Disclaimer: I own the characters, at least, the one's not recognizable. You have to figure out what George owns. Alas, I make no money, but charitable donations are accepted. grins
Summary: I was half asleep and this plot bunny bit me. I thought it would be cute and help to clarify some things. This is an important 'missing moment'at least to me from the SW uni, and I hope it becomes clear at the end.
Jedi Knight Quaylin Cho stood silently at the waters edge, watching the beautiful river flowing before him. He mused about his life, and the twists and turns the force seemed to throw at him.
Barely 40 standard years old, Quaylin was diagnosed with a rare cardiopulmonary disease, spread by small insects on Rillka 2. He had inadvertently stumbled across a nest, and had been bitten several times. Most people would have died on the spot, but the strong, powerful Jedi had survived the initial attack.
After the healers explained the fatal prognosis, the knight contemplated for days on his limited future. His padawan had recently passed her trials, and taking a new one was out of the question now. His former master, Yoda, suggested that he return to his home planet to visit family.
When had Quaylin arrived, he was told that his last remaining biological family members had died from a plague, and had been dead for over a year. He had been heart broken, and somewhat disgusted with himself for not being in consistent contact with his only blood relatives.
Wandering in a state of lost bewilderment, he accidentally found this place, and once realized how strong the force emanated from the water and surrounding areas, decided it was as good as a place as any to live out his final days. He set up a small portable housing unit on the riverbank, and spent his days in quiet meditation and reveling his body in the living force around him.
Now, a month later, he felt his strength and determination beginning to fade. He sighed heavily as the wind blew his brown hair across his eyes. His tall, broad frame, seemed to dwindle with the advancement of the disease. His once vibrant brown eyes, that never missed the smallest details, now fought to focus on things in the distance.
Though his eyes would strain, Quaylin could still see the beautiful waters, wishing that the flow would renew his body as it journeys towards its end. Not only was this place a force sensitives' dream, but the marvelous sights and scents overflowed the senses, and brought peace of mind to all who stopped to enjoy the beauty. Deep teal waters ebbed the white pebble lined bank, giant willow trees danced in the water, their long fronds swaying gently by the current. Small fields of flowers filled the air with a light aroma of their essence.
A small woman walked up to the Jedi, and stood quietly beside him, her small frame barely reaching his shoulders. Both stood statuesque, enjoying the peaceful moment and scenery that had been provided by nature.
After a long silence, Quaylin spoke, "Hello Honey."
The young woman smiled at him. "I made too much dinner for one person to eat. Would you be so kind as to help me eat it, so it doesn't go to waste?"
Quaylin smirked, turning to face her, and offered his arm to escort her back. "I would be honored."
It had become a ritual with the two. Honey would always complain that she cooked too much food, and needed help eating it or it would go to waste. At first Quaylin hesitated, but realized that she was as lonely as he was, and looked forward to another person's company.
Honey wasn't her real name, that was a mystery to him. The nickname was given to her by Quaylin, when he seen her harvesting honey from a series of hives. She wore no kind of protection against the stinging insects, yet had no welts from the bees. Honey was also the color of her hair, which hung to her shoulders, and accented her bright blue eyes.
As soon as the two had met, there were great friends. Quaylin explained that he was a Jedi, searching for family long gone, and that his health was poor. Many evenings were spent in deep conversation, each telling of their sorted pasts and adventures.
Honey told of how she was widowed at 20, after only a month of being married. Her husband had died in an accident, leaving her all alone. She explained that according to their culture, people bonded for life. Even if a spouse passed on, the one left behind wouldn't remarry.
At first, Quaylin pitied Honey, but over the past month, he learned how strong and independent she was. He admired her courage and endless compassion, helping others and nurturing all those in need.
Townspeople took care of the elderly and widowed, bringing food and helping with chores whenever needed. Honey would only accept help with major things, insisting that the small things weren't too much for her. She kept her small cottage spotless, and the grounds outside, well maintained.
Though Quaylin wasn't the only person around, Honey seemed to enjoy his company the most. She would listen intently of other worlds and cultures, and have her heart pounding at the adventures Quaylin retold. She never intruded on his personal time at the waters edge, only coming to explain how yet again she prepared too much food, and invited the stricken Jedi to share her meals.
On the way to her cottage, Quaylin collapsed. Pain shot through his chest and he fought desperately for air. A tight constriction around his chest prohibited deep breaths, and he shook uncontrollably. Honey stayed by his side during the ordeal, holding his head and softly speaking reassurances.
When the pain subsided, and Quaylin could breath easy once again, Honey helped him to her house. He assured her he was feeling fine and it was a temporary attack, and they happen frequently, now that the disease is progressing further.
Worry and heartache masked her face and she protested his stubbornness at passing the incident off. Ushering him into the house, she directed him towards the bed.
"Honey. I'm fine. Really." Quaylin argued.
Honey stared at him hard, showing him a defiant side, "After what I saw, if you think I'll leave you alone, you are sadly mistaken!"
Quaylin refused to be put to bed, and stood stubbornly, "I know when I'm in trouble, and believe me, I am feeling fine. It was just a normal attack."
"Normal? You mean you have those often?" Honey grabbed the Jedi and began to herd him closer to a large feather bed.
"I told you all about my condition." Quaylin reminded her, while trying to keep himself upright and off the bed. "Now stop treating me like a child and let me up. I don't need to go to bed, I'll be fine. These attacks happen all the time because the disease is advancing. I don't have much time left."
