Beta: A huge thank you to cariel for beta reading this for me! *glomps*
Truth is always the first to be murdered in times of war, Saché once said. The innocents caught in the middle of it all are always the next to go.
Sabé silently stared into the small flames of the candles that had decorated the meditation room of the old temple. The memory of her friend's words replayed in her mind causing a soft sigh to escape her lips. It was not often that Saché was correct in her assessments, but this time even she could not deny the truth behind the statement.
She had come here to meditate, to clear her mind of the weight that was crushing it. Instead, she found herself staring at the little candles that barely lit the normally sunny room. The moons cast their light through its many windows but it was only enough to cast shadows against the wall. Everything about this place was peaceful but it was not enough.
The holo-news provided little by way of actual news; it was more of a mediatory means of spreading gossip and encouraging propaganda. It was not what the news anchors would say that troubled Sabé, rather what they did not speak of that wore on her mind.
Sharp images of lifeless droids, wounded clones and weary Jedi seen behind a pristinely clad journalist haunted Sabé's mind as she struggled to find her equilibrium. The resulting failure of her mistress's attempts to convince the senator to slow and hopefully one-day end clone production did little to ease her troubled mind.
She was not the only one who had placed their faith in curbing the republics insatiable lust for the war. Sabé could still picture Obi-Wan's pale face skin drawn tight from lack of sleep and nutrition while his weary eyes attempted to avoid the glaring view of the holo-camera. It was a rare moment to see him on the holo-screen; usually the spotlight was left to his former padawan now turned republic hero Anakin Skywalker.
Obi-Wan was not a man who enjoyed the public eye; if anything he went out of his way to avoid it when and wherever he could. It did not stop the holo-networks from taking advantage of his absence or his naivety. His noble actions and careful silence were twisted and altered to both slander the Jedi Order and his good name. It frustrated Sabé; at the same time, it left her grateful that the Jedi Master was not a man who paid the news any heed. He would have been entirely humiliated and disappointed by it all if he had.
Sabé also knew that when word reached him of the senator's failed attempt to convince the senate of her desire to slow clone production that Obi-Wan would be sorely wounded. These men were more than just faceless lives or sacrificial cannon fodder to be fed to the great war machine. They were his sons, his brothers, and his friends. He carried the weight of every life lost under his command and did everything he could to prevent it from happening again.
Nevertheless, the war was unrelenting and it was its toll on her dear friend. She could see it in his eyes during those brief moments when they could exchange a passing glance. She could feel it in the weight of his voice as they exchanged brief, yet polite words. Obi-Wan was not a man who ever admitted to suffering. His heart and mind were always on the safety and security of others; it always came before his own. The sight of his form, far too thin and his skin stretched tight over his brow, that made her heart ache. He claimed it was nothing more than a good's night rest could cure. She wished that she could believe him.
That was several weeks ago.
Closing her eyes, she exhaled a deep breath forcing her thoughts clear. Obi-Wan was millions of light years away in the battlefield doing what he did best, saving lives and protecting the innocent. As difficult, as it was Sabé knew that she would not dishonour him by mourning over what could not be done. She would remain strong because it was what she would want him to do, because it was what he would do if he were in her position.
With the memory of his sad smile, the light brushing of calloused fingers against her own, Sabé let go of her worries with each exhale of her breath. Her heartbeat slowed as she reached out to the life energy that most Naboo called harmony, the very life energy that the Jedi referred to as the light side.
In its warmth, she could feel the essence of the gardens nearby, of the priestesses performing their prayers, and of the life that filled the nearby forests and lakes. Filled with a sense of peace she had not known in some time Sabé filled her thoughts with the memory of her dearest friend. It was not often she allowed herself to recall the first time their paths crossed, or the brief moments they shared between long months, even years apart. It was better to focus on the present than to dwell on the past or even to contemplate the future.
Nevertheless, she did not indulge herself for the sake of selfish pity or even out of fear of the future. Rather, it was to keep his memory alive, to know that even time and distance could not tarnish what they shared.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was waging a war against more than just man and machine. He was battling the darkness. Though he was powerful, Sabé knew he could not do it alone. She did all she could to focus her thoughts, her faith, and her love on the noble knight she called her dearest friend.
In the vast expanses of space, a war weary, yet noble Jedi Knight drifted into the first true rest he has had since the beginning of the war. The peace he so desperately needed but was denied had finally been granted.
Months later, he learned that it was due to the love of a friend that had saved his dying spirit that night.