tatooine. Goddess willing, perhaps he might be given the chance to fulfil his every dream.
Their son was born with the rising of the sun. His arrival couldn't have come at a worse time the healer said in grim tones. Shmi was just too happy to know their baby was healthy to care that it almost cost her life and equally overjoyed to know that their son would know his father.
She didn't consider the price that would be paid for Qui-Gon's resignation from the Order, just that he had kept his promise that their family was finally reunited. Only Obi-Wan was troubled by the situation, his gentle warnings and wisdom would return to haunt her.
Life was filled with harmony for Shmi who with Qui-Gon raised their Force sensitive sons in the ways of the universe. Obi-Wan, though not her biological child was every bit her son in Shmi's heart and she loved him as fervently as she loved Anakin. Together they grew gardens, helped others who lived nearby with their ailments and repaired their own little home. The Jedi and the Order were long was the furthest thing from Qui-Gon's mind despite his desire to train their youngest son to follow the path of the Force.
It was only when two strangers arrived one morning to speak to her husband that Shmi's heart broke. Their years of bliss had drawn to an end but Shmi refused to stand by and watch her family disappear from her life again. Qui-Gon was fierce in his protests to his brethren his family was his life now and he had no intention of parting ways with them.
When neither could convince the other with words, lightsabers were drawn. Qui-Gon fought fiercely against the members of the Order. Throughout it all he demanded to speak to the Grand Master Yoda whom he believed would have supported his decision. The former Jedi knight both succeeded and failed. His life was given in order to preserve the freedom of choice for their children. Obi-Wan not wishing to encourage further violence chose to return to the Order, Anakin too young to make such a decision remained with their Ama as per Obi-Wan's negotiation.
Qui-Gon left his family through violence, their eldest son left through peace. Both left Shmi with a heavy heart and the unspoken promise that she would hold onto until the day she died. In this life or the next she was certain she would see her beloved and their son again.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan's absence left Shmi struggling to move on. Anakin was a needy child who despite having perfect health demanded a lot from his Ama. Though Shmi enjoyed caring for their youngest son it made it difficult to both raise a child and find a means of employment. Anakin's constant desire to be with his Ama made it almost impossible to find a caregiver who would be willing to watch over him so she could find work.
After much struggle and nearly losing their small apartment because of a lack of credits Shmi was finally blessed with a simple job that allowed her to both care for their child and earn her wage. Serving in the home of a local noble woman her duty was to house keep and watch over her newly born daughter.
It was a turning point for Shmi, a greater one for little Anakin. The moment the toddler set his big blue eyes on baby Dormé the young mother knew something had changed. She wasn't sensitive to the Force yet she could feel something in the air shift. It felt as though her beloved was near; she couldn't see him but she couldn't deny the soft scent of spice and desert rain that was quissentially Qui-Gon.
Unshed tears came to her eyes as she watched as their son happily babbled to the little girl who cooed and giggled in amusement. Dormé poked his nose and grabbed at his cheeks as he laughed and made faces. Though the two children were but babies it was clear to Shmi that already a connection had been made between them.
Know this my love, everything happens for a purpose. It happens because it was meant to be.
His voice so clear in her thoughts caused Shmi to look over her shoulder as though expecting to find him by her side. She couldn't see him but she could feel Qui-Gon's arms around her holding her near. It was the first time she felt him from beyond the grave it would not be the last.
He promised her once that he would return. She promised him that she would wait. Though the veil of the Force separated them both Shmi knew they would never be truly apart again.