Honey flinched like she had been slapped, the pushed the knight onto the bed. Quaylin tried to rise back up to stand, but two small, but very powerful hands, pressed on his shoulders, emphasizing the point.
"I will not take any orders from you! Nor will I listen to you about all this death stuff. You are going to rest and that's final!" Honey snapped, her defiance screamed from every cell.
Quaylin sighed, giving in the overbearing nursemaid. "You are one stubborn woman, you know that?"
"Oh yes! Which is why I get my way!" Honey grinned. "You rest for awhile." Honey pulled a large blanket over the pouting Jedi.
Quaylin had dozed off, and slept soundly in the soft bed, his body relishing the comfort. Honey stayed by his side, keeping a constant vigil. When Quaylin awoke in the night, he found Honey passed out beside him. Her head rested on the bed, while the rest of her remained seated in the chair.
He smiled at the site, and mentally quipped that Honey had more dedication and perseverance then a lot of the Jedi he knew. She stirred, raising up sleepily. When she realized he was awake, she smiled soberly.
"I'm sorry. I guess I dosed off." Honey apologized, wiping a few stray strands of hair from her face.
Quaylin looked, for the first time, into her eyes. He felt through the force what shone so clearly in her sapphire depths. 'She loved him' He couldn't believe that he didn't see if before, but a dull ache in his chest signaled that he felt the same way, just never wanted to affirm his feelings. Sensing others feelings was never a problem, however when it came to his own heart, he never saw the obvious, what was blatantly staring at him all along.
Raising up onto his elbow, he extended his hand to caress her cheek, and drawing her face closer to his. He lightly brushed their lips together, and felt her exhale longingly. He pulled away, shocked at his own actions, causing Honey to flutter her eyes in surprise.
Quaylin chastised himself for doing it, knowing that Honey's culture forbade a relationship. He was about to apologize when Honey rose off the chair, and situated herself on the bed. She smiled, leaning over, pressing her body against his, exchanging light kisses as she felt them lower to the soft confines of the blankets.
A part of him felt sadness, knowing he wouldn't be able to stay with her. He could offer no commitment, no stability, not even good health. But for the moment, he could offer all he had. His love.
* * * *
Quaylin awoke with the sharp stabbing pain in his chest, deep breathing difficult. He felt a chill go through him, causing him to shudder. Every time the attacks began, he would feel a squeezing sensation along his ribs, and minutes pass with him struggling for air. But this time, he could feel the force starting to call him home, pulling his spirit into its depths.
Calling on the force to subdue his pain, he eased himself from Honey's slumbering form at his side. She stirred, feeling the bed become empty, air cooled her naked skin. Quaylin smiled sadly, waving his hand over her, inducing a deep sleep. He pulled the blankets up, nestling her in their warmth, and kissed her one last time.
Fighting the pain, he sloppily dressed and unsteadily walked back to his small house in the river shore. As he neared, he felt the force beginning to ease his life away, each step, and breath, becoming a struggle for survival.
When he got to the rivers edge, he stood amazed as the water seemed to glow. Rays of light illuminated the teal water, pulsing in time with his slowing heartbeat. The dying rhythm echoed in the living force, calling another warrior home. He forced his feet to move towards the water, and collapsed on the shore. The water lapped against his thighs, and began to rise up to surround the dying Jedi. The pain began to leave, his body feeling distant.
With one last breath, he fell forward, the water cushioning his ascent into death. For a moment, his body laid in the water, as if slumbering peacefully on the pale alter of rocks. With a flash, Quaylins body disappeared, taken home to the force.
- * * * * * * * *
23 Years Later * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A tall, muscular, broad shouldered man stood on the river bank, the wind billowing his long robes around him. His piercing blue eyes surveyed the area, noticing the water level signaled a drought. He ran a hand through his short cropped brown hair, stopping to feel the odd sensations where a padawan braid had been sheared off.
He could feel the force surge, and noted how strong the living force seemed to be around the water. At first, he was surprised to see the water glowing a soft hue, then spent the last couple of hours reflecting with the shimmering water. He glanced quickly over his shoulder to a run down shelter, long since abandoned and condemned, and to the pile of rocks that were displayed just a few feet from the hovel.
He studied the rocks intensely, rationalizing it was a grave, due to the large, heavy stones covering the ground in a mound, and the large, black, engraved stone jutting up. The elements hadn't been kind to the stone, having marred the surface, making some of the words unreadable, though the language wasn't familiar to the staring eyes.
Turning back to the enchanting water, the stranger sighed heavily, "Well, you got it wrong master, there isn't anything here for me. Why did you tell me to come here?" He pouted stubbornly, imagining all the things he missed out on while on this futile excursion.
Shaking his head in defeat, he cast his eyes down. A small, black rock caught his attention, its ebony finish contrasting to the white sand embankment. He picked up the stone and rolled it around in his large hands. Upon closer examination, revealed deep crimson streaks throughout the smooth surface.
A sweet peace flooded over him like a benediction, a warm happy presence to his senses. He smiled, placing the stone in his pocket and started back towards his ship. While passing the burial mound, he slightly inclined his head. An odd sense of regret and sadness came flooding over him in crashing waves. He walked slowly, wondering who was buried there, and what the marker on the grave had inscribed upon it.
"Here lies Alainia 'Honey' Jinn,
Who died shortly after giving up her miracle child.
May she find eternal peace, and be reunited with the one she loves,
Asleep forever, by the River of Light."