Ten years in the Tattooine desert would make anyone believe that cool green grass, lakes of water, a cloudy sky, were all myths that had been told in an endless dream in some other age of the world. Obi-Wan Kenobi, graying ex-Jedi on the very edge of the universe, lost almost beyond time and thought from contact with the wider worlds, had spent hours every day of his exile in meditation, which over the years had turned into nothing less than a sort of prayer.
"Qui-Gon Jinn, come back to me," he pleaded silently. All the rage had burned from him years ago . Despite 'serenity' topping the list of Jedi virtues, he found it in short supply, stranded on this barren world alone, and had spent a couple of years burning with fury, fingers itching to wipe the black stain that was Vader from the galaxy, but unable to. Purely practical measures made it impossible - he could not leave this world, or he would be known, struck down, killed, long before he ever got anywhere near his former apprentice. Besides that, there was Luke to think of, even from a distance.
More than that, there was a tiny glimmer of hope resting in the back of his mind. Yoda planted it there - he had spoken with Qui-Gon, so surely it must be possible for Qui-Gon to speak with him? But the years went by, bringing only silence.
It was a day like all the rest, sky cloudless and burning with the heat of the suns. Faint and far he could hear the whoops of the Sand-people as sound carried for a long way across the desert. He paid them no mind. All else was silence. Even his own mind was quiet, blank, waiting.
At sunset he looked up from his meditation and stepped outside. A dark cloud hung in the sky, and he glanced at it, confused. These were not the clouds he was used to seeing at sunset, thin, wispy creatures that faded with the dawn. This was a proper rain cloud - an unheard of dream.
Putting up his hood and gathering his robes around him, he stepped into the sands, away from his hut, toward the direction the cloud seemed to be floating. About a hundred metres from his hut, he was in its shade, staring up at the lightning that flickered inside it. He could not overcome the feeling that this could be a trick, and shuddered as he remembered the way that Dooku had used Force lightning.
The rain started without warning. One moment he was staring up into the sky, the next he was soaking wet, drenched by the downpour pounding into him. The happiness that poured into him was overwhelming, irresistible and for the first time in ten years, he laughed from pure joy, holding up his hands to the sky. Every drop of rain was like a kiss. Shaking back his hood, he let the rain fall into his face, between slightly parted lips, soaking his hair, sliding down his body.
He was not the slightest bit surprised to see Qui-Gon suddenly standing in front of him. He launched himself at the tall figure, embracing him with wet hands, pressing his mouth to Qui-Gon's over and over, laughing with joy. Qui-Gon's arms held him tightly, and he too was laughing, hair grown long and flying free, blue eyes dancing.
So many things to say, and yet Obi-Wan could not bring himself to speak, not until the rain stopped and Qui-Gon was holding him against his chest, head against his Master's shoulder. And even then the words were spoken with a laugh in his voice but hastily, as if he feared the vision would fade. "I love you."
Qui-Gon's answer was a kiss. And not just a kiss, a merging, a melding. Obi-Wan could see into Qui-Gon's mind, a wild and open space where passion and serenity lived together in harmony. Standing there, Obi-Wan found what he had been searching for, not just the last ten years, but all his life.
Perspective. The galaxy was a great song, and he played a part, but he was not, could never be, the whole symphony. He was one small instrument and the music drove them forward, whether he played his part or not. And looking deeper, he found, to his surprise, that he had played just the right music after all.
"It all resolves?" he asked, snapping back to reality. "It all ends?"
"Our lives can only be a few notes in this song," Qui-Gon said, a hand brushing over Obi-Wan's hair in a remembered gesture of comfort. "Whether those notes are bright or dark is not ours to choose."
"What can we choose?" Obi-Wan said, looking into Qui-Gon's endless eyes, almost overwhelmed by the love he saw there.
"To play them," Qui-Gon answered.
Obi-Wan closed his eyes. "I have played my part - is it done now, is that why you have come?"
Qui-Gon's finger slid under his chin. Obi-Wan opened his eyes to find Qui-Gon looking into his. "Not just yet, my Obi-Wan, not just yet. You have suffered and you have waited, and now you shall be rewarded."
Stepping back, Qui-Gon held out his hand. "Come with me, love."
Bemused, Obi-Wan slid his hand into Qui-Gon's and together they walked back to Obi-Wan's hut. Just outside, Qui-Gon stopped, and turned to Obi-Wan. "You have ten years left, and then your song will indeed be over. Would you like to spend those years with me?"
"Yes," Obi-Wan said, too quickly to think. "Yes, I would."
"Then, I'm yours," Qui-Gon said with a smile. "Now, and for always, I love you."