A/N – a birthday gift for my beloved friend, Dorothy. Based on her story, Brother Mine
Brother Mine, Son of His
I thought the last chapter of my old life, my Jedi life had long been closed, but even as I approach my 50th birth year, I find that some things… some lesson come long after we believe we have finished.
The last Great War - the one that had really started before many of those young self described 'freedom fighters' had taken their first breaths in this lifetime – was long over. The last true great evil in the Galaxy was gone, and the Galaxy was once again at peace. I was at peace. I had my quiet life, my beloved Lila and my beloved son (a surprise indeed, for I thought my days of fathering a child had been robbed from me so long ago) named for my Master.
My Last tie to my 'old life'. I was content.
I don't leave my homeworld often. My skills as a Healer are still very much in demand and although my life is simple, I was, as I said, content. We were content.
Perhaps a year ago or more, I began to dream again. Reliving the terrible night that I had left everything I knew and loved behind and became Poulin the nobody, the confrontation with the man I once called brother and of course… the Light.
You must go, Poulin Brith, my gentle Lila told me. I may not be schooled in the ways of the Force, but I know You… Go my Poulin, and find that last little peace you need…
I remember that day, that glorious moment of hope, and it is only that hope which could rouse me from the sleepy simplicity of my existence. The mere memory of that glorious light… The Light itself that now called me away.
Called me Home…
I was overcome with a strange sense of doubling when I reached the Capitol. Here I was, nearly an old man and yet, here I was also, a bare youth of 16, surrounded by the bustle and hum of a living, breathing city-world, as much of a contradiction in itself as I.
I had taken an over priced tour of the Capitol upon arriving, and to my astonishment, one of the highlights of this little excursion was the Jedi Temple itself – at least the outside.
My heart ached to see the familiar series of buildings that I had once considered my home, for many parts of it were simply.. gone (and it was here it was I experienced that queer doubling over again) and yet…
The Living Force sang and danced around it, where I had expected sadness and loss, I only found life and joy – it was a welcoming beacon to all my guide said (with an almost unbearable self importance) and that soon, Coruscant would once again become a shining seat of Freedom and knowledge, with the (open) Temple itself as the jewel on the crown.
Open… to all.
Here, a garden where there once was a derelict (only for a while as no scrap of space was ever left to disuse in that long ago time.) Trees blossomed in great swaths of green patches, and beings of all kinds passed through and by like leaves in spring time. I had availed myself of a few credits, and taken in a small meal at a café, to sit and observe. Something was here for me, I knew, but just what… well the Force would show me, I knew.
Surely that this wasn't the reason, surely there was more. Over my cooling tea, I watched and listened, and my patience was soon rewarded.
It was the little girl I saw first. Unlike many others (another oddity about this brave new galaxy, there are actually Force lights moving freely about!) she made no secret of the fact that she was looking for others (perhaps to the untrained eye she appeared as nothing more than another citizen, but for a Jedi… even a former one, the signs were clear). In the old parlance, she would have probably been barely a youngling, fresh from crèche school, but she carried with her a determination and a familiarity… and a light.
I would have been content to sit there for hours, just watching but then I saw it. Her companion (her mother, I thought) flashed a simple gesture that had been used in that long ago before time, that we… Jedi used to identify each other.
She followed the gesture with a signal to follow them, and leaving a few credits on the table. I did…
Later that evening, I found myself as a guest in what was once my old home. The Great Hall was filled with old and new friends, but it was he who truly commanded now. His very presence filled the room as it never had been before. Beside him stood the woman he had chosen as a wife and partner - my little friend's 'Ma-mere, standing tall and aware. She was almost a mirror image of her partner, soft features marred only by a small scar under her jaw (only partially covered by powder) with red full lips and smoky eyes. Her dark eyes seemed to miss nothing as she took stock of the room, while Luke – Master Skywalker greeted each guest in turn. I was in no hurry, for I had my tea (dutifully brought by the younger Skywalker) and I stood and watched, and felt the Force open up before me, basking in its newfound and unexpected warmth.
Sadly, my revelry was interrupted by a new presence. An older Bothan sidled up to me, his jaw grinding in frustration.
"Open the Temple? To everyone?" he grumbled. "It's madness! He'll bring a plague of the curious upon us! The Temple is a sacred place! How can we stand by and witness such a desecration?"
"I don't know if I would call it that…" I said mildly, but having found and audience, my companion seemed not to have heard. He sniffed audibly as Luke picked up his young daughter, and embraced her.
"Attachments!" he hissed. "Do you think this is part of the 'great plan'? To breed a new generation of Jedi? Surely he must know…"
I tuned him out then, focusing once again on the scene before me, and before long, my Bothan companion moved on to a perhaps more fertile, more receptive audience, and I found myself once again in the presences of Jedi Skywalker –Anakin's son…
Pleasantries were exchanged,(as if we were only passing the time of day, and the icy, wary exterior presented by young Luke's wife dissolved into gales of laughter as I was introduced, oddly enough) but I knew even then that our time would be limited. I didn't mind, it would be enough…
"Pay-pa, can Poulin come to Last meal with us sometime?" the little girl with her father's eyes pleaded at him. "He knows Gra-mere, and even knew Grey-pa Skywalker!"
I saw the shadow pass briefly across his face, and Obi-Wan's words raced across my memory, unbidden.
"He is the only one who can defeat Vader and bring an end to the galaxy's suffering."
Had this boy killed Darth Vader? Anakin? Did I really want to know?
The shadow, like the moment passed in an imperceptible instant, and his face softened as the young woman beside him squeezed his hand. With that one simple gesture, I understood the very depth of their bond. She served as his touchstone, the one who kept the light burning in the dark…
"We would be honored, if you would join us," he murmured in a rich baritone, eerily reminiscent of his father's. "Healer Kampher will show you the way…"
I'm not accustomed to bringing gifts, and yet I wanted to bring something to honor my hosts. Thankfully, I found an unassuming wine imported from Anakin's home world (all things Tatooine had become vogue and the shopkeeper assured me that the vintage was a good one) and when I arrived, I knew that he had not been mistaken.
I was greeted at the door by Luke himself, and now the formality of the Jedi mantle had been set aside, he seemed far more at ease.
"Come in," he smiled, escorting me inside. "You know my daughter, Pemberian, my wife Aubé… and this is my son Ben…"
It was late into the evening, and the wine had loosened my tongue, but by now I felt at ease in the presence of Anakin's son, whom I now knew as just Luke.
"What will you do now, Luke?" I asked. The rest of the family had retired, and I myself was feeling the pull of my own bed, or perhaps even an early transport home, but I had one last question to answer. "Are you going to stay here, and become the new Master Yoda?"
"And for eight hundred years, train Jedi, shall I?" Luke replied in a deadpan impersonation of the aged Master. We both laughed now, relishing the warmth and comfort of this sanctuary, but as the laughter died down, he became serious once again.
"No…" he added softly. "No… not forever."
"Then what?" I pressed. "We were born to serve the Force, in our own way," I said gently. "But there are always other ways… other places…"
He grew thoughtful, then. "Other places…" he echoed softly. "To raise my family... Like my father would have…"
"It was a different time then," I smiled. "But the future, your future and destiny are what you wish to make it… Both yours and the Jedi…"
He asked me to stay, and help, but he knew that I couldn't, but the man I left was not entirely the man I'd met. He was entirely at peace with his decision, as I am with mine.
I'm going home now, to my beloved Lila, the last piece of my past now come full circle.
Anakin was my brother, and Luke, beloved Luke is his son, and I am at peace…
And now my tale is told…